Darren Blogs News

Janet Love founder launches new gay-friendly travel company

Founder of Janet Love, Darren Burn, has launched his new gay-friendly travel company –

The company, which features over 100 suggested itineraries to over 30 countries, will create tailor-made experiences and holidays, all of which are gay friendly, allowing customers to design their perfect holiday (vacation) safe in the knowledge that the trip is suitable for them. is the world’s first mainstream travel company to cater to the LGBT market and use photos of gay and lesbian couples alongside their straight counterparts has launched today.

Darren said: “For years I’ve seen travel websites and companies neglect the LGBT market, especially in the marketing and photos they use. I never felt that anything catered for the kind of holiday I wanted to go on – one where I can immerse myself in a destination, experience it in full but also safe in the knowledge that all the people I’m handing my cash to are welcoming to gay travellers.”

He continues: “I want to be the first port of call for gay travellers looking to experience something a little different to what’s been on offer previously. We’ve built some really innovative itineraries and can customise almost everything about a trip. Most of the destinations we cover are suitable for everyone, regardless of who you love, and in many instances we’re using trendier boutique hotels rather than large chains which adds a personal touch.”

The site has launched to a fanfare and a flurry of bookings. Customers from across the world are welcome to request a tailor-made proposal from Out Of Office.

It also provides up-to-date information on the LGBT laws in each country it covers to enable customers to make informed decisions on their travel choices.

Customers who are looking to plan and tailor-make their next holiday should visit or call on +44 20 7157 1570.

Darren Blogs

Darren Blogs: A week of Unbreakable – a fan’s deeply personal perspective

It’s been a week since we were graced with Janet’s latest piece of art – Unbreakable. Barely a bad word has been spoken about the album which is clearly a gear shift and key change from her previous few albums.

I wanted to take time to immerse myself in the album fully before I posted my own review of the work. Indeed, on first listen I was so overwhelmed by the sound I was experiencing and the multi-layering of instrument upon instrument and vocal upon vocal that I was unable to process what I was hearing. My immediate reaction was to wince at it all. Granted, I was giving it my first listen at 2am in the morning after a late night flight and driving home from the airport exhausted while my housemate Sam was having an asthma attack next to me so I wasn’t exactly best placed to make a sober judgement about the album.

Thankfully a new day came and a second listen almost instantly turned my wincing into a new level of emotion and one which realised the profound nature of what I had in my CD player. The tiredness and the sheer emotion felt on listening to a new Janet album had been all too much for a weary Darren, exacerbated by the fact that the past few months I’ve been going through some deep personal turmoil in the shape of a breakup from a man I thought I’d be spending my future with.

Before the album was even released I knew that there would be tracks on it that would cut deep based on my present emotional state of mind. Indeed, even sitting here writing this, I can hear in my head the delicate tones of Janet’s words on After You Fall. It’s a song that I’ve cried to several times, including once spontaneously whilst working out and lifting weights on my living room floor. Quite a sight, trust me!

The thing we all know about J is that her lyrics are so deep but so applicable to many life situations. She’s likely talking about the death of her brother Michael, whilst I’m relating it directly to my own personal situation.

Those who don’t know Janet’s works well will dismiss her work as light and upbeat. Indeed most non fans don’t even realise the real meaning behind Together Again. But for those of us who have grown up on weekly doses of The Velvet Rope to help us understand the things that life throws at us, we know that the layers behind Janet’s messages don’t just get penned on paper in seconds. In fact they develop over years and that’s why it’s taken seven years – arguably 17 years since Rope (perhaps with the exception of Better Days) – for us to get to this depth again with Janet.

Much has been written about Unbreakable from a critic’s perspective. I have read little from a fan’s perspective on the personal impact it has had on people. Much has been said about The Great Forever being an anthem for LGBT people to give them the strength to live their lives authentically. Indeed, in my last blog, I talked about a book called The Velvet Rage I recently discovered (named after Rope) which examines that very idea of authentic living. I’m not sure Janet necessarily wrote the song with that specific purpose in mind, but the beauty again of her lyrics is that she never needs to clarify exactly what a song is about because it reaches and permeates so many different situations and people. What on the surface is a dig at critics questioning Janet’s life choices reaches new levels when you apply a filter of the LGBT community – and rightly so.

Shoulda Known Better – a track about the fact that Janet hoped for more from her Rhythm Nation album and its socially conscious messages – speaks to me on that initial level but then I apply the idea that plenty of situations in life will find you making decisions when you know that they aren’t necessarily the right ones for you and that your subconscious probably knew all along that that was the case.

As the album moves to After You Fall – I’ve just put it on as I can rarely listen to it without getting too emotional – Janet takes us on a deeply personal journey through darker aspects of life. In this day and age of instant gratification and barely having time to remember your own name with the proliferation of technology, it’s easy to forget and paper over heartache and pain. It’s easy to never reach that level with interpersonal relationships, whether they be romantic or not, where you open yourself up to others in an authentic way. And then, when you do and it doesn’t go the way you were hoping, the fall is inevitably that bit more painful. Perhaps that’s why in the modern world we live in people don’t have time to take stock and appreciate the depth of songs like this.

I know that it’s taken me 17 years of listening to The Velvet Rope to finally face up to some of the messages on there. Indeed, I’m approaching 30 myself now and that was the age that Janet would have written the album at. Perhaps that’s why I’m seeing even deeper meaning in songs like SpecialYou and Velvet Rope now than I ever have before.

When Janet says the words: “Who’s gonna care for you after you fall? Who’s gonna be there after you fall? I will“, she’s not telling us that she will literally be there to pick up the pieces. But she’s telling us to give her music a listen and to use it as a framework to take a step outside the frantic lives we lead and to find catharsis and solace in it.

In Broken Hearts Heal, Janet is singing of the loss of Michael and even caused one critic to describe it as an even better track than Together Again in terms of its content. Night takes us on a journey to remember the experience of new love and how “darkness starts to fade”. Indeed you could listen to After You Fall, Broken Hearts Heal and Night and relate them directly to a breakup if you wanted and indeed Janet is clearly giving us a journey through the loss of Michael and onto new love with now husband Wissam.

My own least favourite track on the album – yes we’re all allowed one, but only one – is Dream Maker / Euphoria. Not that the lyrics don’t speak volumes, but the melody and production take me back to sounding like something off 20 Y.O.

So let’s move on from that quickly and onto the brilliant 2 B Loved. And my word don’t we all “want to be needed” and doesn’t “everybody needs to feel love”. And haven’t we all felt deleted “cos you lost your love”. For me Janet reminding her lover that she’s not perfect but she’s perfect for them speaks volumes. Anyone looking for perfection in life will soon come unstuck and whilst settling for something adequate is not the track, realising when you’re onto a good thing is equally important.

Take Me Away continues the theme for me of finding that euphoric love. A love with which you can escape all your problems with that one person to “somewhere the air is clear”. Janet wants to “go somewhere the love has no fear”. We’ve all been in relationships where you feel on edge, uncertainty or scepticism but with this song Janet is telling us to find that love that doesn’t leave you fearful – and in this instance I don’t mean fearful in the sense of Lessons Learned and its domestic violence themes.

Again though, in Lessons Learned whilst few of us will have experienced domestic violence Janet speaks to us on a number of levels. Apply the matrix of a past (or existing) relationship where you’ve ended up going round and round in circles and apology after apology results in you still going back. “Codependent lover that’s her tune, For now his song plays on, Will you play yours too, It goes on and on and on, Is it cool?”

I’ve seen much written by fans about Black Eagle and how it relates directly to racism experienced by black men. Again the beauty of the track is that it was likely written along those lines but as a white man it speaks an entirely different message to me: “Once you know, you can’t not know”. You can’t go back from things you know, but that doesn’t mean that you need to dwell on them. “Just remember when you’re overwhelmed, dream and take some time to love yourself, believe you’re free to do whatever you want”. A bit of self love can get us all a long way.

In fact a bit of research I did and wrote about on Twitter earlier this week questioned what “No more Room No 4” was that Janet refers to in the track. Well Room No 4 is in fact is an interrogation room in the Russian Compound – the main Israeli police office in Jerusalem – where Palestinian Jerusalem residents, including children, are investigated. We all know that Janet and Wissam visited the region recently and so in fact the track is likely written about the victims and refugees from conflicts.

I found great solace in Well Traveled when Janet sings that her bucket list contains destinations she’s never been to but that she has “Gotta keep movin’, Until I’m gonna find the place, I never wanna arrive, Cause if I ever reach there, There’s no place left to go”. Life should never leave you feeling like there’s nothing left in it. There are multiple challenges, experiences and shenanigans to experience. So keep on travelling.

And for its final hoorah on Gon’ B Alright Janet tells us to embrace love. In all its forms. “Put a little love into everything you do”, she croons. See the positive in it all and become a little more mindful in the energy we put out into the universe and guess what JanFam, it’ll come right back at you. Who’s with me?

Please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts below.

Darren Burn is the founder of Janet Love and and lives in the UK.

Darren Blogs Unbreakable World Tour

Darren Blogs: Janet’s perfect delivery

So here we are, three shows in and Miss Janet Jackson has given us, the fans, an astonishing amount of new material delivered with sheer precision in both its marketing strategy and its content.

Since her initial announcement in May, Janet and her team have engineered her return to world domination with gentle but well planned and meticulous timing.

Through a series of coordinated tweets and posts, Janet has been in control of her own content releasing new material in a steady fashion but giving fans enough to “keep the conversation going”.

Very little has been released exclusively to national media outlets, with the focus instead being on reporters and blogs picking up on material Janet has published herself usually through her Twitter page.

Janet hasn’t done any major sit down interviews, nor has she graced the cover of magazines but the frenzy surrounding her return has been palpable with multiple media outlets regularly giving air time and column inches to Janet’s return.

So how has this new strategy evolved? Firstly, it’s the fact she’s been out of the public eye for an extended period of time. She’s never been one to release albums every year like some of today’s pop empresarios. But this is the first time that Janet has released an album in the new sphere of heavy social media, rapid music turnover and streaming music services.

You’ll notice that by looking at the tracklisting for her new album Unbreakable you’ll see a host of songs and they’re all songs, not interludes. But when you listen to the title track Unbreakable you’ll notice it’s sandwiched between two very distinctive Janet interludes but they form the body of the album track. It’s likely that this is a very clever ploy to ensure that singles can continue to be released in traditional format without the interludes to enable fans to purchase slightly different versions of the song when they are released down the line and to give the album a shelf life longer than others. As far as I’m aware it’s the first time any artist has done this but it’s clear that Janet intends to make sure that this album lasts the duration of her tour.

These days artists tend to release several singles before then announcing the album and releasing it in order to generate as many sales and streams as possible. Janet’s team openly acknowledge that chart positions aren’t the prime goal here. They are an added bonus, but the message Janet is portraying is the key.

Lyrically we know that Janet’s most recent albums haven’t reached the depths of the introspective and contemplative Velvet Rope. But it’s clear that Unbreakable will see a return to the profound lyrics we all know and love Janet for. Lyrics that touch each and every one of her fans in different ways.

Only recently have I discovered a book called The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs which is named after the album and talks about issues faced by gay men as they grow up and the need to self reflect, analyse and find contentment in oneself. It’s an analysis that Janet plunged into in the Velvet Rope with lyrics such as “we all have the need to feel special” and “check in the mirror my friend, no lies will be told then, pointing the finger again, you can’t blame nobody but you”. It shows just how far and deep Janet’s message can permeate.

On Unbreakable we’ve already had insight into the depths Janet is going to with this album. Reuniting with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis she sings: “I lived through my mistakes, it’s just a part of growing”, presumably in reference to failed marriages and public vitriol that came as a result of the Superbowl.

And the track titles reveal their own depth with the album being clearly dedicated to falling in love, breaking up and being augmented with socially conscious messages such as that displayed on Shoulda Known Better and Lessons Learned.

The opening of the Unbreakable Tour in Vancouver also brought with it total surprises for the fans. Premièring new tracks, until the lights went down and the show started no one had even caught wind of the fact that Janet had a new track with Missy Elliott.

The surprises kept on coming with new choreography and three further new tracks taken from the album. We’ve already been told by Janet’s choreographer Gil Duldulao to expect changes between leg one and two and I understand that Janet is set to perform at London’s O2 Arena on 30th April 2016 which means we’re already expecting a third leg.

And the surprises will keep on coming I’m reliably informed. The regular use of the hashtag #ConversationsInACafe still hasn’t become apparent. It will in due course.

Reiterating the lyrics of the track The Great Forever, in which Janet tells others not to speculate about her life or the way she lives it, we’re reminded that that’s exactly what she’s doing with the release of Unbreakable. She is releasing the music directly to the fans through Rhythm Nation Records, when she wants and how she wants. And my word should we be grateful she’s even doing it at all.

Let’s keep the conversation going (by leaving your comments below).

Darren Burn – Founder, Janet Love /

Darren Blogs

Darren Blogs: Janet Love reopens

Welcome back Janet Lovers. It’s a new era and it’s time we regrouped and had a centralised place to share the Janet Love.

The #janfam is big. The new album and new tour that Janet has in store is the first that will benefit from heavy social media promotion. We have already seen in the last few days an insurgence of activity on Twitter and other social platforms.

Janet trended multiple times on her birthday and that was down to the devoted fan base.

This is the first time we can come together as a fan group to promote her project to a wider and new audience. We are stronger together. So let’s stay that way.

We welcome contributions by allowing you to comment on any news we post. Start the conversation.

There isn’t much of the old site left but I did manage to retrieve some old news stories from 2008 which I’ve uploaded – its format might be a little awry but it’s better than nothing.

I’ll be updating you with news as it happens and we’ve some very special surprises over the coming months for you. So get involved. Let’s keep the conversation going…

Darren Blogs

Sick unofficial Janet choreography

There is some truly amazing unofficial choreography on YouTube to Janet songs that I wanted to share with you. Obviously this is just a very small sample of what is available but there are some really amazing dancers out there…

Darren Blogs

Janet’s European vibe

So a little thought occurred to me yesterday as I was listening to the Damita Jo album. Some of my favourite Janet tracks of recent years are European produced or written. Producers like Stargate and writers like Cathy Dennis have given Janet some of her best tracks in my opinion.

Now, does that mean that because I’m British I affiliate more with such songs? Or does it just mean that the songs are actually bloody good and have an international reach?

For those of you that aren’t sure which tracks I’m talking about, they include: 2nite, Island Life, All Nite (Don’t Stop) and Slolove.

In fact, I’d be bold enough to say that I think Janet should work with Stargate on a whole album of up-tempo stuff – because (in my opinion again!) that’s the best material she produces! But maybe that’s just because I’m a British/European music lover.

I’d welcome your thoughts – especially Transatlantic ones.

Darren Blogs

Janet’s most candid interview ever?!

Someone’s just sent me an interview that I missed first time round from August 2006 which is 110% brilliant. In it, Janet admits to taking liquid cocaine without knowing what is was, who she’d save from drowning between Jermaine Dupri and Michael Jackson.

The interview from Power 106FM sees Janet answer questions from “The hat of forbidden questions“.

Listen to the interview here:

Janet on Power 106FM (Part 1)

Janet on Power 106FM (Part 2)

Darren Blogs

Rewind to 2004: Janet on Jonathan Ross

In what is perhaps my favourite ever UK-based Janet interview, I wanted to give those of you that never saw it first time round a chance to watch Janet on the BBC show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Watch the two clips below.


Darren Blogs

Janet mashups

So there are quite a few decent Janet music mashups on the internet featuring some of her tracks mixed together.

Indeed, there are others which feature a Janet track hashed with another artist.

But they never seem to be the ones I want to hear. I am dying to hear a version of R&B Junkie mixed with 2Nite and also Let Me Know mixed with Wanna Love You Girl by Robin Thicke as they have identical beats.

So if anyone knows of one, or feels like making one then you’d be my ickle hero!


Darren Blogs

My favourite Feedback fan video

Without a shadow of a doubt, out of all the fan videos I’ve seen, this submission to Janet’s contest by BoogieZone is the best.

The 10-minute short dance film features a great mix of Janet tracks and so much effort and thought has clearly gone into it.

Well done to all involved. Watch it below.