New York, NY (Top40 Charts)"Toast Up" is the name of the newest single by the LA-based singer, Diamonique Jackson. The song stays true to her sound, fusing a 90's R&B vibe alongside neo-soul. It recently landed on the Billboard Adult R&B Indicator. Jackson hopes to release an EP later this year.
Along with being a performer, Jackson is also as educator in Los Angeles. The Memphis born singer has dedicated her life to teaching and performing. She's had the opportunity to perform for President Obama, alongside Yolanda Adams for the UNCFEvening with the Stars, and in Japan for an annual peace conference.
She has recently served as a vocal instructor and assistant director for "The Lion King Jr" in Memphis.
Learn more about Diamonique Jackson in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
I feel like I'm on top of the world right now. I'm in such a blissful place at this point in my life. Humbled, grateful, and excited about everything that's happening. I know this is only the beginning.
Now that 2019 has started, what musical goals do you have for yourself and your music this new year? Did you make any new year's resolutions?
My goal is to finish my EP. The world needs to hear what I have to say. I feel that as a nation, we're at a state of emergency. People really aren't singing about morals, values, love, and sticking together anymore. I'm going to change all of that.
Growing up, how important has music been in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make? Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren't a musician today, what could you see yourself doing?
Music is my saving grace. I honestly don't know where I would be without it, and I'm okay with never knowing. It's been the centerpiece to my existence where all my emotions flow. I can't recall the moment where I chose music, I always felt like the music chose me. I haven't always been loyal to it as much as its been loyal to me, but no matter what we've always found our way back. Outside of music I could always see myself as a lawyer. The LEO the lion in me loves to run things, lol!
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
My biggest surprise so far has been my single "Toast Up" recently landing on the Billboard Adult R&B Indicator as an independent artist. When Adrian Meeks broke the news to me, my mouth dropped to the floor! I thought to myself, "This is almost unheard of! How?! Me?!" On the other side, an unexpected challenge has been embracing being an artist. I honestly thought my gift was to solely be a songwriter. It was/is my safe haven. I get the privacy of not being in the forefront while still getting to do what I love. It's comfortable. However, you never know which direction life is going to take you. Now that I'm a currently a charting recording artist, I'm like, "wow, this feels pretty open." I've always struggled with that, but I look forward to overcoming it along my new journey. Stay tuned.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live now?
Growing up in Memphis, TN I believe it's safe to say soul music had a major influence on my life. From the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, to the heartfelt lyrics of Al Green. I always knew I wanted to create timeless music that would move people and bring us together. After moving to LA in 2017, the culture's melting pot opened my eyes to expanding my songwriting skill. If music is the universal language, as an artist I feel the need to embrace that and create diverse sounds that resonate all people. That's my goal.
How do you balance being an educator here in LA and following your musical dreams too? How does doing one help the other?
Balance ?!? Oh, that's what you call it? Lol. All jokes aside, I'll be straight forward by first saying it is not easy! I educate during the day and use my 9-5 to invest into my artistry. It requires a lot of time, focus, strategy, even isolation at times. The long hours can easily become overwhelming. I don't have all the answers as to how to maintain because I'm still learning what works for me. However, I will say choosing self-care and incorporating that into your day can work wonders. Squeezing in those 10-15 minutes between work, rehearsals, and writing to decompress or reset makes a huge difference. On several occasions those few minutes have saved me from losing my mind. So far, its working.
Let's talk about your newest single called "Toast Up." What was the inspiration for this song? How would you say that it is different or similar to anything else that you have previously released?
Toast up was inspired by a recent situation I was in with a person I was dating. I'd finally met my match, my twin sage as some would call it. A person with great qualities, but yet…not so great qualities. This person was hard to get through to, difficult to read, and found it complicated to be open. He was the mirror to my flaws. After a brief hiatus, I wrote toast up to express everything my pride wouldn't allow me to say to him out of fear. This song is different because the emotions are way more fresh and I'm the most vulnerable I've been in my life, which is scary by the way. I'm still dealing with myself daily and learning to love others better by living my truth. I believe my emotions are resonating with the listeners. It's real.
When do you plan on putting out more new music and a full collection of new songs?
I'm hoping to release an EP by the end of summer 2019. The next step would be to complete a full album before the year is out. Trust me, I have a lot to say and it'll be well worth the wait. I promise ❤️
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
It's been amazing waking up to DM's and mentions from total strangers who express love for my art. It's so rewarding to know your voice is being heard and your emotions are being validated from people you don't even know. It's been so much love that's it's hard to keep it up with responding. My favorite way to connect with fans is to mention/shout-out as many as I can to make it personal. I want to let them know that I value their support.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I enjoy the works of Erykah Badu, Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Toni Braxton, Missy Elliott, Tweet, and several more. Rickey Minor is one musician I've had the pleasure of crossing paths with who inspired me to sing from the heart. His energy and focus to the craft its unmatched. In the future I'd love to a women empowerment record with Beyoncé, Toni Braxton, and Janet.
Where can fans see you perform next? Do you have any kind of a 2019 tour scheduled yet?
My next performance will be on March 25th at Club Sevilla in Long Beach, CA. I'll be performing my original music for the Planet Love Tour. Keep up with me on social media as tour dates are constantly being added for all the world to "Toast Up."
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
Oooh, my dream music video would have to be shot in Dubai, the "City of Gold." The aesthetics scream royalty. I see myself and other women and men in vibrant colors, dancing freely in the desert. There's also a scene in my head of me partying and singing through the streets of Alserkal Art District, a place where all artists and art lovers gather.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you take with you and why?
I'd take an audio recorder to lay down melodies, recite lyrics, basically whatever comes to mind. That way I'd have an entire musical of emotions, a body of work to get me through the days.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
Blackish. It's the perfect show that highlights every spectrum of love through family, relationships, and friendships. There's actually two movies I would've absolutely LOVED for my music to be featured in. "Girls Trip" and "Think Like a Man!" Both movies exude my personality-fun, energetic, and authentic.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Overall, freedom. Intimacy….the opening of their mind, body, heart, and soul. I believe everyone secretly yearns for that feeling, and my music will take you to that place.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
If I write it, I've lived it. If I've lived it, I share it. Through intimacy, allow my words to aid you in finding your truest self. No walls, no masks, no barriers. Just me…just you…just us.