Going deep with a one-man creative empire.
Trevor Jackson has contributed to music culture from many different angles. Since the late '80s he's designed record sleeves, produced original music and remixes, overseen acclaimed compilations, directed videos, hosted radio shows, played DJ sets and run a highly influential record label. As an artist his work has been shown at the Barbican and ICA in London and the Guggenheim in New York. He's known for taking a bold and sometimes antagonistic approach. He goes to extreme lengths to buck trends—just look at his 2015 album F O R M A T, which featured tracks spread across 12 different musical formats including USB, VHS and reel-to-reel, or the tote bag he designed that was emblazoned with the slogan "This Bag Contains A Gun, A Bomb, A Very Large Knife And Loads Of Drugs." Instead of repelling brands, Jackson's bristling approach is commercial catnip—as a designer and visual artist his client list includes BMW, Lexus, Coca-Cola and Nike.
He's at his irascible best when confronted with laziness in art, calling out anyone he sees cutting corners. Jackson is just as honest when the topic of conversation is himself, often talking up his design skills while talking down his music productions. He's never been afraid to speak his mind—and that's exactly what he did when he caught up with Aaron Coultate in RA's London office.