Internet record label True Vibe Records, based in Oakland, California, was founded by owner Bill Jackson, who has had a burning passion to offer a new genre of music to the listening public. This music, called Jazz Funk Hip HoPoetry, consists of inspirational and conscious raising spoken word, hip hop lyrics, and singing over upbeat R & B, Funk, Blues, Caribbean, Latin Jazz instrumentation and hip hop beats. According to Jackson, this music is a potpourri of musical genres designed to entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire people.
True Vibe Records is an outgrowth of his background as a musician, educator for over 20 years, and other life experiences. Jackson’s first musical training started at the early age of 7 when he took piano lessons, after which he played trumpet in public school concert and jazz bands. He later learned how to play bass guitar and played with a number of R & B and Funk bands during his teen and early adult years in the San Francisco Bay Area.
His experience playing guitar bass in church and coordinating programs for assemblies as a public-school teacher led to a profound interest in bringing this new music to people. Being a proponent of higher education and cultural enrichment, Jackson had long been yearning to create this hybrid of music to uplift people, especially in the African-American community and to help raise the level of consciousness among all people to affect positive social change.
Along with his musical background and the variety of his life experiences, he also credits his educational background for shaping his approach to music. Bill Jackson holds a B.A. Degree in Journalism and Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles, a M.A. Degree in Education from the University of San Francisco, and a California teaching credential in English and Social Science. Right after graduating from college at CSU-LA, he worked at a staff writer for two weekly newspapers in Compton and South Central Los Angeles over a two-year period.
The genesis of the first album he produced, Paradise Presents Jazz Funk Hip HoPoetry, was his pilgrimage to Senegal's Goree Island, a United Nations Historical Site in West Africa. According to Jackson, visiting the holding pens for African captives during the slave trade there brought on a "spiritual awakening." He collaborated with Bay Area slam poetry icon Paradise (aka Richard Moore) to introduce this new hybrid of jazz funk, R&B, spoken word, and hip hop. See Reviews.
True Vibe Records is taking this music to a new level with the release of its new compilation album titled Be Woke!, featuring a diverse group of highly-talented Bay Area artists.