Premiere: Allow Jack Red To Introduce Himself With "Homegrown"
Get familiar with the name Jack Red, Okayplayers! The Chicago-based singer-producer has been consistently one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Those with superior hearing might’ve caught his vocals on “Lovely Day” from Vic Mensa‘s 2013 tape, Innanetape, or on The Social Experiment‘s album, Surf. Most recently, the upstart musician produced Chance The Rapper‘s “We The People” song, which was featured in Nike‘s Olympic-themed “Unlimited Together” commercial.
An onstage performer since 7-years-old, Jack Red has captured the attention and imagination of anyone whose heard him sing. He declared himself a solo act with the single, “Sometimes,” and now continues to double-down on showcasing his talent with his lead single, “Homegrown”. Both songs are featured on his upcoming debut EP of the same name. In addition to being a creative force, associated with Chicago’s rising talent, Jack Red shares his own story in this funky, melodious ode to his native South Side.
“That Flaming Hots with cheese type of classic,” is how Jack Red describes the song, Homegrown, and upon listening he’s not wrong.
We asked Jack Red about his thoughts behind “Homegrown,” why he has decided to split the EP into two parts and what can you, the audience, learn from listening to his music a few times.
Okayplayer: What was the inspiration behind the song, “Homegrown”…?
Jack Red: In building my own artistry, I had to step back and think about my story and what makes me who I am. The concept of embracing your history and roots has inspired my philosophy of living your life from the inside out. My mother is my biggest fan and my biggest critic. We were talking one day and she suggested that I talk about the things, people and situations from my past that laid the foundation for who I am. I’m still that “little sangin’ boy from Aberdeen,” and it is only right that I celebrate that.
I feel that others [can] relate to this philosophy as well. I want to inspire people, especially the youth, to embrace that very mindset. I direct a non-profit recording intensive, Rhyme Room, for Chicago’s youth. When we are creating, I inspire them to delve into their personal experiences to create an evocative piece of art. For most people, the story [of “Homegrown”] starts at home.
OKP: Why split up the Homegrown EP into two separate parts?
JR: My musical background is very diverse and my sound is potent. The EP is a narrative and I want to establish a solid foundation to tell my story where you can appreciate each chapter for what it is.
OKP: What can the audience take away from “Homegrown” after listening to the song a few times?
JR: It’s really a feel good [song]. “Homegrown” is an anthem of pride. It celebrates my story. If I’m anything, I am authentic and push for people to live from the inside out as well. “Homegrown” is a motivational ode to people’s individual roots. If you feel lost in the whirlwind of today, listen to this record and get back home.
Jack Red is a vibrant artist whose self-expression is a deterrent to the madness that has its grips on the inner city streets of Chicago. With a Boyz II Men-styled harmony and a pen game that envelopes you like a cinematic tale — Jack Red’s narrative focuses on positives like love, success and ambition. Without further ado, we enthusiastically premiere to the Okayplayer audience, “Homegrown,” Jack Red’s hometown anthem and newest single.