At just 17 years old singer and on-screen talent, Armani Jackson is determined to use his platform to create opportunities for the next generation with the launch of his production company. Beginning his career at the age of 6, he has spent the last decade performing alongside the Hollywood greats as, the “Bubble Boy” on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy in Season 10, and the lead role of Calvin in the Lionsgate feature film “Cooties,”
In his spare time, Jackson can often be found developing scripts and concepts for horror genres, and psychological thrillers. As a multifaceted creative has also been working on his own music, recently releasing the video for his single “On My Brain” which was inspired by the ending of a toxic relationship.
Here’s what happened when Armani Jackson spoke to IndustryMe about all of the exciting projects he’s been working on and his why.
What are three things about you that people might not know?
Three things people might not know about me would be:
- I never thought I’d be doing music. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but because I never thought I’d have the confidence to ever do it. I was a very shy kid most of my life and acting helped me break out of that. Now I’m doing both, which is crazy to me given how shy I was before.
- I love everything horror. I go to all the haunted attractions during Halloween no matter how crazy or intense they are.
- My sister and I have an unreleased song together and we plan on making many more.
As someone who has more or less grown up on screen, what advice would you give for navigating life in the spotlight?
It can be hard at times growing up in somewhat of a spotlight. I think it was a bit harder when I was younger, because I hadn’t fully grasped what it all meant at the time. As I got older and started to fall in love with the art more and more, I got used to what comes with it. You really have to learn to not care what people say about you online because odds are, they have a deeper issue within themselves and are jealous of the way your life is perceived online, but nobody’s life is perfect no matter how much you think it might be.
Having built such a successful career as an actor, what pushed you to make the leap into music?
Like mentioned before, I always wanted to make my own music but just didn’t have the confidence to do it. When the pandemic came around, I started to realize acting was slowing down drastically and I needed to start doing something that I could take into my own hands instead of only waiting for somebody to give me a role. I went to one of my sister’s studio sessions around June, and at the end of the day I started messing around with the producer and we ended up making “Almost Perfect”, which was the first single I released and the only song I didn’t fully write on my own. Ever since then, I started becoming obsessed with singing and songwriting and started working with different producers. Now I’m working with The Morgue who also produced “Haunted” and many more unreleased songs of mine. They have been perfect for me and really took my songs to a new level. I also started working with the Stargate producers and am excited to work with them more later this year.
Who is on your playlist right now?
Right now my playlist has got some Aminé, 24kGoldn, The Kid Laroi, Chase Atlantic & Kid Cudi. There are many more but those are definitely very prominent on the list.
I’m sensing some teenage angst and a little bit of heartbreak on “On My Brain”, talk to me about the story that inspired the song?
I think we can all relate to the desire to erase someone out of your brain after spending a lot of time in a relationship with them. I wrote “Out Of My Brain” about that exact feeling of moving on and putting someone in your past to stay there forever. Long-term relationships can be hard to forget but eventually, with time they will fade into oblivion.
What can you tell us about your latest single “Haunted”?
I wrote the song “Haunted” primarily about being haunted by the memories of someone and almost feeling like they are still there with you. But I also wrote “Haunted” about sleep paralysis, which is something I’ve suffered from almost my whole life. Sleep paralysis is a “temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or upon waking which usually results in scary hallucinations,” which is a real thing that happens to a small percentage of people. I wanted to juggle those two topics evenly without overbearing the listener with the sleep paralysis aspect and kind of just sprinkling it in, which is something I like to do a lot with my songs, because it gives a deeper meaning that the strong listeners can decipher.
What’s one genre of music you’ve yet to try that you’d like to?
I’ve made a lot of different genre songs that haven’t been released yet, but one genre that I think would be fun to try is indie rock/indie folk. I definitely have some rock tracks, but most of them combine with rap to become more of a rock/rap track. I think it would be cool to make a slower, more serious track, almost like a Phoebe Bridgers or Day Wave song.
Who are some artists you would love to collaborate with right now?
I think it’d be cool to collab with The Kid Laroi or 24kGoldn. I feel like our voices and songwriting methods would go together really well on a song, so that’s something I look forward to in the future for sure.
Tell me more about your production company and your plans to help the next generation of creatives
We created Blue Velvet Productions last year. We want to create films from authentic or fictional experiences and stories that come from the voices of the diverse and youthful creators that may have not gotten their chance to do it on their own yet. Not enough youth gets a voice in this industry and we want to emphasize on that because they are the main consumers of digital media right now, yet they don’t have much of a say on what digital media is being created.
What projects are you currently working on that people should keep an eye out for?
There is a lot of exciting stuff in the works. Chad just got picked up for a second season so that’s gonna be fun. I have a song coming out this month that I can’t wait for everyone to hear, and I’m up for some big acting projects right now that I can’t say much else about just yet.