To Top

Meet Eugene “400” Jackson of The MSMJ Music Company in Metro Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eugene Jackson.

Eugene, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My journey started at age eight when I started teaching myself to play the piano. I taught myself to play because when I had my first piano lesson, the teacher didn’t allow me to play the piano. He gave me a sheet of paper with a picture of a piano and the corresponding notes and chords to the keys. Out of frustration, I decided I did not need a class. I memorized the notes and chords and began to popular playback songs for practice and created my own music. To record my songs, I used two tape recorders as a modern-day sequencer. I would record the music first and then use one tape recorder for playback and the other to record my vocals. By the time I was 13, I was signed as an artist and producer to the local record label Underworld Entertainment in Cleveland, OH. Being signed led to overwhelming popularity within the city of Cleveland, hearing my songs on the radio and performing at clubs I was not old enough to be in on school nights.

By the time I graduated High School, I was no longer with the label, but I took everything I learned from them and began to book and promote my own shows and develop relationships with radio and music stores as if I was my own record label. Soon after, I moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue my music career. My first days, or months rather, in Atlanta, I found myself unexpectedly homeless.

Being homeless, left me somewhat hopeless someday, as this was not part of my plan upon moving to ATL. I had a car and a job at Delta Airlines, so I would sleep in the car in Delta Employee parking lot at night and wake up around 4:00 am to take a shower in the Delta Airlines International crown room before anyone that I knew would arrive to work. With the help of my Aunt, I was able to rent a room at a motel for a month on Tara Blvd. In Jonesboro, GA, so I didn’t have to sleep in my car. Living in the motel was actually worse than the car in some ways. I had a bed, small fridge and readily available restroom but became extremely uncomfortable with the neighboring rooms, who were mostly occupied by drug dealers, addicts and prostitutes. I had never felt more alone.

My birthday was the very last night I had paid for at the motel. That night, I decided I was no longer going to let my current circumstances determine my future. I woke up the next morning and got myself a one-bedroom apartment in Riverdale/College Park area with the help of a very friendly apartment leasing agent. I didn’t even have the money for the application or first month’s rent, but it didn’t matter because she waived both fees as if she already knew I was in need of a blessing.

This blessing was fast, followed by many others. Within month’s I was financially stable, writing and producing songs and co-producing a local music television show called “What’s Hot What’s Not,” that eventually led to hosting weekly events at Club Uranus in Buckhead. During this time, I also started The MSMJ Music Company. Soon after, I was able to negotiate a publishing deal with Forte’ Music that led to my company producing music for the television show Entertainment Tonight.

While co-producing “What’s Hot What’s Not,” I developed an interest for acting also. I started as an actor by booking Stand-In and Background roles on several of Tyler Perry’s productions, “The Originals” and various other productions that we’re filming in Atlanta at the time. One day on the set of “The Originals,” I had a quick chat between scenes with Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley Marshall on the show) and told her I wanted to take acting more serious and asked, “What should do to get a major speaking role?” Her answer was simple: “Move to LA.” So that’s what I eventually did lol.

Moving to Hollywood was the best thing I have done for my entertainment career thus far. I started studying acting techniques at Beverly Hills Playhouse to perfect my craft. Most notably, I have appeared on Steve TV, Comedy Central’s “High Court,” and Cartoon Network’s “Too Many Cooks,” just to name a few. The move has also elevated new heights for my music career as well. I most recently made 15 on Billboard top 20 International Songs for a song I co-produced for the K-Pop group SF9 called “RPM” and released my new single “Do You Know Me” earlier this year.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, this was not a smooth road at all. The biggest struggle of music for me was not having much knowledge about the business of music early on. I bumped my head a few times in the past because I made music but did not fully understand the business side of music.

As far as acting, simple acting 101 things I didn’t know at first distracted me from my goals. For example, I never knew that actors had resume’s before I started professionally acting. I had no idea what a good “headshot” was and I didn’t know what it meant to “slate” before I run lines in an audition. Another struggle to me was submerging myself into acting and making it a business. Finding the right agent, manager, acting school and figuring out who/what was not a scam is a big part of finding the correct path to success in acting. There are many scams in the acting world and its sad, but I am glad I’ve learned what to look out for.

The MSMJ Music Company – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Since its founding in 2008, The MSMJ Music Company has grown into a worldwide entertainment company. We work in every aspect of entertainment, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, actors and more. We are a full-service entertainment company, supporting our roster via artist management, music publishing, touring, production and brand development.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success, to me, is making a goal and accomplishing it no matter what it takes. The commitment you make to yourself and your aspirations will always pay off in the long run.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
MSMJ Photo Staff
Grasshopper for Mobile Studios and Stages

Suggest a story: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in