Get ready to dive deep into the creative world of Chicago-based DJ and music producer, Shawn Jackson. With the recent release of his EP ‘Testify’, Shawn is making waves in the Electronic music scene with his distinct style and captivating productions, in this exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Shawn to discuss the inspiration behind his latest release, his creative process, and how he approaches the production of each track. From his influences to the challenges faced during the creation of ‘Testify EP’, Shawn opens up about his musical journey and shares fascinating insights into his artistic evolution. So, without further ado, let’s delve into this engaging conversation with Shawn Jackson.
Hi Shawn! How are you?
Hey, I am doing great, thank you for having me!
Congrats on the release of your EP ‘Testify’! Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this production?
Thank you, this is one I am personally proud of as I have been wanting to release this style project for a while. The inspiration is a combination of early Steve Lawler, Nicole Moudaber, and Matt Sassari – all of whom I have admired for a long time.
How did you approach creating the sound and style of ‘Testify’, and what specific elements of your sound did you highlight and evolve for this particular release?
I listened to hours and hours of old mixes of each over a month or so, and started to note things that stood out in their track selection and what I would do more or less of.
The production process for any release can present challenges. Can you tell us about any obstacles you faced during the creation of ‘Testify EP’ and how you overcame them?
I would say the process didn’t present much challenge aside from switching my mindset to a more strategic approach, one that was focused around the specific sounds and elements.
What kind of gear or tools did you use during the creation of ‘Testify EP’, and how did they influence the overall sound of the EP?
On this project, I utilized my Ableton Push as it gave me more of a hands-on “live” performance feel. I think it provided more of an intimate flow when it was all said and done.
Can you share with us your creative process when working with vocal samples and how they feature on this particular release?
I had a bank of vocal samples which I would overlay during my live sets, which in turn provided me with a creative approach to take back to the studio. Both vocals on ‘Testify’ fit well from the start, I only had them in there as a placeholder for others I had previously selected for this project (they will be on the next one).
Each track on ‘Testify EP’ has its own unique character. Can you walk us through your creative process when working on the tracks off the EP and any interesting stories behind the production?
Both have that deep dark chugging element and soundscapes perfect for the afterhours. The vocals and basslines really took on a life of their own creating a bouncy groove yet retaining the afterhours vibe (which was the initial intent). One interesting point is that both basslines were created for ‘Testify’, however after dropping the other into ‘The Feeling’ to test out the percussion, there was no question it was the right one.
As a producer, what was the most rewarding aspect of creating ‘Testify EP’, and how has it influenced your future projects?
I made this project last year and tested it out on NYE at a Tampa festival and then again in Aruba – the response was amazing, the sound filled the speakers and moved everyone’s feet. The feeling you get from your audience reacting to what you have created in such a beautiful way, that’s priceless and why I do this in the first place.
What can fans expect from your future releases and performances, and how has the reception to the EP influenced your plans for the future?
My fanbase continues to grow at a rapid rate, which I cannot explain how thankful and fortunate I am to have them. Simple, they can expect the Shawn Jackson Muzik quality, albeit Deep, Tech, Techno or some new Melodic Techno I have been working on – their feet will move, bodies will sweat, and hands will wave.
Looking back on the production process for this release, is there anything you would have done differently or any lessons you have learned that you can apply to your future work?
Not a thing, other than release it sooner! This was such a fun one to work on, it dove deep into my youth allowing me to remember why I love this industry so much and how thankful I am for its acceptance of my craft.
Shawn Jackson’s passion for music and commitment to his craft shine through in every aspect of his work, with the release of ‘Testify EP’ and his relentless drive to create captivating and energetic tracks, Shawn continues to make his mark in the Electronic music scene. Stay connected with Shawn on social media to stay updated on his latest projects and upcoming performances.
Listen and buy ‘Testify EP’ now