Jackson Owens releases new summer festival anthem

By Candice Luke

Jackson Owens is excited to play his first headliner this Friday at Galatos. Photo / Supplied

Festival season is around the corner, and soul/R&B artist Jackson Owens (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāi Tahu) is set to make his new single ‘If You Let Me Go’ the summer anthem of 2023.

Owens has toured with Six60, Stan Walker, and is recognisable as the lead vocalist on Sons of Zion’s Kiwi summer favourite, ‘Love On The Run’.

Following the breakthrough release of his debut EP For The Better, Owens is excited to kick off the holiday season with this soulful, heartfelt pop track – the first of a string of new releases set for release next year.

“Going into the studio, I wanted to create a summer jam that brings people together. And like all of my music, it had to be authentic and meaningful,” said the 2022 Aotearoa Music Awards finalist.

Accompanying the main release is a house remix by Auckland DJ Collective 06 Twist, and fans can expect Owens to push genre boundaries as his career develops.

“I’m experimenting and finding different sounds. I’m an R&B boy inside and out, but it’s been cool to try something different.

“I’m super proud of what we landed on with ‘Don’t Let Me Go’. I think it’s a track lots of people will relate to, and everyone can jam to.”

Owens is setting his sights high for the future, eyeing up a collaboration with EDM heavyweight Calvin Harris.

Calvin Harris at Rhythm & Vines. Photo / Supplied via NZME

Calvin Harris at Rhythm & Vines. Photo / Supplied via NZME.

“It would be cool to do something with Calvin Harris. I know that’s reaching, but that would be a dream come true. I feel like we could do something dope with that house sound and festival vibes.”

The Tūrangi-born artist first made an impression in the Aoteroa music scene in 2013 with his cover of James Brown’s ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s World’, with vocal backing from his dad and sister, Bobby and Georgia Owens.

Owens keeps a strong connection to te ao Māori, having appeared for a second time on Waiata Anthems, a series of compilation albums which champions te reo Māori, with his song ‘Tē Tika Mai Ai (Can’t Make it Right)’.

Jackson Owens and Papas Pack at the Kāhu News Waiata Anthems jam session. Photo / Candice Luke

Jackson Owens and Papas Pack at the Kāhu News Waiata Anthems jam session. Photo / Candice Luke

Long-time fans are in for a treat this Friday as Owens performs his first headlining show in Auckland, where he will play his radio hits and the classic covers he became well-known for in his YouTube days.

He says it will be a soulful night, and he hopes the audience gets to know him better through his music.

“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve done heaps of gigs in the past, but never my own. It feels mean. I can’t wait.”

Jackson Owens’ first headline show is this Friday, 2 December at Galatos in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Kāhu has two tickets to Jackson Owens show to give away. Follow Kāhu on Instagram and like the post to go in the draw.

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