Local artist strives to make living with music

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Collin Jacka is a musician from Lodi who writes and records his own music.

He plays a variety of instruments, ranging from the guitar, bass, drums and even makes beats on a computer program called Logic.

Jacka started playing music and taking it seriously after his senior year of high school, but started playing the guitar when he was in the third grade.

His inspiration for playing music is his dad, who is a drummer for a jazz band.

“My dad’s a jazz drummer, so when I was little I would watch his band practice, I’d sit on the floor and watch his feet,”he said.

Jacka was recently in a band called Gloss, but the band split up and now he is making music with his girlfriend, Collegian News Editor Emily Beaton. The genre of music they make is rhythm and blues with more  Blues influence.

“I help her arrange her writings and put music to it, making it all work in unison. I do all of the recording myself. I actually built an isolation booth in that closet,” he said.

Jacka’s room resembles an actual studio, where he stores some acoustic, electric and bass guitars, as well as a key board with a beat making pad and computer with music making programs.

He even has sound-proof foam on the walls.

One of the challenges Jacka faces as a musician is obtaining the right equipment, which can be expensive.

“A lot of times you end up settling for less,” Jacka said. “But most recently I’ve just been flipping my stuff on Reverb, which is like kind of like a Craigslist for music stuff.”  

Another thing that can be challenging is finding a band member  committed to the band and the music.

“Most musicians are going to be super flakey, you know? It’s hard to find some that are going to have enough drive to finish a project,” he said

On top of playing different instruments, Jacka is also a lyricist. He writes songs about his life experiences and the people in it.

According to Jacka, he’s got a ton of scattered lyrics lying around that he hasn’t done much with, on top of lyrics he wrote for songs that are completed.   

“When I can’t really write anything, it’s because nothing in my life that’s going on is worth writing about,” Jacka said. “I feel like songs come out of experience and you can’t really write songs about nothing, unless you’re really talented.”

One thing that helps Jacka come up with lyrics is forming little stories and writing about those stories, using the highlights of it as lyrics.

Jacka plans on mixing and mastering songs he recorded with his previous band and putting them on a resume, which he’ll use for when he applies for a job at some studios.

He is currently an intern at a music studio in Stockton as an audio engineer.

According to Jacka, those that get hired by studios are those who possess multiple skills.

“Now days you kind of have to be half audio engineer and half producer, because people don’t hire producers anymore,” he said.

Jacka wants to make a career out of creating music and plans on doing so when he feels ready.

“I will when I’m comfortable enough with my stuff to release,” Jacka said. “Because a lot of times you think you could do better, you know?”