Janet Jackson postponed her “Unbreakable” world tour until next year, but her desire to start a family isn’t all that’s keeping the singer busy. Rolling Stone recently visited the set of her music video for “Dammn Baby” outside Los Angeles, and found Jackson in stylish black leading a troupe of female dancers through the modern dance-funk track.
She spent the day on a simple white set, as the dancers locked in with her looser, slinkier version of “Rhythm Nation” unison. “She’s such a strong dancer,” says Gil Duldulao, lead choreographer. “I know she likes to mix it up with fluidity and a little bit of sensuality.”
The song was produced by longtime collaborators Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, and was the final song completed during sessions last year. Jackson was already working with choreographers and dancers at the studio when she told the producers, “You know, it would be cool to have one more uptempo funky record that I can really dance to.” The result was “Dammn Baby,” the next single from her 11th studio album.
As she spent the day in motion on camera, Jackson was upbeat. “When she’s comfortable, she smiles and she giggles and she laughs at things, and at the same time hit that serious sexy stuff that she does,” says Dave Meyers, director of several Jackson music videos. “That’s her essence, and when she’s in a comfortable environment, it just naturally comes out.”