Jack Jensen is a man with his fingers in many pies. He founded MSFT Productions as a platform for his exhilarating and professionally produced ‘go pro’ videos of extreme sports, and the clothing line they promote.
But his vision has grown to encompass a range of creative and philanthropic pursuits with the express goals of having fun, showcasing skill and fostering community. Jensen sees his ‘purpose to spread positive energy, big each other up and create an environment for people to thrive.’
Like many great start-ups, MSFTs Threestyle Thirstdayz began in a shed. Just over a year ago it occurred to the core crew that their regular Thursday night jam sessions might appeal to a wider audience. They began live streaming and quickly amassed a following, comprising both those tuning in online and their loyal live audiences. It’s a winning format – freestyle rhymes provided by Zonny, Camzie, M.C. Mouse and Jensen himself, against a backdrop of beats and melody with Joe Cole on guitar, Wills Vander Meent on bass and Hugh McKendrey on drums.
These accomplished musicians and lyricists go by the moniker S.U.N.Z – Something Ultra New Zealand – and have become a staple at local events and festivals. Each week they invite a guest to the stage to jam with them injecting each performance with a dynamic individual flavour, highlighting a diverse range of established and emerging artists across a host of disciplines. There’s an effervescent energy that comes from the improvisational nature of the music and the easy collaboration that flows. “I’ve seen every single one of these individuals grow as people and musicians – the comfortability, the spark and the friendship,” Jensen comments. These young men are profoundly positive in their output, challenging the stereotype of the angry rapper. Instead they create a warm, welcoming environment for talent to flourish. “We’re here to support people to chase their dreams,” he says.
Creating a culture of care for young men is a passion of Jensen’s. When the crew lost one of their friends to suicide in late 2020, he sprang into action. ‘Spark that Chat’ is a campaign highlighting the importance of men’s mental health, breaking down barriers to boys putting voice to their emotions, and fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. It’s their focus for the month of March with a number of eye-catching initiatives such as a multi man moped ride to Wellington and a range of specially designed apparel which not only lends visibility to the cause, breaking down stigma, but also practically raises funds to tackle the problem.
Jensen is serious about fun. A large part of his mission is in acknowledging the very real mental health benefits to an active lifestyle and creative expression, as well as the importance of social support when people are not thriving. For Jensen, it’s about “giving them the tools to be able to cope…it’s ok to talk and look for help”.