Lansing man on cusp of country success in Nashville music scene

LANSING — Keegan Jacko remembers that as a boy he would hum the melodies to his mom’s favorite Toby Keith and Tim McGraw songs whenever their country twang filled the house.

It might be easy to picture Jacko, who now has a record deal of his own, working all his life too become a country star like them, but it wasn’t until five years ago that Jacko started singing in front of a crowd at the former Lansing Mall bar, Tequila Cowboy Bar & Grill.

By then, injuries he’d sustained during a stunt had already ended his hopes of a professional inline skating career. Taking to the bar’s stage to sing karaoke offered Jacko the same rush he’d had every time he went into a spin at Ranney Skate Park’s concrete ramps.

“The feeling that it gave me, singing in front of people, is the same feeling that I had when I was skating and competing,” Jacko, 28, said. “I just fell in love with it.”

In 2020, three years after teaching himself to play guitar, Jacko packed up and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to try and make a career out of country music. 

“I had $1,000 in my pocket and everything packed in my truck,” he said. “I just decided if I was going to do it, I was going to go all in.”

Keegan Jacko with his brother Zach, step sister Kayla, and sister Marissa. Many of Jacko's family still reside in Lansing. Jacko was born on the Wiikwemkoong First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario. He moved to Lansing at age 1.

Last month he signed with New York-based BGR Holdings to produce his first album.

Jacko, who has both Hispanic and Native American roots — he was born on the Wiikwemkoong First Nation reservation in Ontario, Canada, before moving to Lansing when he was 1 — bucks stereotypes that often surround country music.

When he takes the stage covered in tattoos and wearing a baseball cap, Jacko’s sound usually surprises people, he said: “That’s why it’s working.”

Anita Shire

Next Post

Nascar Looking To Build New State-Of-The-Art Facility For Its Productions Group

Sun May 15 , 2022
CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 25: A general view of the Nascar Hall of Fame on January 25, 2010 in … [+] Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images A NASC SC A AR R spokesperson has confirmed that they will most likely move some of their operations […]