“AIN’T NO GOING BACK”
My name is Jackson Whalan. I’m a lyricist and music producer who creates eclectic hip-hop with a positive message for society. I’ve been making beats and rapping for decades. I independently release music on a consistent basis and perform as often as possible with a live band. On October 18th, 2019, I released a new song called “Ain’t No Going Back”, along with a music video that was released a week later.
Click below to get the song on your favorite platform
MAKING THE SONG
"Ain't No Going Back" is a song that took about four years to finish. Late one night, I was working on the song in the studio when a hard drive crashed suddenly, leading to many of the recorded instruments in the song being lost. This was a devastating moment. Over the course of four years, I reconstructed the song with the same musicians, until eventually it was revived and complete. This song is about romance; it's a love song about the magic of meeting a partner and persevering in a relationship. I’m singing on this song, in addition to rapping which was a new development for me, and a skill that has evolved from from my longstanding focus on being a rapper and producer. Award-winning songwriter Robby Baier (Great Barrington, MA) played bass and helped with the lyrics for “Ain’t No Going Back”. Ian Evans (Housatonic, MA), played piano and synths on the song, while I made the beat and added additional production. The song was mixed by Alex Vasquez of Deep Red, LLC (New Marlborough, MA) and was mastered by Bob Macchiochi at Subvert Central Mastering (United Kingdom).
MAKING THE MUSIC VIDEO
I collaborated on the music video for “Ain’t No Going Back” with my girlfriend, Amy Inglis (Avida Love Photography) who helped come up with a shot list, starred in the video, and did all of the filming. We made this music video without a budget over the course of a week, using a Canon Mark III, a Zhiyun Crane 2, and minimal lighting. Before we made the video, we did a deep dive into Youtube, searching for love song music videos from artists we both like. We got inspiration from “All of Me” by John Legend, “My Favorite Part” by Mac Miller featuring Ariana Grande, “LOVE.” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Zacari, and a few others. I personally learned a lot about making videos on no budget from doing Spike Lee’s Masterclass.
Rapping in front of white backdrop
Amy in front of black backdrop dancing with a strobe light (overlaid with film contact sheet)
Both of us in front of black backdrop with a strobe light, embracing each other.
Rapping in the car, driving shot
Church rapping shot
Walking away down the hill (super-imposed)
B roll footage of Amy doing photography
Amy watching my church rapping shot on Instagram Stories
Rapping by the river during sunset
We had plenty of other shots in mind that we wrote down. We tried some that didn’t work out, and some we just couldn’t get in the end. We got a lot of footage that we didn’t end up using. I sat down to edit the video on Final Cut Pro, got all of the footage ready, and then decided that we needed to go back out and shoot more.
ADVICE FOR MUSICIANS MAKING DIY MUSIC VIDEOS: Always brainstorm, get inspired, and take your time making a shot list. Always make one. Even if you don’t get all of the shots you imagine, or you end up doing shots that weren’t on the list, you will thank yourself later for creating a framework and charting your course. Spontaneity is inevitable, but it’s important to be clear about what you’re going for before filming. If you wing it, that will come across in the final product.
We ran around The Berkshires, MA, checking off different locations from our list until we had more than a sufficient amount of video footage. I edited for for a few days non-stop. We made most of the music video black and white because we liked the vibe that it created. I learned how to do selective color (or color isolation effect) by watching this great instructional video here. I wear a lot of hats in my music career, and I have to admit, making music videos is very fun.
PRO TIP: I uploaded a sneak peak to my Tik Tok page and it ended up getting thousands of views overnight. I recommend that musicians start using this platform, and my man Gary Vee would agree…
I put out new music regularly, and the best way to hear my new music is by following on Spotify.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading the whole blog post! Please listen to my music and if you like what you hear, follow on socials and subscribe to the mailing list below for more music and valuables.