Millions will tune in tonight to watch the ball drop in New York City, but if you’re in Atlanta you have the opportunity to countdown 2010 with Tito Jackson for the annual ‘Peach Drop.’ The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, known for his impressive guitar skills as a member of the Jackson 5, will be in Atlanta performing throwback Jackson 5 hits, as well as new music for his upcoming album “So Far, So Good.” Set to release early 2011 Jackson chats with ESSENCE.com about the new project, his expectations for the new year, and why he is the last Jackson to put out a solo album. ESSENCE.com: What made you decide to finally to come out with your own solo album? TITO JACKSON: At one point all my brothers, sisters, and even my kids all had their own solo albums, and I was the only one who didn’t. I didn’t want to be a trivia question, ‘Which is the only Jackson not to have a solo album?’ [Laughs] I started thinking how much I’ve worked with my kids on their music, sort of putting my music on the back-burner. ESSENCE.com: Was it an easy decision continuing on with your career when the Jackson 5 ended? JACKSON: Ever since I was a kid I traveled the world touring and performing, I thought to myself maybe it was time I took a rest. So I did…for five years or so but I started to get that music itch, and I ended up starting my own band ten years ago. I started off doing blues, went on tour for a little while, and after while I just began to do me. It was music I wanted when I wanted, which led me to my own album “So Far So Good.” ESSENCE.com: How did you come up with the title “So Far, So Good?” JACKSON: It represents where I feel I am and where I feel I’m going. Life is great, and you have to be happy where you are in life to appreciate where your going. ESSENCE.com: What are the messages you convey on the album? JACKSON: It’s an adult contemporary album, the obvious messages are love. I also talk about lifting yourself up. When it comes to accomplishments, and you start to think you aren’t going to make it or people are telling you you’re not going to make it, just when you think your hard on luck – the message is to keep pushing yourself. ESSENCE.com: What have you learned over the years being in such an iconic position? JACKSON: I’ve learned in my later years to be more outgoing. I’ve always been overshadowed by the success of my brothers. I’ve been known to be quiet just playing the background, but I wanted to step out before the show is over. I used to measure success on sales years ago, but now success is knowing people like [my music] enough to come see me perform . Having the people, whether millions or thousands, like the music is what success is now. ESSENCE.com: Great messages for a new year. What do you envision for yourself in the new year? JACKSON: I want to get out there while I’m still young and healthy and make a difference with my music, and make a statement for myself. My mother and I are still working out the details for the upcoming World Unity Tour, which is basically me looking for peace and love in the world. Our family has always had a want to help others whether it’s hunger, education, or whatever may be. ESSENCE.com: Three to four words to describe the album, “So Far, So Good?” JACKSON: I’m. Proud. Of. It.
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