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In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” he does a remarkable job of discerning the patterns in the upbringing of successful people. In studying the lives of billionaires like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates he discovered that among the many factors that contribute to being accomplished in your field, familial support and timing play a huge part. The story of young songwriter and music producer Jukebox confirms this.
The twenty-something born Ronald Jackson has been making music professionally since he was 14 years old, thanks to the access and encouragement of his cousin Troy Johnson, son of George Johnson of The Brothers Johnson.
“I was in the 6th grade and the day I graduated I went to his house and spent the whole summer there because he’d just got a studio in Hollywood,” Jukebox tells TheUrbanDaily.com. “I was begging him to show me how to work the equipment. So I spent that whole summer making beats. I’d just make over the stuff that he did and what I heard on the studio and that’s how I got the name Jukebox.”
His talent and tenacity combined with unlimited access to studio equipment lead to his first beat being placed in a Blockbuster commercial.
“That was one of my biggest things, as a 14 year old getting a 5,000 check I was geeked,” he says. “I’ve been blessed from there.”
Even with the skills paying the bills, a little bit of luck doesn’t hurt. Right after graduating from high school Troy brought Jukebox to Will Smith’s newly constructed studio in Burbank California.
“I was working on a track in there just testing out the room and Will walks in,” he remembers. “He asked if the beat was mine and I said yeah and he said it was dope. Then he started recording and the next day and next day. And then we did a whole Will Smith album, “Lost & Found.” And that was the start of the Jukebox career.
Jukebox went on to create the megahit “Whip My Hair” for Will’s daughter Willow and most recently collaborated with Swizz Beatz, Ludacris and Nelly on “Everyday Birthday.”
Watch this exclusive interview with TheUrbanDaily to hear what it was like working with Will Smith and if Willow cutting her hair makes “Whipping It Back And Forth” a little harder.
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