Written By DIVINE Staff Blogger: Tiffoni Mitchell
Questions By: Nicole Baskin & Gwen Jones
The Jacksons are an iconic family that represents music royalty. They have provided fans with such hits as, “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “I’ll Be There,” and ”The Love You Save”. Those songs are just a few of the many hits that have garnered fans that reach across the lines of age, race and social classes. Their music has a place in the fabric of every generation and is just as popular now as it was when they started back in Gary, Indiana. On June 12, Jermaine, Marlon, Jackie and Tito will set out on tour to perform some of their greatest hits. They will open in Detroit, The Motor City, and Home of the Legendary Motown Records at the Motor City Casino. DIVINE Magazine sat down with Jermaine Jackson to talk music, family and special moments with his brother Michael.
DIVINE: What was the catalyst for the latest tour?
Jermaine Jackson: It’s a group effort it’s not one person. Our whole mission is to continue to play the music because when we first started, it was such great music coming out of Motown in Detroit. It was feel good music that never dates itself. It was a combination of that and also wanting to go out there and play because Michael is not here and we are still mourning, playing the music is like healing for us. That was the drive and the motivation and we wanted to get on stage and dance too. The combination of those things, it was a group effort.
DIVINE: Will the audience hear new songs?
Jermaine Jackson: No, no new music. We’re just going to play Jackson stuff; we are in the studio recording, but if we were to play a new song they (the audience) wouldn’t even know what it was. Even if it was on the radio it wouldn’t get the response as the old stuff because the old stuff is what they know. We like to play new music when it’s already popular on the radio. We’re in the studio recording new music now.
DIVINE: Your family has inspired generations through music, entertainment and philanthropy. Who is your inspiration?
Jermaine Jackson: My inspiration is first God because it all starts with God. And then bands like Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind and Fire. A group called BREAD, and the Carpenters…these are bands from way back. They did music during the 70’s and the 80’s that is every bit of what you hear today. Whether it’s baseline to the way musicians play or the singing, it all came from a lot of these bands from back in the day. Of course, James Brown, Jackie Wilson were great artists, the whole Motown thing. The Temptations and The Miracles and just those people who were there before us who really made the path…so we are just walking down the path that was already made for us.
DIVINE: Do you have any projects involving television programs, guest appearances, or movies planned in the near future.
Jermaine Jackson: I am one of those people who like to keep busy. I am a filmmaker by trade. I went to the American Film Institute. I just try to pick certain things. I did “The Jacksons: An American Dream, The Jackson Family Honors which honored Barry Gordy and Elizabeth Taylor. I am looking at bringing to life the book that I wrote on my family and my brother, “You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through My Brother’s Eyes.” I’m looking for that to be a feature film and I am meeting with directors in Hollywood now. I’m going to always have a love for film and television projects and things like that because that’s the whole idea of diversifying by moving on to other things…but it all deals with entertainment.
DIVINE: Someone once said that it is not what they call you it is what you answer to. Who is Jermaine Jackson?
Jermaine Jackson: I am a good son, great son, very good brother, great friend, excellent father and someone who always thinks about others, always thinking about others first. I put others first before myself. My strength is my kindness. Most people take it for weakness but my strength is my kindness. And, I am someone who wishes everyone well. I try every day to be the best human being that I can possibly be.
DIVINE: What are some of the core values that you have instilled in your children?
Jermaine Jackson: So many…so many. I’ve taught them that material things have no value and the most important thing is how you look at one’s character, the moral character of a human being is not what they wear or what they have. To teach them that you can be rich and miserable or you can be poor and happy. To teach them these things, they have to know balance. I have taught them to be polite and kind and not to let anyone abuse them. To be respectful and to always say thank you.
DIVINE: What is the one thing that you miss most about Michael?
Jermaine Jackson: I miss Michael’s smile and I miss hearing his voice. He had a smile that was just so beautiful and I miss us clowning, laughing and talking about old times and memories. That’s what I miss about Michael. It’s not a day that goes by or a moment during the day that he doesn’t come on my mind because he is everywhere.
DIVINE: Your June 12, 2014 concert at the Detroit Motor City Casino, is just thirteen days before the fifth anniversary of Michael’s death. Are there plans to commemorate Michael’s death?
Jermaine Jackson: Well, we will just come together and do our best. We never stop doing things every day even just the prayers, the messages and just continuing on. Michael would want us to continue on with the music but keep it at a certain standard and integral level. It’s an ongoing process everyday to keep the legacy on the highest level that it needs to be.
DIVNE: If you could do one thing differently, or change one thing over the span of your life, what would you change?
Jermaine Jackson: There were times and memorable moments that I would try to preserve and try to freeze time. When I was younger, I did not realize life was short, I thought it was long. I would bring certain people back who I enjoyed including my brother and just relive those moments longer, to preserve them. Time goes by so fast but when you’re young you think you have your whole life but you really don’t but you learn later that life is short.
DIVINE: What’s next for you?
Jermaine Jackson: To continue to reach further than my imagination, further than my arm. To continue to do great things and to always put my God first and my family first To do things that are different and to sort of explore different avenues. We love music, music is in our blood, it runs through our veins so we are going to continue to do that. Just bring the family together and to have things that we feel that are going to shock the world like we did when we were The Jackson 5. Just continue to do great things.
The Jackson’s music will live on forever. This talented family of music has inspired many and are an example of a living legacy. If you want to stay in the know about all things Jackson be sure to check out their website www.thejacksons.com and The Jacksons on Facebook. To see them live in concert go to their website orwww.soundboarddetroit.com for more information.