Hewitt-Trussville freshman singer signs label deal
By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Jackson Capps realized his dream when he was just 9 years old.
He wanted to be signed to a label, to go far in the music business.
“I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to stop (music),” Capps said.
He definitely won’t be stopping now.
Capps, at the end of February, signed a label and management deal with Mike Jones Entertainment. There are plans to release a debut album and a United State tour in the near future.
VIDEO: Watch a short video featuring Jackson Capps.
Capps, a 15-year-old freshman at Hewitt-Trussville High School, got his first guitar when he was 8. He taught himself how to play, listening to early influences such as Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. At age 10, Capps made his live performance debut at Nashville’s World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. At 12, he made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry.
Capps said he’s worked “pretty hard” since he realized music is what he wanted to pursue.
“It is hard work, but it’s not really a job, because it’s fun for me,” he said.
Capps said a Mike Jones Entertainment staff member saw him play at WorkPlay last year, when he won the WorkPlay Songwriters’ Series, a 10-week competition. Mike Jones Entertainment Executive Producer David Koonce said the label’s CEO, Mike Jones, discovered Capps and thought he’d be a “perfect fit” with MJE.
“When I was brought on board I was introduced to Jackson’s sound and immediately began putting a plan in motion for his development,” Koonce said. “We spoke with him and his parents about our goals, and we all agreed it was a great idea to bring Jackson on with MJE.”
Koonce said MJE decided to sign Capps because he has “that ‘it’ factor.”
“I knew right away he was something special,” Koonce said. “It has been a real privilege working and getting to know Jackson. He is an amazing talent all the way from his singing, playing, songwriting and genuine attitude.”
MJE can do everything for Capps in-house. The label has a new recording studio, capabilities to record an album, equipment to professionally duplicate an album, graphic designers to design logos for merchandise and backdrops, a warehouse to print and screen print items, and a website for Capps. Capps’ team, including manager, publicist, booking agent and attorney “are right down the hall,” Koonce said.
“When he has shows coming up we can take him over to our rehearsal space and iron out any kinks we have to the live performance,” Koonce said. “We like our artists to know that everything they need is right here in one place.”
A typical day for Capps — outside of school — consists of practicing in his room, whether that means fiddling with a new melody, writing a song or just playing one of his nine or 10 guitars. He practices anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on what needs to be done. He said it’s cool to come home with a new idea or melody, tinker around with it and come up with something that sounds good.
“It’s a neat feeling,” Capps said.
Capps said he got into music because he grew up listening to traditional country, such as Williams, Cash and Elvis Presley. He took lessons and was never forced to pursue music.
“I just decided to stick with it once I realized I loved it,” Capps said. “So then I never stopped.”
Should a first album and tour be successful, Capps may have to look to homeschooling for the bulk of his high school years. He’d be OK with that.
“Music means that much to me,” he said.
He’s hoping something big happens for his career in the future.
“Yes, I think something will happen,” he said.
Koonce believes so, too.
“Jackson Capps will be a big star,” he said. “I look forward to watching his career move very quickly.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.