Tricky Stewart Speaks On His Michael Jackson Experience


John Kennedy / June 25, 2011

“I met Michael years and years ago in the early 90s like 1993. And one day he was working at a tudio and he was about to block the studio for a couiple weeks. I was running over and he and teddy riley were trying to kick me out bc I was working all night. At that time he would have a bunch of video games to create the vibe and he caught me playing one of his pacman games and he was like you know youre playing my game right? laughs. There’s no mistaking that voice. I turn around and there he was. he was just kidding though, real cool. it was just amazing to be in his presence, it was a dream come true. Everyone who’s ever done music has wanted to do something with Michael Jackson. I believe he was the numnber one call in all of music for pretty much all of his career. 

it was quick. I was just in awe. He might have said other things, but at that point you don’t hear much (laughs). You’ll never know you’ll react until he’s right behind. I thought I was cool around every star, but there’s the ones that still shake you up.

I worked on three songs for MJ, one of them which definietyely made it and two for other projects. The song is called Keep Your Head Up

We were planning on getting together at some point before, my camp and his camp. And it looked like were going to work together, but we never got to actually get in the studio. But the label contacted me about producing some previously recorded records that he was working on 2007. When I got the opp I said oh I could do something w that one and that one. I got the opp to work on this keep your head up record and it turned out to be pretty great. It’s just him doing him. He produced it and wrote it.

The idea… the way I try to do it… although I do have a sound. There’s no other umbrella, there’s no other single ladies. I believe every artist has a sound and clearly mj has one of the most indetifiable musical sounds out there. It wasn’t about me putting my sound on it, it was about making his sound the best it could be. I put a lot of effot to make sure these records felt like MJ. It was a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to his body of wrk. I was doing the best I could do, just trying to do what he would want me to do. A lot of times it felt like he was in there with me just working on the record.

I didn’t veer off what he did. There is no banging 808s because that’s not what he was known for.

The expectation was there, so there was a bit more pressure that I put on myself. Because im trying to live up to the greatest producer and some of the greatest producer. I want my place in history however it pertains to miachel Jackson that there was a certain level of integrity and creatibity put into the records.

These were works he was working on that he didn’t get the opportunity to finish. Its not me reworking a Michael Jackson, im basically filling in what he didn’t get into. I didn’t go in and create a whole entire track to a Michael Jackson vocal.

I can’t speak for anything other than what I know. The songs I worked on definitely have a really good vibe. They’re well-written, well-produced. They sound like genuine Michael Jackson records.

its got the little verse with the big chorus and the choir that comes in at the end. And he got the chance to get the choir already.

the best part of the experience is about the legacy and the lineage of what it means to have it in my discography. To work in any capacity with the greatest entertainer of all time was a huge moment for me. there’s noone more that I wanted to produce for than Michael Jackson.

One of them I worked on real heavy. A song called Slve to the Rhythem. LA and babyface wrote the record. By me having so much familiarity on their music it was lots of fun to beat those guys up. I really wanted to destroy the production on their own record laughs. So that was fun and when I played it for them they were blown away.

Everything is subject to opinion. I personally believe, given the opp to work on a mj project, I was def going to do it. I think at the end of the day, theres something to be said about the mysteriousness of his work being there. But theres something about your music being able to live on till the end of time. we’re celebrating the beatles pretty heavily right now and right before Christmas. Michael Jackson to some people wont be remembered after a certain point. It’s great to always be celebrating the greatness of people. Michael Jackson is a national treasure. He was big for our country. I think it’s the right thing to do to let people live on. I understand the case for both sides, but I knew I could keep the integrity of his music. “