Tito Jackson Tito Time Album

Grown Folks Music was blessed to talk to the legend Tito Jackson. After all this time in the music business it’s hard to believe this is Tito Jackson’s first solo album. He talked with us about the album, why his time is now and why it’s never too late to pursue a dream. He also wanted us to make sure the fans know that he appreciates all of the support of him and The Jackson 5/Jacksons over the decades. Read below, enjoy and definitely check out Tito Jackson’s album Tito Time— it’s a solid effort and worth listening to.

Tito’s Time… in Life and Music 

GFM: I imagine that there are many people like me who just assumed after all this time that you’d had a solo album, but in fact this is your first one. My question is two part: 1. Why is it Tito’s time? and 2. What is the story that you want to tell with your first solo album? 

Tito Jackson: Tito Time means it’s time for me to be heard. It’s time. I had started recording with Motown, but my father and Motown parted. We went to Sony and that was the end of my music. Then of course being married and having children later… being a father… I didn’t have time to put into music. Being a Jackson 5 member as well [as] being a father and husband… I just figured I was just going to have to chill on the solo projects. That’s the time when I had brothers putting out records left and right. Marlon, Jackie [and] Jermaine was doing his thing [and] Michael… all doing solo records.  I was always the quiet one on top of that. I was more of the behind-the-scenes member in the group. I did a lot of the musical type of writing and stuff, but [I] was never vocal in the singing sense and things of that nature. I always had the lowest voice in the family, so I automatically got the low voice [parts] and back then low voices didn’t sing [lead] too often.

GFM: So now that you have come forth/stepped forth, what’s the story that you want to tell? What’s the expression that you want to present through your album?  

Tito Jackson: I’m just showing people that you always follow your dream. I always told my fans that I would come out not just with one album, but once I get my movement, I’ll come out with a collection of music. It’s time now and that’s what I’m planning on doing in the future. My whole movement is it’s never too late to work on what you believe in and what you love most. Do your thing and have fun with it.

GFM: You mentioned being behind the scenes. You’ve been the industry a long time, and you’ve been making music a long time. But, when you did your album did you learn anything about yourself? Did anything surprise you about who you are as an artist, or the direction that music took– the finished product? Did anything about that surprise you after it was done? 

Tito Jackson: I’d pretty much prepared myself for it. I’d been off for quite a few years and I had started doing a lot blues music around the country and the world as a matter of fact in that sense. I decided to do a record. I did a little blues record at first, but I never released it. I just put it aside. I decided I was going to give something to the fans, because I think that most of the Jackson fans would appreciate this sort of music over a blues record so I decided to go this way. I feel that what I’ve learned for all of that is that, like I said, you never give up what you want to do and see yourself doing it. Just believe in yourself, you know?

Making Big Daddy Kane a Believer, the Mix of Musical Sounds on Tito Time and Being New to Social Media

GFM: You have a couple of collaborations on the album. How did Big Daddy Kane get involved?

Tito Jackson: Big Daddy Kane got involved because I had been asking a few rap artists here around town to help me out, but they all were busy in the studio or on tour. My producer, Earl Powell, told me that he had contact with Big Daddy Kane’s manager. He knew him and had met him. So I said, ‘Well, why aren’t we calling him?’ He said, ‘You want me to call him?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Call him.’ So he called him and sent him the track. He gave it to Big Daddy Kane and Big Daddy Kane thought it was someone on my production company or somebody that that I was producing. He asked him was that really me singing. [Big Daddy Kane’s manager] said, ‘Of course it is.’ He [Big Daddy Kane] said, ‘Get him [Tito] on the phone.’

I got on the phone and he asked me the same question. He said, ‘Hey man tell me, is this really you singing or is this somebody you’re producing. What’s going on?’ I said, ‘No, it’s me man. It’s my first record.’ He said, ‘Really man? This sh.. is dope and I’m going to hook it up and I’m going to have it back to you in 24 hours.’ He hooked it up and had it back. 

GFM: You mentioned briefly earlier [about] starting a blues record, but what I was pleasantly surprised about when I heard this album is the different sounds. I was most surprised by some of the kind of country sounds and also some of the current R&B and pop sounds. Can you talk about that and who you enlisted to arrive at the different sounds that you have because all of the songs don’t sound the same. You have a nice blend of different sounds on this album.

Tito Jackson: That was purposely done because that’s me pretty much. I sing wherever the song takes me. That’s pretty much what I was in the Jackson 5 band. I never lead sang too many songs. I always did the weird voices and stuff… but it’s the music I like. I love country music. I love R&B of course, and pop music alike. So, that’s pretty much what it is. I have a tremendous love for blues as well… so there you have it… that’s a wide circle of music so I try to do them all.

GFM: How have you embraced or utilized today’s tools like social media to produce and promote your music?

Tito Jackson: Well it’s all new for me being that I came through the system in a different type of way.  The way groups were marketing and promoted [in the past] we didn’t have the social media thing working. I have to constantly remind myself to do things for my Facebook page and things of that nature, [but] I’m starting to get a hold to it. I think it’s a great tool for entertainment especially and other businesses to get known and seen and get their product on the lips of the public. 

Support from Tito’s Sons (3T)

GFM: I read that your sons encouraged you as well to go ahead and put your solo effort out. Were they involved in the production, writing or any part of the album?  

Tito Jackson: I had tried to put together a record prior to my sons’ [involvement]. Producing yourself… for me… is very difficult. Don’t too many people do what Prince does. My sons were the first people to believe in me and put me in the studio and produce [me]. They even wrote a couple of songs for me which allowed me to get interest from other producers. So, it started at that angle.

GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music? 

Tito Jackson: Just good music. Music that you can love. [Music] you can sit back and relax and enjoy. It’s not music that makes your ear drums hurt. It’s just music that soothes the soul and makes you wanna just rock and roll.

Kimberly Kennedy Charles

I have questions. Artists have answers.