Janet Jackson is working on new material for her 12th studio album. The singer/songwriter, who has a total of 7 number one albums and 10 number one singles since the 80s, is quietly working on a possible long-player, a follow-up on 2015’s ‘Unbreakable’, as confirmed by herself during an interview on Billboard. The ‘Rhythm Nation’ singer shares little to no information about the upcoming project, but shared a picture on Instagram of herself in a recording studio, on May 31st.
Instagram Post of Janet Jackson working in the studio
When asked by Billboard if Janet could talk about her upcoming music, she declined to answer: “I wish I could. I’m not trying to avoid the question and be secretive, but the truth is that I don’t analyze the creative process while it’s still ongoing. I’m very intuitive about writing”
Janet, however, explained how she finds inspiration musically, and how everything can be inspiring to her: “This morning, I saw this lovely elderly Japanese woman walking down the streets of Hollywood wearing an adorable bonnet with bright red flowers. She might be a song. […] I woke up this morning and heard a bird chirping in a rhythm that captivated my heart. Maybe that will turn into a new groove. Like everyone else, my feelings are fluid.”
The statements of her working process primarily define creativity and authenticity as a main focus. Details about the project, however, like music direction or a release date, is still a mystery: “I want to be a channel for whatever images and emotions are running through my imagination. Spontaneity is so important to me. It allows for surprise, and, for me, surprise is what breaks up the boredom of daily life. When I finally get to the music that genuinely expresses what I’m experiencing in the moment, I feel free. Music does that for me. Its healing properties are extraordinary.”
For years it has been an element of surprise, whether Janet would release new music or not. From the mid-80s until the 2000s, fans could expect new music material every two or three years from her. After releasing a ‘Number Ones’ compilation in 2009, the same year her brother Michael Jackson died, new music by ‘Ms. Jackson’ became rarer than ever. In the early 2010s, it was alleged that she wanted to quit the music business. Fans eventually made an online ‘missing’ flyer as a response, with the message: “Seriously Janet, where the hell are you? We NEED you back, We miss you.” In 2015 she finally released her eleventh long-player ‘Unbreakable’, and it topped the charts for one week. One song in particular of that album, ‘Well Traveled’, underlines her accomplishments but also hinted that every journey will come to an end eventually. With new material on its way, fans do not have to worry yet. The journey is still going strong.
Apart from working on a new album, Janet currently is touring throughout North America with her State of the World Tour and will perform at the Essence Festival on July 8th. Last month she was honored with the Billboard Icon Award and performed a medley of her hits there as well. Most recently, she received an award from online streaming service Pandora for reaching over a billion spins. The new album’s title and release are unknown.