Photos by Renzo Navarro
Bret Jackson is fresh off opening for ASAP Ferg when we meet.
He performed at the Harlem-based rapper’s Manila concert the night before with fellow artists from Careless Music Manila, and listening to him talk about it, it’s immediately evident that he handles artist and repertoire (A&R) for the collective and record label. What he loved about the experience, for instance, was getting to watch recent Careless recruit Jetter, a Cebu-based rapper, play his first big Manila show. “Watching him go up there and kill it is just awesome.”
Bret becomes animated when he talks about his artists and being able to give them the means and opportunities they deserve; the passion comes off him in waves. He often works creatively with brands, using these collaborations to find more artists and give more platforms to the ones he already knows.
It was a no-brainer for him, then, to work with Tommy Jeans: “They’re working with some really dope artists right now,” he says. “They’re getting into music, and I appreciate that. More investments in music means more money for artists, which they can live off and continue what they’re doing.” The philosophy of the brand very much mirrors his own point of view when it comes to music: having people come together, each of them standing out in their own way with earnestness and individuality — cultures, backgrounds, stories bound by what makes them different.