Qua L’amar – Mmm Hmm

Written by on September 18, 2019

(Bio intentionally written in 1st person)

On November. 1,1988 in Paterson, New Jersey I was born to Naneka Jordan and Jermaine Jackson being the eldest and only boy of 5 children. I was raised by my mother and grandmother (my dad’s mom) Gloria Jackson. Growing up for me was a constant juggle between great times, confusion and anger. I feel as though my mom did the best she knew how raising us, coming from a family who didn’t have much she was a provider, she made sure that her children never really needed for anything. My grandmother plays such an important role in my life, she always went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that I was more than good. She taught me the importance of self love, dreaming and being true to yourself. I’m forever indebted to her. I’ve struggled a lot and still struggle with the absence of my father who got caught up in the momentum of the streets, which eventually led to him being incarcerated for basically my entire life. I feel that being a young male in this world trying to find my way with no male figure to admire, to talk too, or to have for love and support was and still is one of the hardest things in life to deal with.

Music for me has been my SAVIOUR. It gave me an outlet to vent and to be creative. I grew up kind of a slight introvert and music is what breaks down the walls of that for me, it’s what makes me most comfortable. I can’t remember not ever singing. I just always sung! I remember the first time seeing Michael Jackson perform, I was blown away at how fearless he seemed, how powerful he was, how people were affected by the him. I felt an instant connection! Later going on to discover the incomparable James Brown and I knew without a shadow of a doubt my purpose for life. I started performing at local talent shows in New Jersey winning plaques and trophies, earned various front page newspaper articles which brought a buzz for me in my city, and even won 1st place at the legendary “Amateur Night” at The Apollo Theater. One day in gym class my junior year in high school I got word from a friend of mine that a producer she was working with was looking for a male singer to complete a boy group she was putting together. A meeting was set up with the producer and the early members of the group, after talking a while we sang for each other and they were impressed and wanted me down, NJ5ive was formed ! During my time with NJ5ive we went on to work with some well respected people in the industry like Troy Taylor, Rockwilder, D-Mo√ęt and The Soul Diggaz just to name a few. We’ve claimed the title of BET’s 106&Park; “All Star Champions”, performed on the pre-stage at Hot 97’s Summer Jam , served as an opening act for Omarion and were also contestants on MTV’s hit reality competition “America’s Next Top Pop Group” where we worked with great’s like choreographer Shawnette Heard, Mauli Bonner, Brian Freidman, Taboo (of the black eyed peas) and the lovely Michelle Williams (of Destiny’s Child.)

One of my most memorable moments of “ANTPG” was being in rehearsal for the season finale of the show with choreographer Shawnette Heard. I remember being in a dark insecure space and I had just finished performing my solo, she looked at me eyes full of sincerity and said “You are such a phenomenal entertainer”. That meant more to me than i think anything could at the time especially coming from her because she’s worked alongside some of my heroes, Michael Jackson being one of them. Not long after the show NJ5ive decided to part ways, we had all been growing in different directions in our lives and felt that this decision was best. (A brotherhood was formed in that 4 year time period that no one could understand and continues to build.) I later got up with my partner John Arnold who I had met in a session the group had a year or so earlier with an artist he was working with. I remember first meeting and recording with John, there was a chemistry and an understanding he had for me artistically that I hadn’t experienced before with anyone else and I remembered that so when the time came for us to start working again it was almost a no-brainer.


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