Interview with Alternative Artist Jachin McDonald
MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- Jachin McDonald: I have always loved music, I grew up in a really musical family and sang in church as a kid. In high school, I started experiencing some depression due to some pretty sudden losses and some serious sickness in my family. I’m human, so not every way I coped with that was healthy, but one way I tried to cope healthily was through writing and poetry. I was about 15 when I started learning how to produce music and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- Jachin McDonald: Like I said, I grew up as a church kid so one of my first experiences with music outside of worship and gospel music was with Lecrae’s earlier stuff. Andy Mineo was in that sphere too, and I would say a lot of my musical inspiration has come from his creative growth and example. Outside of that, I would say that Bryson Tiller, Childish Gambino, and Jon Bellion were three artists that I listened to just obsessively to study why I liked their music so much and learn from them.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- Jachin McDonald: Music, to me, is just this beautiful tradition of connection. The music itself is worth spending a lifetime working on, it’s so fun to pour the time into getting better and creating better art. But deeper than that, the ideas we share through music are just infinitely more important. I was introduced to so much of the world through music.
At my lowest points, music has reminded me of hope and comforted me. It’s this crazy thing that can help a middle schooler process the innocent feelings of their first crush, and then at the same time be the same medium that introduces them to anti-war messages or to concepts of justice and empathy. All of that is so important to me, and if my music could accomplish even a little bit of that for just one person I’d call it all worth it.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
- Jachin McDonald: I went to watch Medium Build’s Oklahoma City show a few months ago in just a small little bar venue and it was quite literally the best live music experience I’ve ever had in my life. Rett Madison opened for them and everyone who touched the stage that night was just so talented and earnest and funny, it was so great.
I opened for a band called Overseer a few weeks before that and that was probably my favorite show I’ve ever played. I had a few friends in that band so it was special to get to play the same stage as them, and it was just a night where all the music just landed in a really fun and meaningful place.
MuzicNotez: Your latest release is the single ‘pickups’. What inspired this track?
- Jachin McDonald: To be completely honest, the last year or so has been super heavy for me. I was stuck asking lots of lofty questions about our world but also just dealing with very common and human issues that all felt heavier than usual. On some of those days all I could do was sit and play music to try and express what I was feeling. That’s where the imagery of the first verse kind of comes from, just switching in between the pickups on my electric guitar trying to scramble around and find some way to put my emotions to sound. Earlier I brought up how I want my music to connect with people, but that doesn’t always mean I have an answer for them. I think this one was really just about being honest about the struggles that I’m going through right now and hoping that if you feel the same way you know you’re not alone.
MuzicNotez: You’re in Oklahoma, what’s the music scene there like for an independent artist like yourself?
- Jachin McDonald: It’s definitely different than it would be in a music hub with more people. The music here is very folk and country-focused, which is obviously different from the stuff that I make but it’s special because it’s true to who we are as a community. There’s obviously a large indigenous population here because of Okahoma’s history with displacement, artists like Ken Pomeroy are who I think of when I think of Okahoma music.
MuzicNotez: You were on a track with Cooper Hill called ‘Gas Money’ which got over a million plays on Spotify. What can you say to aspiring artists trying to find that kind of success? What was the collaborative process like?
- Jachin McDonald: I made Gas Money with Cooper Hill and GRAHAM(100graham) in my living room. I made us dinner and Graham produced it while Cooper and I wrote. I think a big piece of advice I would give to any aspiring artist is to not try and do it alone. So much of the specialness of that song comes from all the little details that no single artist would have put together on their own.
Cooper and Graham both think so differently than me when it comes to the writing and producing process and I think the art we made together really benefited from that. Both of those guys are just unbelievably talented and so creative in their own ways, if you’re an artist looking to get started, please don’t neglect community and collaboration.
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- Jachin McDonald: I’m aiming at about one single a month this year, so pretty consistently if people want to hear more from me they can check in and see that month’s release. I’m really proud of a lot of the music I’ve recently released, as well as the stuff that I’m about to release. It means the world that people listen in the first place, but if they want to hear more it’s definitely there for them.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- Jachin McDonald: As a fan or a listener, I think we hear artists say thank you a lot and it becomes kind of hollow. I hope that this breaks through that and that a listener of mine can hear me truly mean it when I say it means everything to me that they’ve given me some of their time to share what I love so much. I love music and I love what music can do. I’m really grateful to MusicNotez for reaching out to me and asking me to share with y’all.