PHOTOS of The @Jacksons at press conference at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on December 11th, 2012.
Austin’s interview with Essence Created on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:54 ESSENCE.com’s “New and Next” column spotlights the brightest new talents we think you should know. This week they meet Austin Brown, who is working hard to create his own spotlight and not live in the shadows of his famous uncles. His debut single “Menage A Trois” boasts a fresh sound while paying tribute to the great sounds of the ’60s and ’70s. Check out the interview!
ESSENCE.com: How would you describe the sound you create?
AUSTIN BROWN: It’s really basic. I just take all of the influences that inspired me to want to make music in the first place and everything that I love and I give my interpretation of it. I kind of just talk it all in, whether it be past sounds from the Beach Boys, Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder, The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Jay Charles, all the things that inspired me that I listened to. My producing partner and I like to pay homage to the people, and then we go in on our own personal experience.
ESSENCE.com: How do you think your own family’s music influenced you – particularly your uncle Michael Jackson, and the Jackson 5?
BROWN: They influenced me a lot. Not even just from standpoint of the work ethic and their drive for excellence and always trying to give their fans something new and exciting to look forward to, but their overall sound, harmonies and melodic changes. How they brought the energy. Their CD’s would have so much energy, and when you saw it on stage it was like, “Yes!”
ESSENCE.com: How has your family responded to you making music? Have they been very encouraging?
BROWN: Yeah, actually they’ve been really encouraging. At first my mother at first didn’t want me, but I think she was just being protective. When you have a love of something no one is going to stop you from it if you are truly passionate about. And they see me finding myself in it more so. So it’s nothing but encouragement from my entire family.
ESSENCE.com: Does being a Jackson make it easier to go into the music business? BROWN: Well, I think you will obviously get people’s curiosity but that’s really it because people have such an attachment to a sound and the nostalgia that they have grown up with, like the Jackson 5 starting in the late 1960s. So I would completely understand why some people might be reluctant, you know, thinking that there might be an entitlement issue. And it’s not that by any means and I don’t think I really have to say that. I think once they sit down and listen to the music and see what I am really about they see that’s it much deeper than that.
ESSENCE.com: Looking at the musical landscape now, where do you think you fit in? Who do you think is pushing the same agenda that you are?
BROWN: I would say Drake is doing a really great job. And Bruno Mars and their crew are always doing an amazing job of soulful pop feel. And there’s people like Jack White who continue to push their creativity to a whole another level. And so many other musical greats that I look up to and am inspired by. Kanye West is always somebody who doesn’t hide different music styles that he tries to put into his sound.
ESSENCE.com: Where can people see you performing?
BROWN: I will be hitting up a few festivals coming up shortly this year and we will be announcing more tour dates on my website coming up so it’s a lot of performing. A lot, lot, lot of performing. And that’s pretty much what it’s about. The main thing that we are pushing right now is my “Menage” single and video which has been getting some really good love so I’m really excited an happy that people are being receptive to it and wanted to check it and see what I’m really about.
Being the nephew to the late King of Pop Michael Jackson and son of Rebbie Jackson could be intimidating for some, but not Austin Brown. The singer, whose recent single “Ménage à Trois” is generating some attention, tells ABC News Radio that he’s focused on creating his own path and bridging…
On Monday August 13th 8pm(EST) 5pm(PST) Austin will be on SugaTreats WHCR 90.3 NY live with audio and video stream with @OhSoKool on @sugatreats WHCRr.org 90.3 FM-NY. Make sure to tune in! On Sunday night, August 12th, Austin did an interview on Z93 with DJ Cass.
KiSS 92.5 Headcam Interview: Backstage With The Jacksons”>KiSS 92.5 Headcam Interview: Backstage With The @Jacksons
In an Bleader exclusive, Jackie speaks about the Jackson 5 in Chicago and other childhood memories. This Friday at the Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana, the Jacksons return to where they started, more or less. Their current Unity Tour is not only the first time they’ve played live since Michael Jackson’s passing in 2009, it’s also the first time Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon (the surviving members of the original Jackson Five—drummer Johnny Jackson died in 2006) have hit the road since 1984. After their final rehearsal last Thursday, I spoke to Jackie Jackson by phone about the Jackson Five’s early days in Chicago, White Castle burgers, one particularly supportive midget fan, and the group’s emotional return home.
Jake Austen: A lot of people around here are really excited for this show, because so many folks saw you play in the late 60s when you were a teenager, before you signed with Motown. Hearing clubgoers talk, it seems like the Jackson Five must have played shows in Chicago every night.
Jackie Jackson: We would rehearse all week in Gary, and then on the weekend we’d go to Chicago, the south side, play at the High Chaparral, the Regal Theater, places like that all the time. Those were just fun days—I had a great time.
How long would your sets be back then?
A half-hour, maybe 45 minutes. And we’d leave after that because it was all about adults. I don’t know how we did it ourselves, to tell you the truth, because we weren’t supposed to be there [laughs].
I hear that often you wouldn’t get paid a fee, you’d just get to keep the money the fans threw at you.
That’s how we got paid a lot, they’d throw money on the stage. I remember sometimes Michael and Marlon would be up front, right, and they’d get all the money—we’d be in the back and we’d get kind of mad a little bit, because Michael and Marlon would be up front, dancing and singing and picking up money at the same time.
You wouldn’t pool the money later?
They’d keep it.
What else do you recall about coming into Chicago?
I remember I would pass the White Sox stadium on the freeway, and the Magikist lips sign, the Jays Potato Chips [factory], and all those places like that … I have so many fond memories.
One Chicago club you played a lot was Guys and Gals.
Oh my God, you’re bringing back memories! Man, that place was huge, it was a big club. We used to play at that place all the time. And I remember that after we played there we’d go by White Burger … White Castle, it was called. We were looking forward to that place after we’d play there. We’d get all these little bitty hamburgers—it was great!
When you would play the Regal Theater matinees, would kids come, even before you had records?
Oh yes, fans used to come all the way to the hotel to see us. I guess they saw something that we really didn’t see—we were just having fun onstage. It was very supportive. Today they do fine with the Internet, it’s a whole different thing, but we had our following back there. Kids would follow us everywhere.
Before you recorded for Motown you recorded Big Boy, first at One-Der-Ful then at another studio.
I can remember being in the studio a couple of times recording that song, that’s true.
Can you remember any details about the sessions?
You were so young then, spending all your weekends in clubs—did you make friends? Were there other young musicians you’d see?
The other musicians were happy to see us, and they’d talk to us and say “Keep up the great work.” I remember seeing this little midget, I can’t remember his name—this little midget, he was incredible and he could dance really, really good. And Michael loved this little guy, he would always come over to us, and he was a great dancer, and every time we were at the club he was always there up front to say hello to us. He was always throwing his hands up, cheering the whole crowd. He was rocking off us, we were rocking off him too—I can’t remember his name, but he was incredible, the little midget guy! He was incredible. I hope he’s still living today, I’d love to say hello to him.
Do you remember Dancin’ Boy?
Oh yeah! You’re bringing back some memories!
He’s still around.
Oh my God, Dancin’ Boy! He was an incredible dancer, he was so cool. This white guy be at the black clubs, that was never heard of. He was so welcome, everybody loved him, this white guy named Dancin’ Boy—I remember him!
Anything you want to say about the Unity tour?
This tour is an incredible show—it’s hard to fit everything in this one show, but we figured out a way to do it, and it’s going to be a great show, an exciting show. I’m so happy to be back on the stage again and be able to sing in front of our fans. They’ve been so supportive of us over the years and it’s time for us to go out and do something. And I’d like to thank all the people in Chicago, because if it wasn’t for you guys … [chokes up, starts to cry] I’m very emotional because all the people in Chicago, they made us who we are—they saw us before we even made it. And Chicago, you guys rock—you guys were there from the very beginning, and we want to thank you for that.