BIMM Institute Birmingham hosts Tito Jackson

18 October, 2021

BIMM Institute Birmingham were lucky enough to host the legendary Tito Jackson for an exclusive BIMM Masterclass. During the Masterclass, Tito spoke about his time in The Jackson 5, playing Diana Ross’s birthday party, his new album, and his love for Wolverhampton Football Club!

Tito Jackson and The Jackson 5

Tito rose to fame as an original member of The Jackson 5, who signed with the amazing Motown Records in the late 60s. The band debuted with four consecutive number one hits: ‘I Want You Back’, ‘ABC’, ‘The Love You Save’, and ‘I’ll Be There’.

The Jackson 5 were originally brought together by their father, Joe. However, it’s arguably that it’s because of Tito that Joe first spotted their talent. After breaking a string on Joe’s guitar, Joe asked the then ten-year-old Tito to perform in front of him. Once he was finished, Joe bought him his own guitar and fuelled that musician’s fire.

After performing in school functions and supermarkets in Gary, Indiana, the brothers began taking part in local talent shows when Jackson was twelve. By then, his younger brother Michael, then seven, had become the official lead singer of the group. In 1965, they changed their name from The Jackson Brothers to The Jackson 5.

After a short stint with Steeltown Records, The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records in Detroit in 1969. Despite his talent as a guitar player, Motown refused to allow Tito to perform guitar on any of The Jackson 5 recording sessions. Instead, all their guitar parts were performed by session musicians. As a direct result, Tito’s guitar work did not make its debut until he and the Jacksons left Motown for CBS Records in 1976. With several line-up changes and label feuds, the group came to a natural end, especially with Michael’s success as a solo artist.

An Exclusive BIMM Masterclass

During the Masterclass, Tito spoke about his new album, Under Your Spell, and showed his new music video for his track ‘Love One Another’. He talked at length about his mother spotting the boys’ talent from a young age and his father having them rehearse every night after school.

Tito also reminisced about playing Diana Ross’ birthday party back in the early days of The Jackson 5. He then expressed his love for the Midlands, calling it a place that he visits regularly. He did receive mixed reactions after expressing his love for Wolverhampton Football Club!

“It demonstrated to our students how important it is to craft their art.”

– Jonny Amos, BIMM Institute Lecturer

Jonny Amos, BIMM Institute Lecturer and Tito’s interviewer had this to add:

“It was an honour to have Tito on campus and hear him talk so warmly and fondly of his early career alongside his brothers. He talked openly about the three years of graft they put into rehearsals and gigs before they got their showcase in front of Berry Gordy at Motown, and it demonstrated to our students how important it is to craft their art. He was so encouraging, and it was truly inspiring to have him with us for the afternoon.”

Sam, who studies our Popular Music Performance degree, added:

“The Masterclass with Tito Jackson was and will always be one of my favourite highlights of attending BIMM Institute Birmingham. It was incredibly kind of him to take time out of his day to come and visit all of us, share his fascinating stories and important messages of loving one another, along with the powerful closing remarks of “you are the future, be yourself and have a great career!”

Liv, who studies Drums and is in their third year, agreed:

“Tito gave us a valuable insight into his life as a musician, from the beginning of his career to now. Truly inspirational.”

Find out more about our exclusive music industry Masterclasses here.

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