What were you doing when you were a fifth grader? Jacob Latimore was performing on national television, literally making jaws drop with his singing and dancing skills. Not to mention incredible charisma. When we first saw Jacob’s videos, we couldn’t help but think of the smooth singer that danced his way into our hearts when we were younger – Usher. That’s why we named him the “Next Usher” in our Next Big Thing music feature.
Jacob, who is 16 now, also happens to be a triple threat. That’s right, he’s got an acting career, too. And though he couldn’t give us all the juicy details, he hinted that we’ll be seeing more of him in the movies sometime soon.
See for yourself – read on to check out our interview with Jacob, and watch a few videos to witness this future star firsthand.
Crushable: How did you get started in singing?
Jacob Latimore: I actually started as a young kid, really just embracing what my family did. It’s always been around me, from my uncles to my dad to my grandfather and his father. At the age of nine, that’s when I started thinking more seriously and started pursuing my own career. And everything from there just took off. I’ve been working on it ever since then.
What about dancing?
It mirrors the singing and the music. B2K was one of my favorite groups when I was younger, so I always looked up to them as dancers. And Michael Jackson. I think I speak for everybody when I say that. So it came up at the same time.
Is there a particular moment that you can remember when you realized you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Actually, yes. I remember, the Maury show wanted me to come on as part of a most talented kids segment. I think they did episodes like that every now and then. I was in the fifth grade, I was still in elementary school and I had the chance to go to camp or to go on the Maury show. I had to pick just one. And I’d always wanted to go to camp when I was in fourth grade, I couldn’t wait for camp. I thought it was going to be so much fun, with all my friends. And then I started really thinking about it, because the Maury show is really once-in-a-lifetime. That’s when I really figured I had to choose. That was the big decision right there.
You also have an acting career. What’s going on with that at the moment?
Acting right now… I can’t really speak on the actual events. But in the past I’ve done Vanishing on 7th Street with Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo. That was my first leading role. That movie was kind of like an apocalyptic thriller, it went straight to DVD. But it was a very, very great experience. I shot it for about two months. And I also did a few Tyler Perry episodes of House of Payne, and then I also did Reed Between the Lines on BET. My first acting gig was One Tree Hill.
Is music more of a priority than acting for you?
I have to say, music is definitely a priority over everything. That’s number one. It’s something I grew up around it’s my first love. But acting is something I want to try out with the music as well.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
Probably my grandfather. My mom, my dad. Like I said, Michael Jackson. I think I speak for everybody when I say that. Right now, Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake. I really like Bruno Mars as well.
What has been your most memorable performance experience?
When I did the ASCAP awards a couple years ago. I was about twelve years old, and I did the New Edition tribute at the ASCAP awards. Everybody was there, sort of everybody’s first time seeing me. But I was so sad because I was hoarse. I just had to get sick that week for some reason. I don’t know why. But it was a cool experience.
Do you have any superfans?
There are still a lot of people that don’t know me yet, but I can say that I have a big group of fans that are very dedicated and very heartfelt for my music and me as a person. So I’m very, very thankful for that.
If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be?
Rest in peace Michael Jackson, again. The Temptations. My grandfather showed me that movie when I was at a very young age, the Temptations movie. And I’ve always wanted to do a song with Justin Timberlake, too, because I don’t think he’s really doing music right now, but I think that could be a really good collabo.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I always stretch, and pray, and really just meditate. I like to be in a room by myself, and just focus on the show.
What would be your idea of the ultimate success?
I think when my album goes platinum. I think that would be the ultimate success. Or when I win a Grammy award, or some big award.
What’s coming up for you?
I will be doing some more films in the future, so be on the lookout for that coming up next year. I’m very, very excited about that. And I’m just working on my album. My new single is out, “You Come First.” I’m really excited about this song. I’m also working on the next single for the fans, just to keep bringing music out there.
For more on Jacob, check out his website.