Like uncle like nephew… a bit

February 18, 2020

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Jaafar Jackson (centre) busts a move on Monday.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
Jaafar Jackson (centre) busts a move on Monday.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: Even if you never got to see the legendary Michael Jackson up close and are only an admirer of the king of pop and the Jackson 5’s music, you would’ve got a taste of the family’s talent on Monday afternoon when pop singer Jaafar Jackson, son of Jermaine Jackson and nephew of Michael Jackson, answered questions put to him by students of Sceptre College.

It was the fifth day of his Pakistan tour made possible by his childhood friend Omar and British-Pakistani entrepreneur Zeeshan Shah as part of the latter’s Changing Perceptions Initiative.

It all, however, began with two students of the college, a girl and a boy, who danced to Jaafar’s song ‘Got me singing’. Sitting in the front row, he enjoyed it a lot.

Jaafar in his brief speech first thanked his hosts and claimed he had an incredible experience in Pakistan and couldn’t wait to share back home pictures and videos of the trip. He said hospitality here had been incredible and his plan was to release an album and come back to Pakistan to do some shows.

After that the students asked him quite a few questions, and the first one was about the legacy of his uncle, Michael Jackson. He replied through the late singer’s music he would love to achieve what Michael fought for, which was to unite the world. “He definitely inspired me as an artist.”

Pop singer Jaafar Jackson, nephew of Michael, interacts with college students, plans to do a music video in Pakistan

Jaafar said when he was a kid he was actually a golfer; he’d play golf everyday till the age of 13. It was when his father gave him an album of the Jackson 5 that made him change his career.

He enthused that he would love to collaborate with somebody from Pakistan; he just doesn’t know who. Responding to a query, he said he is inspired by so many artists, other than his family, including Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Bruno Mars. With regard to being a member of a musical family, he said he never has felt the pressure, adding: “I do music because I genuinely enjoy it.” And he’s not a footballer but likes watching it. His favourite football players: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Jaafar told a young man he took dance classes in high school but then started doing it by himself and developed better on his own.

The best thing that he liked about Pakistan is food, sights and the people who are so kind; also, he enjoys the music and the melodies that Pakistani musicians create.

Talking about the music video that he made for his song ‘Got me singing’, Jaafar said it was shot in Brazil because they wanted to be true to the sound of the music. He had seen locations in Pakistan and would be interested in doing a music video here. “It is definitely in the works.”

Finally, he was requested to dance a bit with the students to his song. He obliged by doing the ‘main step’ of the track. The audience loved it, because he surely can dance … a bit like his uncle.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2020