Ms Jackson If You Nasty
IT STARTED FROM DOIN’ A LITTLE DANCE
Anybody that knows me personally, or has been bout 3 metres of radius round me, would know… that I love me some Janet. Mm Mm.
But what you don’t really know… is the true why.
Like any kind of love. It’s a layered cake, a path that shapes over time.
Back in Primary School, when I was a short, chubby, curly-haired scout of honor. I’d pass around the ‘Doesn’t Really Matter‘ CD single around class and we’d just sing that all recess long. I remember discovering ‘All For You‘ in a CD stash once and went crazy over it. ‘Together Again‘ was a viral video on MTV back then in 1996. I’ll always remember watching the red head Janet (hi Rihanna 2011) in the desert dancing in the wilderness.
In Secondary School, my first big crush was this girl named D. See I was so crazy over her, I’d make sure we had the same classes, I’d have my index number be an even from her’s so I’d sit around her! Haha. I even joined Dance (ballet eugh) because of her. Back then, I never ever ever ever, danced.
So in 2004, after the superbowl, DamitaJo, was released in stores. I got out, got my copy because I knew everyone was gonna be talkin’ bout it. I figured every hot song is gonna be spawned from this album–gosh reminisce the good ole anticipation days when compact discs were relevant. Instead the opposite happened. As months past, the record just slyed through unknown to radio and the public. ‘Just A Little While‘ was a single for a bit, the only track I played off the album. See I used to only buy albums for 1 or 2 songs, that stupid misconception alot of us listeners do. Then, I never knew how to appreciate complete albums for what they were. My Damitajo CD slipped through the cracks and gathered dust over time, I lent it to a couple of people around, can’t remember who it ended up with but… I wasn’t that big a Janet fan anyway right?
One thursday afternoon at assembly, D got on stage with her dance group and performed. It was a sexy routine, lots of tight choreography it was… unforgettable for a 14 year old adolescent who was midway through puberty. I rushed to my dance teacher to ask what song it was, to which he replied, “It’s Janet! Remember that album you lent me last month? It’s track 10, All Nite (Dont Stop)“
“Keep the album”, coz I ran out and got another copy =)
I’m the kind of music lover that, back tracks alot when I start to fall in love with an artiste. I’ll get everything from the past, do tons of research, listen to radio interviews from early recordings, magazine articles, photoshoots, merchandise, just every damn piece of knowledge to help me validate, why an artiste is an icon today.
That’s what I did for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Björk, and that was what I did… with Janet Jackson. I knew she was an Icon, she received that first MTV title back in 2001. But I had to really know her music, videos and everything.
I invested in her compilation DVDs, From ‘janet to Damitajo‘ and ‘Design of a Decade’. Every day I’d watch a new music video, a live performance and memorize the songs.
I started… dancing. I started following her moves, remembering her choreography, I started manipulating the steps, re-choreographing it, to teach my school mates. We started mini-dance groups and performed in school, once in Hong Kong, once in Cambodia. Call me a psycho fan of Janet, but I’m really a different kind. I take what she’s got and let it inspire me, put it work. You know, that’s the way I believe, every true fan ought to work. Dance groups were formed after I listened to Janet. Songs were written. Sets were designed. Costumes were influenced in design. I stood strong as her 20.Yo and Discipline albums got heat from critics and sales charts. Every song she’s got, hits me at a particular point in my life and it’s inspired my own writing and the way I perform.
WHY CANT I BRING IN MY DAMN CAMERA?!
After all these years of thinkin, Janet’s not gonna come to Singapore, I got a text message from (of all people) my ex. It was a simple message cause if you’ve dated me, you would’ve sat through at least, 2 hours of me playing Janet music videos for you. So I received a text…
‘hey josh, thought you should know erm… Janet Jackson is coming to Singapore”
I was.. in church camp on that day, in service. And I… squealed. Ran out of the worship hall. Texted every body I knew who of course replied with “josh your dream is coming true” and… I blacked out for a bit. I think I remember the entire janet music catalogue suddenly play through my head like a dj working a jukebox.
Janet, here I come
A month before the tour, my bestfriends voted for me in this exclusive Janet contest where nominees from each country, gets to meet Janet Jackson in person and share their stories with her. In advance, my friends who nominated me, wrote articles about how ambitious I am in music and yada, but I wasn’t… selected. I never received no email.
Oh well, I got my seats, the most expensive ticket could only buy me 25 rows back from the front (the entire front was blocked off for our beloved media company in Singapore you know what management but oh well be thankful). I showed up with a fairly odd crowd that became while waiting for the doors to open outside.
It was… A Black Girl From Jersey. A Crazy Chinese Girl Fan. A Drag Queen. and me.
We were so nutso bout Janet that, her bodyguard came out, (he loved us btw) gave me extra tickets (so I rushed my dancer Zef down for the show) and took out a videophone and had us shoot a message for Janet. I sang Feedback over the video =)
Inside the theater, I was the middle guy on the floor and I’d pass written messages each of us were sending to each other since we were all separated. All this happening while Nicki Minaj’s Moment 4 Life plays.
The show began… and Janet was… gosh it still hasn’t hit me that, I was at a JANET JACKSON CONCERT. Till now it hasn’t hit me. I was so sweaty after the show, I moved non-stop to EVERY beat during the 1.45 minute show. I stood up, krumped, gyrated, grinded my seat, did the choreos, did the pops and janet hand gestures, everything. I was livin’ on adrenaline.
After the show, we waited outside the parking lot and I had time freeze for a second as Janet rolled down the window and waved at us… got home at 4am, headed to army camp at 6am =) I was not one bit tired, but I did lose my voice from all the screaming along.
WHO YOU CALLIN CHUNKY?
The next day, I found my little quote on The New Paper, defending Janet from a bitch reporter who had it comin’. Callin’ my girl thick and older, heck she used the word ‘chunky!’. Honestly, I know Janet yo-yos but she looked stunning. She lost alot more weight and looked better here than even the Rock Witchu Tour! So this article was just… uncreative for me. Cue the Janet fan to the rescue.
I also found out that… I WAS… selected to meet Janet Jackson. My nomination pulled through and I got picked!… but see… had I checked my email the night before, I wouldn’t be in the damn parking lot!….so oh well… Janet flew off to Jakarta and I had to… remind myself that… I ought to be thankful =) just be thankful
This is NOT the first time this sh!t’s happen though. One time I got selected to INTERVIEW LADY GAGA… but I was in class so I couldn’t pick up my phone. Opportunity flew out the damn window… sigh but this I know. I ought to remind myself to keep working hard for the music Im making… someday Joshua Simon gonna meet Lady Gaga and Janet Jackson and say… “FINALLY”
During the tour, I got to meet UTT! and I ..melted when he went “how’s the music coming along?” =)