Greg IS AN EXPERIENCED Blogger AND DJ IN THE NEW YORK MUSIC/Media SCENE.
Many believe that music’s combined elements such as; rhythm, pitch, and melody synced together are a language that can be learned as early as birth and can influence the heartbeat and movement. While some may find the thought of music as a “universal language” as just another far-fetched theory, has yet to experience the thingsgregsees.
Born Gregory A. Jackson, music was the language that was with him from the very beginning. Growing up in Rochester, New York, in a home where the music genres varied. From his parent's record and cassette collection that included, R&B and Rap Oldies such as "The Manhattans, Kool and the Gang, P-Funk and the Dynamics" to his older brother’s extensive collection of all the latest Hip-Hop and Alternative music collection, fueled Greg’s passion towards Music and the Arts.
“ It could be a typical Saturday morning where I would watch cartoons with no sound. My mom would have the radio on her favorite station that played all of the favorite old school hits. That was my background music and when I found music as my “getaway.” I always had a boombox; I guess I was like “Radio Rheem” only it was my way of dealing with challenges and communicating.”
Later on, Jackson’s sister would introduce him to an entirely different genre of music, "Dancehall, and Reggae Music". Needless to say that Jackson developed an “eclectic” musical background. As he became more musically inclined, he began to have big debates and discussions with his father about music. The two would debate everything from general topics to a particular artist.
After graduating high school and later, community college, Greg decided it was time to release the “safety net.” Jackson picked up everything and moved from what was familiar and safe to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Long Island. This move became one of the most pivotal points in his life.
"To me making that move from Rochester to Long Island was the hardest but most fulfilling times of my life because it was the first time I didn't have that safety net. I had to survive on my own. It not only forced me to grow up, but it made me look at life a lot differently."
While adjusting to his new life, he began to meet people who had the same passion as him, "MUSIC." From music industry interns, engineers to A&Rs and even local artists, he found himself not only learning how things worked within the music world, but he also made quite the impression with his ability to keep up with any conversation or debate on any music related topic. However, it was his skill of breaking down a 10-second loop from any sample by giving them where the original derived from that left many questioning what his title was.
This ultimately fueled his passion and love for music even more.
“It was Crazy because I was around, so many people who were either going to school and their major was something within the music industry or was already working within the industry and there I was. Not only was I taking it all in but I could keep up with any conversation.”
The Return Home...
After a brief two years of removing his safety net and leaving everything he knew behind to it turning into one of the best highlights of his life, Greg found himself back in his hometown. The transition back to Rochester was met with many challenges and upsets. From feeling utterly miserable while working a 9-5 job, experiencing a big break-up to his father passing away, this was one of Greg’s lowest points.
“From 2010-2012 being some of the lowest points of my life. I faced a big breakup at the time, my father passed away, and I was working a 9-5 where I knew I was completely miserable!”
After experiencing such a significant loss, Greg would find himself traveling back to New York City every chance he got to meet up with his college friends who had become more like family to him.
"I remember I was in a conversation with one of my closest friends and he basically told me that I should move to NYC. The thought was already there. He just gave me the confirmation."
The birth of thingsgregsees...
Taking his friend's advice, Jackson hit the reset button and left everything behind to start a new life in NYC.
" As I made my move to NYC, I remember I would spend my mornings watching YouTube like it was my morning paper as well as going to a few music blog sites. It was my way of staying current with the newest trends and get up to date information on artists I haven't heard from in awhile and also events where I would dedicate myself to meeting people who shared the same interest in music as me."
Unlike his college transition, Greg's decision to step out and start a new life in NYC was beginning to look like one of the best decisions he has ever made. Every morning was spent watching Youtube as if it were CNN for any new music updates to reading music blogs like it was the New York Times left at the front of his door to stay current on all the latest trends and topics surrounding new and old artists and events. The fire was yet lit again for all things music. In fact, his newly found morning ritual had him attending events all around NYC. He began to meet people and would find himself in popular clubs and events such as NYC's GreenHouse and Up & Down Tuesdays.
Quickly becoming more and more a part of the scene, he started to notice that there was a void when it came to information about music and overall awareness. It was like everyone loved the music but lacked when it came to music in general. He noticed that radio stations were playing the same music with limited rotation. When it came to satellite radio, he saw that people saw it as a novelty instead of an actual outlet at the time. Downloading music pretty much-controlled fans who refused to pay for music which eventually drove the industry to make changes.
"It was crazy! I saw the changes like a meteorologist would notice changes in the weather pattern. Me trying to explain it to some of my friends seemed like a foreign language. Some of my friends who understood music started to notice the changes as well and started to position themselves to either make money or a way to gain access into the industry."
While everyone else was using the changes as a way in, Greg began to envision a one-stop shop for all things music. A site that would bring awareness to those who knew little to nothing about the industry to those who viewed themselves as music experts. Turning his passion, knowledge, and vision into reality, "ThingsGregSees" was born. Merging music, news, and information, Greg's one-stop music shop was created and began to pick up heavy traffic throughout the NYC scene, internet, and social media.
In fact, thingsgregsees became so recognizable that when Greg went to visit friends out of state and attended events, people would recognize him from social media and call him,"ThingsGregSees!"
"The feedback and support were crazy! It was more than I had imagined. I just loved music and wanted to bring awareness and something different to music. I didn't believe in shortcuts. I worked my ass off and proud of the result I got. Whether positive or negative. Both helped me along the way."
As time went on, he found himself noticing yet another big transition within the music world. People were no longer downloading music they didn't want to purchase. The industry moved on to something much more significant to music lovers; "Music Streaming Apps!" He became one of the biggest customers of streaming apps such as Apple Music due to believing that the cost of the apps was not as expensive as downloading or purchasing physical copies.
Taking full advantage of his memberships with these apps and finding out that members could curate their playlists, he began to put together playlists of artist he thought was great but either no one had ever heard of them to artists who weren't getting the getting enough.
" I felt that it was a great way to showcase new or existing artists that weren't seeing the light of day or simply the timing of everything which double backed to outlets. when I found out that users could make and share a playlist with others, I could literally see the doors opening to new ideas!"
Sounds & Vibes...
The thought of a user curating their playlist and sharing it with everyone inspired Greg to use his site as a platform to showcase his playlists to his audience and followers. After curating 12 playlists and adding them to the site, his new concept of incorporating playlists into his blog, it quickly became one of the most highly anticipated amongst his followers. New doors began to fly open, and one of those doors led to the creation of his first event, "Sounds & Vibes."
"Curating was one of those things that just came naturally to me. Reflecting on my childhood and how I would always have my boombox, I would also make mixtapes. You remember those days of recording your favorite songs to a cassette tape, then eventually it was CDs. Come to think of it, a lot of people don't realize my prior DJ background because I was always behind the scenes but now its time to step out."
After providing his audience with eight years of music news, information, and updates Greg went from being a full-time blogger to a full-time curator/DJ and blogging part-time via social media. And while his second Sounds & Vibes party wasn't as successful as the first, it didn't slow him down. In fact, it gave him the extra push and drove him to continue curating his playlists. He held on to his belief that it was more about being fun and creative. Jackson wanted to provide people with that same getaway place that he had found in music at an early age. This belief also made a segway from Sounds & Vibes the event to Sounds and Vibes Radio...
Wanting to be in a different space and realizing that if people relied on radio, they would have to settle for limited rotation of music, also if people relied on streaming apps, that the increase in memberships would start to run them away. This fueled the concept of creating a unique vibe by curating playlists that covered all of those guidelines.
Sounds & Vibes Radio is now the new addition to Greg's platform and his most recent venture. This additional platform was created to counter radio and streaming apps. Each episode is generated as a playlist as well as being made into a mix so that listeners wouldn't hear a lag of certain songs or the usual album commentary or skits.
Greg is currently dedicated to and focused on curating and developing unique playlists for Sounds & Vibes radio that not only reflect his passion for music but most importantly that of all music lovers. He is also DJ'ing events all over the New York City area and more.
Photography by Prince Brown.