“If you look at a work of art like a child, then imagine deciding to have a baby, going through prenatal care, nausea, morning sickness, a few scares at the obstetrician’s, stretch marks, hours upon hours of labor pains until finally a gunk-covered screaming newborn pops out. What if after all that you had to parade your baby around in public, brag to everyone about how it’s the best baby that was ever born, update your Facebook and Twitter feeds every fifteen minutes, smile and nod while the particularly opinionated give you “honest” feedback about how your baby is pretty good but you should try having a larger, happier baby next time, spam up all your friends’ inboxes with e-newsletters, and Google your baby obsessively throughout the day in the hopes that someone influential out there heard word of your wondrous gift to the world and wants to hire you to make more babies that are better than this one? Does that sound like fun?”—Akil Nadir on self promotion as an artist.
As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.
One of his engineers Robmix on how Jackson worked: “One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. “here’s the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here’s the second chord first note, second note, third note”, etc., etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57. He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Steve Porcaro once told me he witnessed MJ doing that with the string section in the room. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything. Not just little eight bar loop ideas. he would actually sing the entire arrangement into a micro-cassette recorder complete with stops and fills.”
Reasons why I laugh when people say he wasn’t a real musician.