Janet Jackson Says She'll Release 'Music at Some Point' but Her 'No. 1 Job Is Being a Mama'

Janet Jackson appears on the July/August cover of Essence

It's been seven years since Janet Jackson put out a new album — and while fans will have to wait a bit longer for a follow-up, the star is promising that she does have plans to release new music eventually.

Though Jackson remains passionate about her career, it's taken a backseat to motherhood in recent years, she tells Essence in their July/August issue, for which PEOPLE is exclusively premiering the cover.

"Even though it's something that I absolutely love, it still is my work, my job," she explains. "There will be music at some point. Exactly when? I can't say just yet, but there will be. I love it too much not to do it. This is all I know. There's so much that I want to do — but my number one job is being a mama."

The "Rhythm Nation" singer, 56, welcomed son Eissa, 5, in January 2017 with ex-husband Wissam Al Mana.

Janet Jackson Says She’ll Release ‘Music at Some Point’ But Her ‘No. 1 Job Is Being a Mama’
Janet Jackson's Essence cover. Yu Tsai

Jackson admits to Essence that fame doesn't mean much to her. She says she doesn't have any of her five Grammys or any other awards on display in her home and feels that success is earned elsewhere, like spending time with Eissa or recognizing her growth from child star into "the woman that I am today."

Though her legendary catalog is what earned her a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, the star tells Essence that she doesn't place much weight on recognition — even amid cries from friends and collaborators that she hasn't received her just due as an R&B innovator.

"That's not important to me, whether I did or didn't, to be quite honest," she says. "It's really the body of music touching people and how it impacts their lives that matters to me. It's not the accolades. I honestly don't think about that stuff."

After five decades of stardom, Jackson, who will headline Essence's annual music fest in New Orleans later this month, also says that there's still plenty that the public gets wrong about her.

"When it comes to my personal life, I think mistaking my kindness for weakness," she says. "When it comes to my professional life, I would say it would have to be not liking to hear the word 'no.' Especially being a woman, and someone telling you, 'No, you can't because…'"

Jackson has largely remained out of the spotlight since welcoming Eissa, and a source told PEOPLE in February that motherhood has brought the star a new perspective.

"While a career entertainer and workhorse, she has taken to being a parent with the same passion," said the insider at the time. "She is so happy and has found new meaning in her life."

To celebrate his birthday in January, Jackson shared a sweet message via Instagram, writing: "You're growing up so fast. Such an intelligent beautiful boy. Wishing you a life full of magical moments."

The "Together Again" singer previously revealed that Eissa "loves music," and has even been practicing the drums on a kit given to him by Questlove.

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