Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the entertainment industry is at least aware of the wild, crazy and successful—if not rocky—careers of the Jackson family. But what about the lesser known Jacksons who are just now emerging from obscurity into a career of their own? Tanay Jackson is the relatively unknown only daughter of Tito Jackson, whose mother had a brief relationship with Tito that resulted in Tanay’s birth. The two were never married and Tanay did not find out about her father’s true identity—and her place in the Jackson family lineage—until she was 17 years old.
As a child, Tanay began to develop an interest in the arts, including music, poetry and dancing. Tanay is now stepping into the limelight on her own in order to pursue her own career in music and entertainment.
Tanay Jackson, who is currently the CEO and President of Roth Entertainment and Lunar Music, recently toured the United States in order to promote her newest music releases. Tanay has been described as not only a singer, but a performer. As a performer, she combines her layered songwriting skills, burgeoning musical talents and her energetic stage presence for performances are not just about singing songs but giving the audience an entertainment spectacle worthy of the price of admission.
Last year, Tanay released a music video for “Honey,” an evocative pop song which has been described as a soft blend of pop and R&B. Not only did Tanay write the song herself—she also designed and directed the music video which is available on YouTube.
Although her career may not be as rocket-fast as the careers of her more famous Jackson relatives, Tanay Jackson’s music career is steadily continuing forward as she works on new music while balancing her other work in the entertainment industry. Her latest release was a stand-alone single, titled “Naughty Girls Need Love Too”, which was released on iTunes in February of 2013. A music video for the single is currently in production and is expected to be released in the near future.
Here Tanay takes a minute out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions:
When did you first fall in love with music? What was that moment was like?
Oh, I was always in love with music. I recall being 4 years old and I lived next to a record shop and my mother was always there. Anytime a new song came out she always had the record. Every weekend, music was constantly played in my home from morning till about 7pm and everyday I woke up to music in my home growing up.
Who are your musical influences and what about them influenced you the most?
Life itself is my inspiration for creating music, not just specific people – so many twists and turns, spontaneous moments, situations in the lives of others.
It seems even away from the limelight you discovered your talents and became a musical child prodigy. One would think this would be your life’s focus, however, you chose to put education first. I find this extremely inspiring and a great lesson for the younger generation. Can you elaborate on how you made these decisions and how they have paid off?
At one point I felt I wasn’t going to be an entertainer although entertaining was all I knew. So with that thought and the demand of both of my parents I finished my education and got a degree in business Management. It helped me mature and learn the nature of business. Since I minored in music I combined the two and here I am today.
What can we expect on this upcoming album?
Good music with meaningful lyrics. When I write a song it comes from my heart and soul and I wish for the listener to experience what I’m feeling.
What’s the inspiration behind “The Spotlight”?
A lot of people knew about my dreams of becoming a musical artist. However, many were cynical about me progressing in the music. The song “The Spotlight” that I wrote is for all the people out there who are talented in their field and want a chance to succeed. God put everyone on this earth to fulfill a destiny and all people ever want and need is a chance in life.
What projects are you working on now that we should be watching for?
My album that I am putting together right now is the next step. I’m working on all the tracks currently and am just finishing up the touches the video for my new song “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too). Making that video and getting to see my friend Bow-Legged Lou was a blast! Also you may even see me in movies…. Maybe (smiling).
How would you describe your fashion taste?
Funky, sexy, modern and innovative. I have styling ability. I’ve even created some of the wardrobe for my video and stage shows.
What’s the hardest thing about having your famous last name?
People expect certain things from me. People sometimes have there own perception of me and prejudge me because of my last name. A lot of people who get to know me tell me they are surprise to see that I’m not what they expected and that I’m down to earth.
How’s life as a big cousin/new aunt to Paris, Prince and Blanket?
I actually haven’t seen them in awhile, but I know they are doing great for themselves and am happy for them. Right now I’m in my own world focusing on my career and I will see my family at the reunion.
What advice did you receive at the beginning of your entertainment career did you find most valuable and what would you pass on to others that you have learned on your own along the way?
Never give up on what you are destined to do and destined to become. You control your destiny. The entertainment business is hard and full of numbers. It takes a person with tough skin to do this so prepare yourself.
Well, since you are at the least a “septuple threat” (singing, dancing, acting, writing, teaching, producing and managing). What of these do you enjoy the most?
Singing, dancing, writing, and teaching are my top favorites. It isn’t possible to pick just one that’s why I enjoy doing them all!
What can the world expect from the daughter of Tito and niece of Michael? Fans and followers of Tanay Jackson’s career can keep themselves updated on her latest releases and projects through her official Twitter, @TanayJackson and on Facebook, facebook.com/tanayjackson.