Jaafar Jackson is the latest member of his famous family to burst onto the music scene. Born and raised in Encino, California, the 23-year-old singer is the nephew of late global superstar Michael Jackson.

Jackson made headlines last year with the release of his first single, Got Me Singing, from his forthcoming debut album. This upbeat anthem is a fusion of South American-style tunes, Brazilian baile funk (Portuguese rap set to Miami bass-style hip hop) and 90s electronic house music. Written by Jackson, the song is about the joy of finding new love.

The video for Got Me Singing was filmed in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, Vidigal, an illegal if picturesque hillside settlement, and Jackson can be seen grooving with Brazilians, with moves reminiscent of his famous uncle.

Despite belonging to a family of celebrated singers, music was not Jackson’s first career choice when he was younger. He wanted to be a professional golfer, and even competed in tournaments as a precocious nine-year-old, until his father, Jermaine Jackson, 65, introduced him to the 1973 Jackson 5 song Touch, originally recorded by the Supremes.

“Growing up, I didn’t know that I could sing,” he says. “Golf was my only passion and it was all I ever wanted to do until my father discovered the musical side of me.”

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