Thriller 25 sessions--Michael Jackson (2008)
“I was working with Michael for two years before the Thriller anniversary album even came up. The first time I met him, I was really nervous. But he’s so open and charismatic, and lighthearted and bighearted that he made me really comfortable. It was crazy how much music knowledge he had. He had a big heart, but he was very fragile. He was emotional, so vulnerable. He had been taken advantage of by so many people in the past, but he managed to stay very wise in the industry. I learned a lot from him. For the Thriller 25 album we remixed ‘The Girl Is Mine’ (‘The Girl Is Mine 2008’) and ‘P.Y.T.’ (‘Pretty Young Thing 2008). Do you know how crazy it was to work on songs from such a big album like Thriller? That’s the biggest album of all time!
The first time I met Michael face to face was in Ireland. He asked me about my name. He was like, ‘So, the name I AM, do you know what that means? It’s a very powerful name.’ We would talk about how powerful the name Michael was from Michelangelo to Michael Jordan. We just became real friends. He would call me on my birthday, father’s day. I would call him on his birthday and even Christmas. He didn’t like recording in LA anymore, so he recorded at my house, which was outside of LA. Michael’s people wanted to pay for my plane ticket to Ireland and asked me how much money I wanted. And I’m like, ‘I don’t want any money. And I’ll pay for my own plane ticket.’ I didn’t want to be one of those producers that took advantage of Michael Jackson and his money. I love music and he loved music, so if the music that we made ever comes out we can figure out how everyone’s compensated later. I still have Mike’s vocals. There will never be another Michael Jackson. He’s the greatest, man.”