On Friday, Aug. 17, the iconic Janet Jackson released "Made For Now," her first video in three years, and it's definitely the most epic block party that fans will ever lay eyes on. The vibrant visual, which is a celebration of culture and dance, features Jackson amidst several groups of dancers as they make their way through the streets of New York City, draped in a myriad of colorfully printed outfits that pay homage to African culture. Rolling Stone notes that Jackson teamed up with her longtime creative director Gil Duldulao to source dancers who hail from Ghana, Nigeria, Grenada, Trinidad, and the U.S. for the vibrant video.
"Made For Now," which showcases a feature from Reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee, and the video, which was directed by Dave Meyers, arrives near the end of the second leg of her State of the World Tour. The single is Jackson's first in years — her first release since her 11th studio album Unbreakable dropped in 2015 — signaling her official return to making new music.
In a May 2018 interview with Billboard Jackson hinted that she may be releasing music sometime in the near future, coyly sharing:
"It’s important that I maintain a let it happen when it happens approach. When I finally get to the music that genuinely expresses what I’m experiencing in the moment, I feel free. Music does that for me. Its healing properties are extraordinary."
Producer Harmony Samuels recently told Billboard that he is helping Jackson prep for an upcoming album that will include "Made for Now" as well as other songs. In the interview, Samuels said that Jackson's new music would see the legendary entertainer return to the sound her Velvet Rope and Control eras. Commenting on the creative direction of "Made for Now," Samuels went on to explain:
"Firstly, culturally, I'm African. So where I'm from, I'm culturally from that naturally. Even though I was born and raised in London and lived there my whole life, I've always had a very strong cultural background. I had already been making those types of records for other up-and-coming artists and Afrocentric artists in Nigeria like Tiwa Savage."
Samuels also praised Jackson's artistry, saying that although the sound is "very different" for the singer, it works because she transcends all genres of music.
"This is very different for Janet but it doesn't sound super different in that you wouldn't love it on her, if you know what I mean. She's got those cultural vibes about her, if you check the way she dances. She's not a woman of just one genre of music – she's all genres of music."
Summer of 2018 seems like the perfect time for Jackson to release new music. Jackson received the Icon Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards in May of this year, and her fans couldn't be more hungry for new music.
After three long years without a new release, "Made For Now" proves that Janet Jackson is back and better than ever.