*How do you establish your own identity as an artist when everything about you has an uncanny, down-right-freaky resemblance to one of the biggest entertainers to ever live?
Chances are you’ve never witnessed anyone inhabiting the essence of Michael Jackson like Brandon “B” Howard. The singing voice, the speaking voice and the dance moves all match those of the late King of Pop, but Howard’s bloodline actually comes from another family of powerhouse singers.
Although he is very close with the Jackson family (his mom was managed at one point by Joseph Jackson), Brandon insists his similarity to MJ is not intentional.
“I just do what’s naturally in my heart, and that’s what comes out,” he tells EUR’s Lee Bailey exclusively. “I’m doing me.”
“Who hasn’t been inspired by Michael and the Jackson brothers?” he continues. “Most of the people out now, even my good friend Ne-Yo, he’s come out with the sequined jacket and everything. For me, it’s more of I’m doing me. …I’m just me. I’m Brandon.”
The singer/producer/songwriter has worked with the likes of Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Missy Elliott, Trey Songz, Dru Hill, Jay Sean, Marques Houston, Lupe Fiasco, Vanessa Hudgens and a handful of artists overseas. Last year, he teamed with Wyclef Jean and Jazmine Sullivan for the World Cup song “Ke Nako.”
His first official credit was on Ginuwine’s 2003 single “Love You More,” and before that, he collaborated with Joe Little of the Rude Boys under the mentorship of his mom’s very close friend and one-time lover, the late Gerald Levert.
He’s got three different record deals around the world, including a production pact with Universal Music linked to his own company 6 Point Entertainment. But despite this impressive resume, folks of a certain age will still take one look at B. and see nothing more than Michael Jackson circa 1983, assuming his style is a strategic attempt to copy one of the greats in music history. Just look in the comment section of his various YouTube clips and note how many times Jackson’s name is mentioned.
Howard said the constant comparisons used to bother him, but his mother advised him long ago to just keep being himself – even if it just so happens to be Michael-esque – and everything will fall into place.
In the bonus audio below, B. Howard – who slept at Katherine Jackson’s house the night before Michael’s death and was with Jermaine’s ex-wife Alejandra at a business meeting when news broke the next day – says by no means is he attempting to replace the legendary entertainer.
- Scroll down to see the videos for his current single “Dancefloor” (available on iTunes) and 2010 international hit “Supermodel,” from his debut album “Genesis.”