Krystal Jackson aka Krystal Gem is one of the most talented songstresses to recently gain attention in Jackson. Her voice is magical and hearin...
Krystal Jackson aka Krystal Gem is one of the most talented songstresses to recently gain attention in Jackson. Her voice is magical and hearing her sing is an experience you won’t soon forget. I was first introduced to the multi-talented artist via an Instagram video of her performance at this year’s Jackson Indie Music Week. Her rendition of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” is so soulful that I find myself returning to listen to it often.
She recently performed at Next Level Experience as part of the Jokes And Jams Showcase hosted by rising comedienne Rita B. Sadly, I missed it. Then I saw a video of her covering my all-time favorite Bob Marley song”Is This Love” and Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” on her IG page before writing this article that let me know that was a mistake.
I have seen her perform at the bi-weekly Synergy Nights open mic. Her free-spirited personality and infectious positive energy help to elevate her artistry and make her performances truly amazing.
Not only is she a great singer but also a greatly skilled visual artist. Her works are crafted using a variety of mediums and on a number canvases. They seem to take on a life of their own as the colors and lines flow across pages, sneakers and anything else she can put her touch on.
I had the opportunity of interviewing Krystal recently and asking her about her inspirations, her goals, how she became such a phenomenal singer and much more.
HH: Where are you from originally? How old are you? Are you a student? If so, what school do you attend and what is your major?
KG: I’m a full bred Jacksonian. I was born and raised here. I’m 20. I’m a Junior at Millsaps College where I study Music. I’m minoring in Studio Art.
HH: You really took me by surprise at this year’s JIMWeek. How long have you been singing? When did you decide to try your hand at being an artist?
KG: I’m glad you enjoyed the show! I’ve been singing some before I could talk. It’s been my calling since birth. I started taking private lessons when I was 7 and have continued since then. Those lessons helped me build my muscles as a Classical musician- I sing opera and can sing in 10 languages. Italian (and English) are my strongest languages. Along with these lessons, I began writing my own songs in middle school (around 13 years old). Since then, I’ve wanted to grow as a singer/songwriter.
HH: That’s amazing! You are a very free-spirited person. Does this cross over into your musical style as well? Were you always so comfortable with just being yourself or was it something that has developed over time?
KG: Carefreeness and free spirited-ness is something that’s definitely crossed over into my music. Because of training the “traditional” way for so long, I’ve been itching to break free and explore something more unique and intrinsic to who I am. It’s taken a while to get there, but I believe I’m in the right track
HH: I know during JIMWeek, you performed covers. Are you currently working on any original material?
KG: During JIMWeek I only performed one cover (and acoustic version of Drake’s Hotline Bling). Everything else was all mine! I write my own lyrics and music. I’m currently working on a piece for the MS Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Quintet along with a few other originals to go with the 7 I already have.
HH: My mistake. I saw a post of you and Astin Rocks on IG not long ago. Are you all working a video together? Possibly a musical collaboration?
KG: Astin and I haven’t talked about collaboration much, but I’d love to be a part of Clouds & Crayons’ next creation! The post you saw me in was for the recording of the music video “LaDonna.” It follows a very interesting and relatable story line.
HH: What kind of vibe/energy/message do you hope people receive when watching you perform?
KG: The message I want people to receive when watching and listening to me is “freedom.” I mean that in every sense of the word. Freedom to be oneself. Freedom to dance how you want, say what you want, wear what you want, think and feel what you want, be who you want to be without regard for what someone else will say or how it will be interpreted. The journey I’ve had with my music has been one that constantly tells me to be fearless and confident in who I am. I want other people to be able to hear that.
HH: What are some of your goals for this year? Can we expect a project to be released?
KG: My goal for this year is to get more performances as Krystal Gem under my belt. This year I hope to become more comfortable with the new acoustic sound I’ve found. I also hope to release an EP.
Stay Updated with Krystal Gem on Social Media via @KrystalGemMusic