[INTERVIEW] R&B Legend, Freddie Jackson Just Gets Better With Time
Freddie Jackson Proves He’s Still Fresh Enough For The Modern Era
Native Harlem, New York City, singer, Freddie Jackson first appeared on the horizon way back in 1985, following the release of his, now classic, debut solo collection, Rock Me Tonight. Despite a brief stint in the early eighties out on the West Coast when Freddie Jackson served as lead singer of the short lived Rhythm & Blues band, Mystic Merlin, it’d actually be back on his hometown soil that would “officially” launch his career full steam ahead.
More than thirty plus years removed, there is little doubt which artists deserve a place among the greatest of all-time. Jackson ultimately mastered the art of chart domination throughout the ’80’s, and today still continues to prove his distinction as one of the Top 50 Greatest R&B Singers [Billboard 2017]. To date, his chart resumé boasts 18 songs in the Top 10 with 10 songs rocketing to #1, a 3X Grammy nominee and an American Music Award winner.
Jackson’s long overdue, soon-to-be unleashed studio set, Love Signals, affords longtime fans and new listeners alike just that -a melodic offering of love in a multitude of styles, aiming to be a beacon sent out by one of R&B’s brightest and ever-evolving stars; proving Fab Freddie Jackson is still fresh enough for modern day times…
We caught up with Freddie to talk about the new album and much more.
Parlé Mag: Let’s hop right into this latest single, “One Night”. Tell me about this particular composition? How did it actually come to fruition?
Freddie Jackson: Well, this song was written by Barry Eastmond. I sat down with Barry and told him that I wanted a classic R&B soul album. I wanted this album to be enriched with soul, giving you that Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding feel. I wanted this song to have that old jukebox feel, and this song is definitely a song that could be played in any jukebox.
Parlé Mag: “One Night” comes courtesy of your upcoming solo set, Love Signals. Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you? Originally it was slated to be called ‘Finer with Time’, correct?
Freddie Jackson: Well, the name Love Signals is a life message for the world. The world needs to send more love signals, As a people, we have to connect and identify with each other. We don’t need to type or text the word love; we need to actually say it to each other. The word love is a sign of peace, and we need to send peace signs all over the world.
Parlé Mag: How then does Love Signals either differ and/or compare to previous Freddie Jackson efforts?
Freddie Jackson: Well on this album I got a chance to get into the romance, to get a chance to expose myself to songs like “Find My Way.” I was able to become comfortable with myself, my music and my direction in life. I truly believe that I found my way in this.
Parlé Mag: Back in August 2014 you unveiled your last entry, “Love and Satisfaction,” with plans firmly in place for another full-length album to follow suit at that time. In having said that, why exactly has it taken so long for one to finally arrive?
Freddie Jackson: Well, I wasn’t ready. I took some time off to find the direction I wanted to go in. I have eleven #1 records, so I wasn’t in a rush to make another album. I didn’t want to just make a record; I wanted a reason to make a record.
Parlé Mag: Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you, either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?
Freddie Jackson: Well music, of course, has changed, people’s listening ear has changed, you have social media now, but I have to remain true to my audience and give them what they love and expect. I wouldn’t say I had to make changes to my music, I just had to make fine-tunes to fit today’s listening ear and I would say we’ve tuned up very well.
Parlé Mag: Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
Freddie Jackson: I attribute my longevity to being true and honest to my music and to my fans. As long as you remain true and honest, you’ll have longevity. When you start faking the funk is when you start losing.
Parlé Mag: Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
Freddie Jackson: Well I’m working on a cookbook called ‘Freddie Jackson’s 30 Days to Romance‘, so I’m taking 30 of my songs and putting recipes to them. You may get through one week of recipes and decide I’m done with this relationship! *Chuckles* I love to cook, go walking and swimming, so those are the things I aspire to do.
Parlé Mag: What has been your greatest achievement(s) so far?
Freddie Jackson: One of my greatest achievements was handing my mother a set of keys to her own home. It was in that moment I felt that I had done what a son was supposed to do and returning her the favor for all that she had done for me.
Parlé Mag: One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
Freddie Jackson: I would say “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” because that’s what I experienced. I was in a situation where I loved someone more than they loved me, so I had to ask that question, “Have you ever loved somebody?” Can you learn to love somebody (more) than they love you.
Parlé Mag: Lastly, for the past several years there has been much speculation about a potential health crisis largely due to your dramatic weight loss, care to clear the air on this once and for all?
Freddie Jackson: *More chuckles* Everything is great with me. I just wanted to lose some weight because I didn’t want to be on stage singing love songs all out of breath!
Parlé Mag: Totally understandable! Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
Freddie Jackson: I just want to thank you and all of your readers for taking the time to even care about what’s going on with Freddie Jackson. Please go out and get my new single “One Night.”
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