Teddy Jackson • "Don't Shoot" + Q+A

Earlier this week local producer/singer Teddy Jackson offered up an uplifting single that dealt with a common theme in Chicago; guns. "Don't Shoot" featuring Demetruis, AJ Peace and Erica Renee is the latest in a series of singles from Chicago artists pleading with their contemporaries to stop the shooting, and one that comes with distinctly soulful vibes throughout. The track is also a part of a string of tracks that Jackson has been working on with local talent to dispel some of the glorification of the violence here. We here at TheseDays are always in support of anyone here trying to do positive things the right way and in that spirit we caught up with Teddy to talk about the motivation for releasing songs that have an impact and what we can expect moving forward. Check that out below and the single above. 

Tell us about your motivation to create music that can effect change?

The everyday struggle of working a 9-5, taking care of a family, and basically surviving in this world we’ve created. Making it hard finding time to dream and finding the courage to make the dream come true. Change is inevitable but I think music can affect how we deal with it in a big way. 

How do you see the power in music?

Music has the ability to provoke and personify any emotion. It has the power to spark a revolution. It can serve as the soundtrack to sadness at a funeral, a celebration of marriage, the passion of a protest, and even a Friday night at the club. No other art form has that kind of power. so I'd say music is pretty powerful. 

This is the first installment of your #DoBetterSundays project; what do you hope to get from this series of singles?

I hope to showcase some of the many great and talented artists we have here in Chicago through collaboration. My vision is to expose Chicago for the music mecca that it really is and should be. #DoBetterSundays is just the beginning.

Could you let us in on your own experiences with violence or any of the negative issues plaguing the city? How have those effected you?

Me, my closest friends, and family have all been victims in our own community being jumped, robbed, and shot. And if that’s bad enough, we have to defend ourselves against law enforcement too. That’s some bullshit and it all has to stop. I really don't consider myself an activist but there are times when you must to step up and speak on an issue using whatever platform you have. In my case, that just happens to be music. So for the first release, don't shoot, we're taking our shot. 

Anything else we can expect musically from you this year?

You can expect me to deliver great music every Sunday until further notice. A ton of visuals, a Do Better block party in the summer and my next album The Blow Up Plan.