Already an esteemed and well-recognized face in the acting sphere, Trevor Jackson continues to charm fans with not only his music but cinematic visuals to match. Trevor has starred in noteworthy films and shows such as Superfly, Netflix’s Burning Sands, American Crime and the popular Grown-ish alongside Yara Shahidi.
Recently he has tackled the R&b realm of music with the release of his debut album, The Love Language. An album for the many different lovers and forms of love. The album takes us on a journey of what love can look like for many and what feelings the action itself provokes. Singles such as “Just Friends,” which samples the R&B favorite from Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris, “Lovers and Friends,” portray a friendship that could grow into something more. The fan-favorite “Get to You” has an impressive visual starring Jackson really going through the motions. Some of which seem a little obsessive, to get to a hold of the woman he’s been wanting.
After listening, The Love Language not only takes you through these various avenues, but it’s smooth, charming, and really makes you wonder just what more does Trevor Jackson has up his sleeve? I had the opportunity to talk with Trevor via zoom about dating in our twenties, the ups and downs, how all of his creative avenues manifest in his work, and his overall goals with his debut album’s release. Due to the in-depth nature of our conversation, condensing for written form was a tough one.
In 2019, Trevor was awarded the Soul Train Certified Award for his critically acclaimed project Rough Drafts Pt. 2. A full-circle moment for sure, having also been received by statement makers such as Ciara, Daniel Caesar, and more. That achievement provided the force to create his debut album, which he says, “I just wanted to create something that people could connect with, something vulnerable as well. You know, the good parts and even the bad parts about love.” Songs like “Better,” “WYBL,” and “LOVE&affection” display those so-called bad parts about love. Whether it’s confusion or sticking around even on days when you don’t feel that other person.
“I think about the big concepts often. I recently had a friend ask me like ‘what’s the point of it all?’ and you know what…Love. It is the underlying theme in just about everything. It saves lives, from unity to accepting differences and more.”
Ci: Aside from music, you’re a well known face in the acting sphere. What role(s) do you feel really shaped you as an actor?
Trevor: Burning Sands for sure, and I think American Crime. I was considering quitting acting right before those roles, and they brought me back. I was around very talented actors and creators, and I just fell in love with the process again. Eventually, I want to direct, and I’ve been doing that with my music videos.
Ci: Yes. The music video for your single “Get to You” is very cinematic…
Trevor: Yeah, Autre Fish and myself directed that video together. We came up with this concept of like the guy who never gets any play. What would that guy do; what lengths would he go to get to the girl of his dreams. People will go to a party and start a fight just so a girl can see they’re tough or other strange things. When I do these videos, I want people to see the world the way I see it in a way; that’s why I love film.
Ci: How did you develop an interest in both acting and singing? Or did one lead you to another…
Trevor: Well, tap dancing came first; I was in love with Gregory Hines. I remember seeing him on TV, and he was singing, acting, dancing, and I was like, “okay, I want to do all of those things.” Then I did The Lion King on Broadway for three years, and everything kind of just began there for me.
Ci: Speaking of being multitalented, how has your acting career crossed over and aided in your music?
Trevor: Acting has helped with my direction of videos and what I want. I have a better understanding of exactly what I need things to look like in my videos. If I didn’t act, I would have no idea what I was talking about. It’s made creating more fun. Acting and creating music are both forms of storytelling. If I could choose just one, it would be music, because it’s from the inside out. In comparison, acting is like taking an outside source and making it fit you.
Ci: You titled your album “The Love Language.” How did that come about?
Trevor: Music is my love language, so I wanted it to be called THE Love Language. All of these things are how I feel about love. What I like and dislike. People have this expectation of when they fall in love, this other person will be perfect and answer all their prayers, and it does not always happen that way. You have to admit your faults, along with your partner, and come to a center ground. Understand that you both have to work at it.
Ci: Right it’s a constant cycle of learning each other. And speaking of love languages in general, how important do you think it is to understand your partner’s love language?
Trevor: Those five are very limited. It would be unfair for every person to have one or two of importance when some people could care less about them all. But to answer your question, it is important to know your partner. And it is also important to choose your battles, for instance, accepting those little flaws and things that may annoy you a bit. Bigger things are obviously a conversation. My thing is people will get in a relationship with someone knowing exactly how they are and then complain about it. Or when people don’t like something, they never tell you, so it eventually gets out of hand. So communicate with everyone! That’s important.
Ci: Wrapping up here. What songs were you the most transparent on about relationships on your album?
Trevor: Hm. “Love Don’t Change,” “Rolling Stone,” and “Pictures by my Pool.” It’s so healing. People think that when you kind of put yourself out there that the door to vulnerability stays open. It doesn’t, I put it out, and you all can throw tomatoes or whatever, but that door is closed. It does not affect me. Because comments generally come from people who know nothing about me. If you enjoyed the process and outcome of something for yourself, then that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
The Love Language features an array of sounds to fit those upbeat, somber, and conflicted moods. It was a pleasure to catch up with Trevor and have a very down-to-earth conversation about things that are on most of our minds. Please take a listen to the album below, and be sure to look out for his next role.