Janet Jackson is on the cover of the newest issue of Essence, and in the Wednesday (June 15) cover story, she’s dishing on the possibility of new music.
“Sometimes things happen that you don’t expect to happen, and you have to figure things out — or you’re in a space in your life when you have to take a step back and take a break for a minute,” the icon said about considering the next step of her recording career. “Even though it’s something that I absolutely love, it still is my work, my job. There will be music at some point. Exactly when? I can’t say just yet, but there will be. I love it too much not to do it. This is all I know. There’s so much that I want to do—but my number one job is being a mama.”
During the sit-down, the “Rhythm Nation” singer also looked back on her role as a pioneer in the world of R&B and was pressed on whether she believes she’s received proper credit for just how much her career-spanning discography has contributed to the genre and the industry at large. “I’ve heard Jimmy [Jam] and Terry [Lewis] tell me we haven’t. I’ve heard fans tell me we haven’t. Other artists have said the same thing,” she said. “That never crossed my mind. That’s not important to me, whether I did or didn’t, to be quite honest. It’s really the body of music touching people and how it impacts their lives that matters to me. It’s not the accolades. I honestly don’t think about that stuff.”
Instead, Jackson insists she defines her success on “what I’ve accomplished within myself” including her relationship with five-year-old son Eissa. “How far I’ve come from that child there to the woman that I am today,” she continued. “That’s success. If you came to my home, you would never know—if you did not know who I was— that I am an entertainer. I don’t have one award on my wall.”
Later this month, the superstar is set to headline the in-person return of Essence Fest 2022 in New Orleans along with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Summer Walker and more. In January, she also premiered her long-in-the-works documentary Janet. on A&E and Lifetime. Jackson’s most recent studio set was 2015’s Unbreakable, which became her seventh career No. 1 atop the Billboard 200.
Get a look at Jackson’s gorgeous Essence cover below.