TOTP - TJ

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TJ, the baby of the trio, tells us why he's so careful with money, how he was spoilt by Auntie LaToya and what really frightens him...

You've described yourself as messy and lazy. Just how bad are you?
Pretty bad! (laughs sheepishly) I'm working on it though. Anyway, Taj is as lazy as me. Taryll's more worried about keeping his room clean, whereas I don't care. Taj reckoned he'd cleaned his room for the first time for months the other day, but I couldn't tell the difference! Sometimes when I'm in bed and I need to use the bathroom, I'll roll over and think, "Oh, I'll hold on".

We hear you've just won a scholarship to America's top business school. Are you going to go?
Well, the school is in Pennsylvania which is a long way from LA so I don't know what to do. I really want to go to the school but it will make it difficult for the group. It's a tough decision. I'd rather go now than put my place on hold, and maybe I'll be able to go for just a semester. Anyway we need a break so it might do everyone some good.

How come you're so interested in business?
It's from watching my Uncle Michael and seeing him have so many different projects, such as his record company and this new entertainment park, the Magic Kingdom, in France. I'd really like to have my own record company some day. I'd also like to own a baseball team and maybe even a basketball team too. That's my ambition and that's how it's going to be.

So are you good with money?

Yeah, I'm probably more careful with money than my brothers. I'm aware of where our money goes and then I tell my brothers so they know too. But I'm not into money for money's sake. I'm into freedom and money gives you control which gives you freedom.

Do you find people don't listen to you because you're the youngest?
Definitely. A lot of record company people think I'm just a kid. I am a kid but I still have a point of view. People say to me, "Don't worry about it", so I'll make one of my brothers put my point across instead. It's frustrating. My Uncle Michael said he had the same experience when he was young. He wanted to write songs for years and the record company told him that all he should do was sing.

Do you see much of your godmother LaToya?

Not so much now. She always used to take me to the store and buy me loads of gum. She used to spoil me! Nowadays, apart from my dad, the family I see most are my uncles Jackie and Jermaine and Michael.

Did you find it difficult when your mom and dad split up?
Yeah, I did. I think I was about nine or ten when it happened and it was one of the hardest things I've had to face. I heard them fight a lot and that was tough. I think that's may be why I hate fighting and arguing. When I had a girlfriend, I couldn't bear arguing with her, I'd rather just walk away and let our tempers cool down.

Do you feel you've had to grow up very quickly?
Yeah, there are definitely times when I feel a lot older than my friends. They're really amazed that I have to do things like taxes. My parents have always brought me up to pay for things and I was never spoilt.

Your brothers reckon you were always spoilt.
(Laughing) I totally disagree! Although I suppose, being the youngest, I do get away with things they wouldn't.

They've described you as athletic and smart. Is that a good description?
Yeah, I guess so. I love sports, I love to play everyday. I also love competing and I have to win. My brothers have to win too but at the moment, Taryll keeps losing, ha! Our family is very competitive in case you haven't guessed.

What's your biggest strength and weakness?
My strength is my determination. I go for the top and don't let anything stand in my way. My weakness is that I like to sleep too much. I could sleep for 12 or 13 hours a day.

What really scares you?

I'm frightened by insects but especially spiders. I think it's because they look so strange - their legs are too long! The bigger they are, the worse it is for me. If there's a spider in the bath, I won't know what to do. I might call Taryll to get rid of it, but I'd never kill it. I don't like them but it's not their fault they're spiders.

Are you romantic or cool-headed in love?

I can be quite romantic but I stay pretty cool too. I like to spend a lot of time with a new girlfriend, so I can get to know her. If I really fell in love with someone, I'd want to talk to her every second, every day.

How important are looks to you?
They're not. I've been attracted to girls who could never have been models, but they had attractive personalities - there was just something about them. I like sweet, kind girls, not ones with attitude who seem to have something to prove.

Do you show your emotions easily?

No, I keep them pretty much under control. Both Taj and I do that. I don't like it when people change moods too much, when little things really affect how happy they are. When Taryll wins something, he'll be really happy. I tend to stay calmer and be more consistent.

Would you say you're the quietest one in 3T?
I'm quiet, yeah, although I don't know whether I'm quieter than Taryll. When I first meet someone, I like to study them. Taj talks, you know, Taj could talk to anyone for hours and hours.

Do you remember the last time you cried?
I know I cried recently, but I can't remember exactly when or why. People shouting at their kids makes me upset and it seems to happen a lot here in LA. I used to cry at sad bits in movies. I'd tell myself it was only a movie, but I couldn't stop. It used to make me so mad. Fortunately, I've grown out of that now!

 

 

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