2019 American Music Awards

Jesse Jackson's Daughter Ashley 'AJae' Jackson Is on 'Fleek' in New Video: Exclusive Premiere

Courtesy Photo
Ashley Jackson

Growing up as the daughter of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, AshleyAJaeJackson was held to certain expectations. Jackson said she was expected to follow her parents into politics and education, but her passion is in music.

AJae, 16, is the reverend’s youngest daughter, and she is making a statement with the release of her new song, “Fleek,” and Billboard has the exclusive video premiere.

“On Fleek,” for the uninitiated, is a term people use to describe being on-point in pop culture. “Every era had a 'fleek,' meaning trends that define what is fashionable and in,” she tells Billboard. “My video concept was to highlight the 'Fleek' of many eras. Traveling through time, everyone can see what is considered to be 'on fleek' by looking at the clothes, movements, backgrounds and even facial expressions.”

To bring this idea to the screen, she made sure every era of music, from the ‘50s through Carmen Jones and the lifestyles and energy of the ’70s, was represented. And she is doing it clean -- no swearing in the lyrics.

The video incorporates rap, singing, and dancing as the photogenic teen asks, “And whatchu know about the fact that I could care less/my resume plenty.” Directed by Chris Jackson, dancers of all ages are showcased while styled in cute fashions from different decades.

“One of my favorite eras, the ‘90s, is highlighted through wardrobe and movement similar to TLC and Aaliyah. The cute, young girls represent the 'Fleek' of the next generation, while the older girls and myself represent the present 2015.”

AJae wishes to stretch the term “Fleek” one step further for her peers.

“By shining a light on the past, present, and future, 'Fleek' is a word that I would redefine for girls around the world as being 'on point' in your education, inner beauty, self esteem, and abilities,” she said. “'Fleek' is the model of empowerment for my generation and those to come.”

A career in the arts seem pre-ordained for the youngest Jackson, who began taking dance classes at the tender age of 3 and discovered her vocal talents at 5. By the time she was 7, she was the lead role of Pocahontas in her school play, and by middle school made her big debut at Carnegie Hall.

“I performed at Carnegie Hall when I was in the 7th grade,” said AJae, who also made appearances at Disneyland from 6th to 8th grade. She also paints, plays piano, and just picked up the guitar.

“I have a huge interest in ethnomusicology, which is the study of music around the world,” she said. “ I listen to K-pop and African music quite often and I love oldies and my favorite mainstream and current artists are Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Kehlani, J. Cole, Jay Z, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Fifth Harmony and Willow.”

AJae, who said she “skipped second grade,” is still concentrating on her studies. Her father said in a release that AJae is “definitely focused on school, but her passion is music, acting and dance.”

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