Alexis Jones and Arin Jackson have made it their mission to create nursery rhymes for black children so they can sing along with voices they can resonate with. The two sisters are pushing for more diversity in children’s music and that push has paid off: they’re nominated for Best Children’s Album at the 2022 Grammy Awards. Also known as The Magic Jones, Jones and Jackson make waves with their catchy, catchy tunes, so here’s everything you need to know about the duo.
only one tribe is nominated for a Grammy.
One of Jones and Jackson’s songs is part of the collective album A whole tribe which is nominated for Best Children’s Album. only one tribe is a 25-track album featuring 24 black family music artists from around the world, including Groovy Nate, Aaron Nigel Smith and Culture Queen. Song genres cover topics such as black history, vaccinations, motivation, and STEM. Magic Jones’ single “Clap Your Hands” is featured on the album.
Jones and Jackson are no strangers to the music industry.
Before entering the children’s genre, the two sisters already had numerous resumes in the music industry. Jackson is part of the Grammy-nominated R&B group Brownstone and, according to CNN, Jones performed as a member of Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir. Jones also has a singing credit in Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas movie.
Jackson is a mother of two and Jones is a proud aunt.
Jackson is the mother of two sons, Cruz and Cal, with her husband, former NFL player Tyson Jackson. Jones has no children but proudly calls herself “TeeTee” and “Godmother”.
The sisters are also both graduates of Louisiana State University. The LSU Alumni Association recognized the sisters’ Grammy nomination on their Instagram page in March. “So proud to be LSU Alumni and super honored to be recognized! LSU helped us get started in the business!” the sisters wrote on Instagram.
The pandemic inspired their journey into children’s music.
The New Orleans natives were inspired to create the album during the pandemic. Jackson was homeschooling her two children when she noticed a lack of diversity in children’s nursery rhymes and lullabies. She called Jones and the two worked with another local artist to develop an album that would change that narrative. The sisters were committed to creating music in which children, especially black children, could be inspired and see themselves.
“We made sure to make an album that visually you could see that we had some representation and also that we could hear the representation, that we saw that black people make music for family and children,” said Jackson to WDSU News reporter Deja Brown.
One of their biggest hurdles was breaking into a genre that wasn’t too diverse. “I would say the biggest challenge was kind of pushing the boundaries and forging our way into the genre of children’s music,” Jackson told CNN in a previous interview. “Because it’s so dominated by white artists.”
The sisters are already working on a new album.
In February, the sisters announced on their Instagram page that they were working on a new album and that its theme would be sisterhood. “Working on a new album by The Magic Jones…the theme is brotherhood!” they shared. “This album is already fun to make! Sending love and light today and everyday!”
And last month, to celebrate their Grammy nomination, the city of New Orleans recognized the sisters in a proclamation among other New Orleans artists. “It was amazing,” Jackson told WDSU. “It’s really the biggest recognition, it’s bigger than the Grammys, to be able to come home and be recognized at the place where you started, the place that raised you with people who helped raise you.”
You can listen to The Magic Jones on Spotify.
You can listen to the music of The Magic Jones from their album Music Box Adventures and the whole only one tribe album on Spotify as well as all other music platforms.