Q&A: Weinberg alum, rapper FACE


Source: Susan Cohen

Gabriel Jackson graduated from Northwestern with an economics degree in 2009. Today, he’s pursuing success in the music industry under the rap moniker FACE.

Jane Recker, Assistant A&E Editor


Gabriel Jackson (Weinberg ’09) graduated from Northwestern with an economics degree and a career path in financial analytics. Now, just eight years later, he goes by his rap moniker FACE and is pursuing success in the music scene. Jackson has sung backup for Madonna and R. Kelly, and most recently dropped two new singles — “808” and “Pussy Power” — in collaboration with multi-platinum producer Cam Wallace.

The Daily: You studied economics while at Northwestern and are now in the rap scene. Talk me through your career path.

FACE: I wasn’t totally committed to what I wanted to do (in finance). In my family, education was everything and art was a leisure. While I was doing finance gigs, I was taking courses in music, and I decided I was never going to go anywhere if music always came second to business. I decided to do music full time and started networking in those circles. Through networking I got the Grammy’s gig doing background for Madonna, and another background gig for R. Kelly. After those background gigs, it gave me the fire I needed to really pursue music.

The Daily: Tell me a little bit about working with these big stars.

FACE: Working with Madonna was very intimidating. I can recall working in rehearsals, and the music director assigned me a part that (was too high) for my voice, I’m hitting the notes but I’m not giving the body it needs and you could hear it because it wasn’t blending well. He stopped the entire rehearsal, and I knew it was me, so I was like, f**k. He said, “When Madonna walks in here, she’s going to hear whoever it is who’s not blending.” I immediately stepped forward, I didn’t want to be the one singled out when she walked in because she has an amazing ear and a really incredible work ethic.

The Daily: You describe your song “Pussy Power” as a sexy ballad about the power of women. Where did the inspiration for this come from?

FACE: I was in the studio one night, I was thinking about several women I had in my life and just thought about the place I was in spiritually. It was me going, “Damn, I’m so caught up in chasing women that I’m losing sight of my primary morale.” I thought it was honest, so I decided to write about it. A lot of times, the majority of R&B is chauvinistic and shows the man having the power over a woman. Very few artists show the power a woman can have over a man, even making him lose sight of who he is because you’re so caught up in your lover.

The Daily: What’s next for you?

FACE: I’m releasing a series of singles every month for the rest of the year. Because I’m business oriented and I understand the state of music, I’m under my own record label and currently looking for a business dealer. I’m trying to take the entrepreneurial way like Chance the Rapper and Jay-Z. There are a lot of people who create a lot of buzz around their own name.

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Twitter: @jreck96