When Freddie Jackson entered the room for a recent chat, he was upbeat and smiling — creating a vibe of a longtime friend. In a slight respite from his busy tour schedule, Jackson came to D.C. to discuss his longtime career and share what he’s got in the works. 

R&B legend Freddie Jackson sits down with Washington Informer writer Brenda Siler to talk about a few of his upcoming projects including aspirations to host a new radio show. (Marckell Williams/The Washington Informer)

Over the past few months, Jackson has shared the stage with Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Whispers, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. Over the years, Jackson has figured out how to make it work to deliver to his fans and taking care of the voice is the first order of business.

“The voice, the right sound system, and technology have to be in place,” the multi-platinum singer said. “Our voices have changed. Vocal cords are a fragile thing. It is very important that when we are booked, there is quality equipment that supports our performances.”

Jackson also knows the type of venues that allow him to connect strongly with audiences.

“I like the intimacy of dinner clubs. I can see you, and you can see me. I feel like you’re in my living room,” he said. “Arenas are nice, but everyone is so scattered that you must become bigger. Sometimes when you become bigger, you lose yourself.”

Though the world shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19, that did not stop Jackson from using his instrument. He connected with his buddy, singer Stephanie Mills. They greeted each other by phone in the mornings and said goodnight at the end of the day.

“We were separated, but we would sing to each other. We became each other’s audience,” Jackson recalled. “We had a good time during COVID, and that was a blessing.”

 With available time during the early days of COVID, Jackson had a chance to safely try out new material with his band. He also began hosting a podcast called “Conversations with Freddie Jackson,” available through Apple Podcasts. The podcast is currently on hiatus but said will be back soon.

The podcast motivated Jackson to pursue hosting a radio show. Still working through a format, he wants to create a scenario akin to his preference for performing in smaller venues. He envisions a radio show that allows for an intimate connection with listeners.

“It would feel like being at home with Freddie Jackson,” he said. “I want it to feel like you tuned in to your friend or you knocked on your friend’s door and said, ‘What’s going on?’”

Jackson wants to be that celebrity friend not just on stage but also over the airwaves. It would be a time when he can talk about the music that has meant a lot to him over the years.

In the works for the past few years has also been a cookbook. The idea Jackson has been testing is a meetup between music and cooking.

“I’m taking 30 of my songs and putting recipes to them,” Jackson said. “There will be a ‘Rock Me Tonight,’ a ‘Jam Tonight,’ and others based on my hits.”

Along with these ideas, Jackson also has a candle collection. He has created scented candles named after 11 of his number-one hits. 

Music connects back to everything Jackson pursues.

“It’s the rhythm of my life,” said the entertainment legend. “I walk in music.”

Keep up with Freddie Jackson through Instagram, @mrfreddiejackson

Brenda Siler is an award-winning journalist and public relations strategist. Her communications career began in college as an advertising copywriter, a news reporter, public affairs producer/host and a...

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