On Music


"Michael was embodiment of music."

Slash, guitarist (Guns´n´Roses)



"He was music. He embodied the music."

Kenny Ortega, director



"Indeed, in Jackson´s case he literally embodied the music. It charged through him like an electric current. He mediated it through every means at his disposal - his voice, his body, his dances, films, words, technology and performances. His work was multi-media in a way never before experienced."

Joe Vogel, The Misunderstood Power of Michael Jackson´s Music www.truemichaeljackson.com/on-music/the-misunderstood-power/ 



"Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!"

Sean "Diddy" Combs



"Music is a mantra that soothes the soul..., something our body has to have. It´s important to understand the power of music."

Michael Jackson



"People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song. So I stay in the moment and listen.

What I hear is never the same. A walk through the woods brings a light, crackling song: Leaves rustle in the wind, birds chatter and squirrels scold, twigs crunch underfoot and the beat of my heart holds it all together. When you join the flow, the music is inside and outside, and both are the same. As long as I can listen to the moment, I’ll always have music."

Michael Jackson in his book Dancing the Dream




"The songwriting process is something very difficult to explain, because it's very spiritual. It's, uh...You really have it in the hands of God, and it's as if its been written already - that's the real truth. As if its been written in its entirety before were born and you're just really the source through which the song come. Really. Because there is...they just fall right into your lap in it's entirety. You don't have to do much thinking about it. And I feel guilty having to put my name, sometimes, on the songs that I - I do write them - I compose them, I write them, I do the scoring, I do the lyrics, I do the melodies but still, it's a...it's a work of God."

Michael Jackson, online audio chat, October 21st, 2001



"I don't think it’s necessary to read music. I don't, neither did Lennon and McCartney… Each time I hear chords, any type of chord progression, I hear a million different melodies in my head." ¨

Michael Jackson (Dangerous Deposition, 1994)



“Painting the image you have in your head on the sonic canvas.  You translate the sounds in your mind to tape, and make the listeners a partner of your own created soundscape.’ 

Michael Jackson


"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.

His beatboxing was without parallel, and his time was ridiculous.

His sense of harmony was incredible. Never a bad note, no tuning, even his breathing was perfectly in time."

Rob Hoffman (Sounds Engineer)



“Michael Jackson may be the purest talent I’ve ever seen. He’s incapable of a false moment.” 

Sidney Lumet



Michael Jackson - Beatboxing Tabloid Junkie:



"Jackson had an extraordinary vocal range. He could easily sing bass, baritone and tenor. He always chose the tenor range, delineating his umistakable high, angelic tone. Michael was willing to make any sacrifice (for his voice). During the summer tours in the stifling heat of the south, he turned off the air conditioning and threw open windows, saying that the humidity and heat were a cure-all for the vocal cords. When you passed his room you would hear him practicing at any hour. After and exhausting rehearsal session and still covered in sweat, he would start vocalizing again. He pushed himself to exhaustion, beyond all limits, and he was very disciplined. He didn´t drink, he didn´t smoke, he didn´t do drugs. He had zero tolerance for swearing and cursing, sexually explicit or racist jokes. he lived in a dimension of ideal purity. 

Seth Riggs, vocal coach



Michael Jackson & Seth Riggs Vocal Training Session:


"I love to write songs. It´s one of my favourite things to do. It´s very spiritual. It´s a connection. I´m just a source through which it comes. I´m inspired by a lot of things but it´s done in the heavens. I listen to the music and I just create from there."

Michael Jackson



“Writing a song is like standing under a tree and trying to catch a leaf. Everything comes as a package. It’s the most wonderful, most spiritual thing …”

Michael Jackson, 1993


“I wake up from dreams and go “Wow, put this down on paper.” The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face.”

Michael Jackson



“The lyrics, the strings, the chords, everything comes at the moment like a gift that is put right into your head and that’s how I hear it.”

Michael Jackson during the deposition of ‘Dangerous’ court case in 1994



Michael Jackson - Beat it (Demo)



"I wrote ‘Will You Be There’ at my house, Neverland in California… I didn’t think about it hard. That’s why it’s hard to take credit for the songs that I write, because I just always feel that it’s done from above. I feel fortunate for being that instrument through which music flows. I’m just the source through which it comes. I can’t take credit for it because it’s God’s work. He’s just using me as the messenger…"

Michael Jackson in Ebony Jet interview, May 1992




“I compose them. I write them. I do the scoring.  I do the lyrics. I do the melodies. But still, it’s a work of God.”

Michael Jackson




“Sometimes you feel like something’s coming, a gestation, almost like a pregnancy.  You get emotional and you start to feel something gestating and, MAGIC, there it is!  An explosion of something that’s so beautiful, you go, WOW!  There it is!  That’s how it works through you.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s a universe where you can go with those 12 notes.”

 MJ in Ebony Interview 2007 




“I’ll just sing the bass part into the tape recorder. I’ll take that bass lick and put the chords of the melody over the bass lick and that’s what inspires the melody,” 

Michael Jackson explained, before beat-boxing in court in 1993



Michael Jackson about creating music at the Dangerous Court Case Deposition 1994


Question: "Where do you look for inspiration when you write your songs. Does inspiration come from a variety of different places?“

Michael Jackson: "Well, the best songs that are written write themselves. You don't ask for them, they just drop into your lap. Then there are those songs that, you know, you kind of uh, incubate. You know, you plant the seed, let the subconscious take its course, and within time you hope something comes, and most the time it does. I don't believe in the concept of writer's block -- that is a bad word. You create it when you say it. There's no such thing. Um, like any painter or sculptor, they paint... they do their best work when they're in the 60s and their 70s. Fred Astaire did his best dancing when he was in his 70s. Angelo [Michelangelo] sculpted late into his 60s and 70s, doing brilliant ingenious work. But in the music business some of these great artists have become stumped because they self-abuse themselves at a young age, with all these crazy things they drink and pills and things, and uh, that's just not good -- just not a good thing. I hate to say that to hurt anybody, but we should take care of our bodies a little more.
Online audio chat Oct 26th 2001



"We would work on a track and then we’d meet at his house, play what we worked on, and he would say, ‘Smelly, let it talk to you.’ I’d go, ‘OK.’ He’d say, ‘If the song needs something, it’ll tell you. Let it talk to you.’ I’ve learned to do that. The key to being a wonderful writer is not to write. You just get out of the way. Leave room for God to walk in the room. And when I write something that I know is right, I get on my knees and say thank you. Thank you, Jehovah!"

Michael Jackson about working with Quinci Jones, Ebony Magazine 2007



Question: How do you channel your creativity?
Michael: I don’t force it, I let nature take its course. I don’t sit at the piano and think, I’m going to write the greatest song of all time. It doesn’t happen. It has to be given to you. I believe it’s already up there before you are born, and then it drops right into your lap. It’s the most spiritual thing in the world. When it comes, it comes with all the accompaniments, the strings, the bass, the drums, the lyrics, and you’re just the medium through which it comes, the channel. Sometimes I feel guilty putting my name on songs — written by Michael Jackson — because it’s as if the heavens have done it already. Like Michelangelo would have this huge piece of marble from the quaries of Italy, and he’d say, “Inside is a sleeping form.” He takes a hammer and chisel, and he’s just freeing it. It’s already in there. It’s already there.

Vibe Magazine, March 2002


Michael Jackson in studio. They talk about "Beautiful Girl", and about creating songs:



"I´m committed to my art. I believe that all art has as its ultimate goal the union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine. And I believe that that is the very reason for the existence of art and what I do. And I feel fortunate in being that instrument through which music flows…


Deep inside I feel that this world we live in is really a big, huge, monumental symphonic orchestra. I believe that in its primordial form all of creation is sound and that it’s not just random sound, that it’s music. You’ve heard the expression, music of the spheres? Well, that’s a very literal phrase. In the Gospels, we read, “And the Lord God made man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” That ‘breath of life’ to me is the music of life and it permeates every fiber of creation.


In one of the pieces of the ‘Dangerous’ album, I say: “Life songs of ages, throbbing in my blood, have danced the rhythm of the tide and flood.” This is a very literal statement, because the same new miracle intervals and biological rhythms that sound out the architecture of my DNA also governs the movement of the stars. The same music governs the rhythm of the seasons, the pulse of our heartbeats, the migration of birds, the ebb and flow of ocean tides, the cycles of growth, evolution and dissolution. It’s music, it’s rhythm. And my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance. It’s like, my purpose, it’s what I’m here for."

Michael Jackson, Ebony/Jet Interview, May 1992




"I think music soothes the savage beast. If you put cells under a microscope and you put music on, you’ll see them move and start to dance. It affects the soul… I hear music in everything."

Michael Jackson Ebony/Jet Interview, May 1992



"Once the music plays, it creates me. The instruments move me, they control me. Sometimes I´m uncontrollable and it just happens. Boom, boom, boom - once it gets inside of you."

Michael Jackson



"... I remember walking around the lake with him one evening when my music was playing (at Neverland), the lawns looked amazing, everything was just "right", and he stopped and listened to the music. He closed his eyes for several seconds and just stood still. Then he took a deep breath and stood on his toes... and he let out a loud shriek, at the top of his lungs!

He opened his eyes and looked at me and said, "Doesn't music ever effect you that way Brad? Where you can't just listen, but you have to respond somehow?" I can't remember my exact words, but being a slightly awkward Swedish kid I likely tried to be cool and laugh it off.

But I wish I hadn't tried to be cool. 
I WAS effected by that music. 
Just like I AM effected by it today. 
And it was incredible not to just see how it effected him, but how at ease he was with expressing his love of the composition.
I can still see the spot in my memory where we had that conversation."

Brad Sundberg, April 2019: www.instagram.com/inthestudiowithmj/



“I like songs that touch the heart and that stay with a person for a lifetime. And that’s what’s important to me and to the people. That’s what I’m here for. I get things done the way I want them to be done.”

Michael Jackson in his 1979 interview with Sylvia Chase youtu.be/fTTl4Vaow5Y



“Don’t ever impose your thoughts on the music. The music will tell you what it wants to do.” 

Vincent Paterson remembering advice given to him by Michael Jackson




Ebony: You seem impressed by African art but what about African music and dance?
 Michael: When we came off the plane in [Dakar, Senegal] Africa, we were greeted by a long line of African dancers. Their drums and sounds filled the air with rhythm. I was going crazy, I was screaming. I said, “All right!” They got the beat and they got the rhythm…. I just was so glad about the whole thing. This is it, I said. This is where I come from. The origin …
Ebony: You were obviously impressed by your musical roots, so where do you think the Africans derived their musical influence?
Michael: Music started with nature. Music is nature. Birds make music. Oceans make music. Wind makes music. Any natural sound is music. And that’s where it started… You see, we’re just making a replica of nature, which is the sounds we hear outside.
Ebony magazine interview ,1984


„My uncle was always big on teaching my cousins and me about song structure. He would like to break down songs -- he would always start with the base line, and then start humming a melody. He wanted to teach me how things came together, how to portray my voice and where music came from.

Austin Brown, Michael´s nephew




Question: ‘Invincible’ was several years in the making. Does your perfectionism slow the process?
Michael: It did take a while because I’m never happy with the songs. I’ll write a bunch of songs, throw them out, write some more. People say, “Are you crazy? That’s got to go on the album.” But I’ll say, “Is it better than this other one?” You only get 75 minutes on a CD, and we push it to the limit.
Question: Did you approach ‘Invincible’ with a single theme in mind?
Michael: I never think about themes. I let the music create itself. I like it to be a potpourri of all kinds of sounds, all kinds of colors, something for everybody, from the farmer in Ireland to the lady who scrubs toilets in Harlem.
Question: Has it become easier to write songs over time?

Michael: It’s the most effortless thing in the world because you don’t do anything. I hate to say it like that, but it’s the truth. The heavens drop it right into your lap, in its totality. The real gems come that way. You can sit at the piano and say, “OK, I’m going to write the greatest song ever written,” and nothing. But you can be walking down the street or showering or playing and, boom, it hits you in the head. I’ve written so many like that. I’m playing a pinball machine, and I have to run upstairs and get my little tape recorder and start dictating. I hear everything in its totality, what the strings are going to do, what the bass is going to do, the harpsichord, everything.
Question: Is it difficult translating that sound to tape?
Michael: That’s what’s frustrating. In my head, it’s completed, but I have to transplant that to tape. It’s like [Alfred] Hitchcock said, “The movie’s finished.” But he still has to start directing it. The song is the same. You see it in its entirety and then you execute it.

From Interview by Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY, 2001




“Michael was so effective at communicating the emotion.  I mean, sometimes, we would just swell up with emotion when we would hear Michael’s vocal delivery.  There were many times he would sing and it would cut you to the bone.  He would bring you to the edge of tears.”
Matt Forger




"I always want to do music that inspires or influences another generation. You want what you create to live, be it sculpture or painting or music. Like Michelangelo, he said, ´I know the creator will go, but his work survives. That is why to escape death, I attempt to bind my soul to my work.’ And that’s how I feel. I give my all to my work. I want it to just live."

Michael Jackson



“There's no use creating music that people don't want. The object is to bring joy to other people's lives.”

Michael Jackson



"I try to be very positive in my songs when I write them and look at the bright side of things and I’m not totally happy with the situation of the world. But I always try to write something with a positive message in it to convey hope to people to make things better and to not look at the downside all the time."

Michael Jackson




"For me, he was the largest figure in music, I was inspired and entertained by his ability to reach all walks of life. It's a legacy of creating great music that appeals to people without compromising yourself." 

MC Saleem Heggins



"There is no question that Michael Jackson is one of the greatest talents the world has ever known. That when he sang a song at the ripe old age of eight he could make you feel like an experienced adult was squeezing your heart with his words. That when he moved he had the elegance of Fred Astaire and packed the punch of Muhammad Ali. That his music had an extra layer of inexplicable magic that didn’t just make you want to dance but actually made you believe you could fly, dare to dream, be anything that you wanted to be.(...)"

Madonna, MTV VMA 2009

“I believe Michael infused a very genuine philanthropic spirit into specific songs, and they echoed the sincerity and the depth of his character and content. Earth Song really speaks to the humanity that I attempt to appreciate in my own music. As a songwriter, sometimes you find it very difficult to find the words to express yourself. You want to be vague enough that someone could interpret it in their own way. You want that transparency. And I think Earth Song has that. It’s not hooky, it’s just a wail…a cry for help.  It’s very painful.  Even just singing the melody brings the sensation and the spirit of that song to the surface of my skin.  I’ve been there before.  Like all music, in its origin, it’s for praise or for redemption.  It’s truly a redemption song.  It’s a message to those who have become comfortably numb from someone who seemingly had it all.  For him to have everything and still be able to hurt for humanity? That should put us all in our respective places.”
“Michael Jackson’s art transcended every way that human beings have thought of to separate themselves and then healed those divisions…at least at the instant that we shared his music as the globally understood grammar of love.”

Michael Eric Dyson

Earth Song - Live Brunei 1996 - The Royal Concert


“Michael was so effective at communicating the emotion. I mean, sometimes, we would just swell up with emotion when we would hear Michael’s vocal delivery. There were many times he would sing and it would cut you to the bone. He would bring you to the edge of tears.”
Matt Forger


" I have immigrant parents .... but i was born in germany ... one time, back in 1996, my grandmother visited us .. she was already very very old, she couldnt speak german nor english. we talked in my mother tongue ... one night, when she was about to go to bed, i played Earth Song for her ... she said "I dont understand a word he sings ... but I feel he has a very important message to tell, I can feel it in his voice" ... I will never forget that ..."
xabun´s YouTube comment under Michael Jackson - Earth Song | Live Brunei 1996 - Voice Teacher Reaction youtu.be/lMNDfk_Pt78
"In early 1985 we cut "We Are the World" at an all-night all-star recording session that was held after the ceremony for the American Music Awards. I wrote the song with Lionel Richie after seeing the appalling news footage of starving people in Ethiopia and Sudan.
Around that time, I used to ask my sister Janet to follow me into a room with interesting acoustics, like a closet of the bathroom, and I'd sing to her, just a note, a rhythm of a note. It wouldn't be a lyric or anything; I'd just hum from the bottom of my throat. I'd say, "Janet, what do you see? What do you see when you hear this sound?" And this time she said, "Dying children in Africa."
"You're right. That's what I was dictating from my soul."
And she said, "You're talking about Africa. You're talking about dying children." That's where "We Are the World" came from. We'd go in a dark room and I'd sing notes to her. To my mind, that's what singers should be able to do. We should be able to perform and be effective, even if it's in a dark room. We've lost a lot because of TV. You should be able to move people without all that advanced technology, without pictures, using only sound.

I've been performing for as long as I can remember. I know a lot of secrets, a lot of things like that.

I think that "We Are the World" is a very spiritual song, but spiritual in a special sense. I was proud to be a part of that song and to be one of the musicians there that night. We were united by our desire to make a difference. It made the world a better place for us and it made a difference to the starving people we wanted to help."
Michael Jackson in his book Moonwalk
HEAL THE WORLD…”This song is cleverly written. There’s nothing like a song that inspires without being cheesy.  It’s the perfect example of using the power of your voice to make a difference in the world through song.  I’m totally inspired by Michael Jackson, all the way around. He set the tempo for what I relate to and aspire to as an artist. It’s beyond what he put into his music; it’s what he put into the world. I love that he seemed to value his position as an entertainer. He believed that you’re not given a platform to influence millions just to sing and dance with it. There’s got to be something more to it, and I’m inspired by that.  He incorporated these real-life situations into his songs because he wanted to influence people. So many of these tracks had a message because he really took his gift and used it for the right reasons. He was always very thoughtful, and as special as he was, he was very appreciative of his success. He was humble. And that, for me, more than anything, is what I want to take from him. To be that big an artist and to still be humble at the same time? It means a lot.”
Heal The World Live in Argentina 1993


"It [my music] breaks all barriers. I don't have to make a political statement. I do all of that with music."

Michael Jackson



"I love great music — it has no color, it has no boundaries."
Michael Jackson



"Great music and great melodies are immortal. Fashions change, culture changes, customs change. Great music is immortal. We still listen to Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.  Any of them. Great music is like a great piece of sculpture of a great painting. It's forever. For generations upon generations to appreciate forever."

Michael Jackson
"If I’m a musical architecht then let me build monuments with sound. Heavenly gifts that will stir the human heart and soul. To time indefinite  to time indefinite let my music become immortal to pay homage to the gift of song.”
Michael Jackson
„He sang so well. When he was in the booth, magic was coming out. I had to hold my emotions, because I’m more of a music guy than an engineer. When Michael would sing, sometimes he would hit these notes where I would jump out of my seat like, Oh, my god! And I’d have to stop myself because I’m the engineer an I can’t jump out of my seat, but I did a few times. The pyrotechnics that came out of this man were ridiculous. And it came out like that all the fucking time. It’s powerful. It’s magic. It was like he was channeling when he would sing. It was scary sometimes. He would actually grab the microphone with his hands and roar and just get into it. Then the part would be over and he would get of the mic and he would just sit there and simmer. And I would wait sometimes up to 20 or 30 seconds until he got his composure back. He was gathering up energy, widening up his body and then, Bam! Letting it loose. Then relaxing, composing himself, take a slight little five-second meditation and then we’d do another take. He was really focused on every part. There was a lot of force behind every single take.“ 
CJ deVillar about recordíng with Michael.

Michael Jackson Talks About His Classic Favourite Music

Question: "What's changed about the music industry or about, you know, the music that's out there. What do you think is different?"

Michael Jackson: "Well, I think.. Ah, I don't think people thought the Rap music would last as long as it has. And it has gone through evolutional stages -- there's more melody in it now, it's more acceptable, because melody will never die. Will never die. And the rhythm-- things are a little more rhythmic now. Because people want to dance. It's part of the human condition; it's part of our biological makeup. Our cells dance when we hear beats. You notice a.. a one year old child will start moving hearing music. How do they know to move? 'Cause it's biological. It's not just hearing of the ear, it's feeling, you know. And playing music, the grass and the trees and the flowers... They're all influenced by music. They become more beautiful and more vibrant in how they grow. Music is a very important and powerful substance, and all the planets in the universe make music. It's called music of the spheres. They all make a different note; they make harmony. So there's harmony even in the universe as we speak."

Online audio chat, October 26th 2001



"Music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in this world. Through it — my music, I know I will live forever."

Michael Jackson



"I always wanted to do music that influences and inspires each generation. Lets face it, who wants mortality?"

Michael Jackson, Ebony interview, 2007



"When you want to be close to me, listen to the music. The love is stored there and will not die!"

Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson ♥ღ Just Call My Name And I'll Be There | Fan Video:


Giving Tree:


"I had this tree that I call “My Giving Tree.”

“I called it my giving tree because it inspires me. I love climbing trees in general but this tree I loved the most because I climb up high and look down at its branches and I just love it… So many ideas. I’ve written so many songs from this tree. I wrote “Heal the World” in this tree, “Will you be there”, “Black or White”, “Childhood”. I love climbing trees. I think water balloon fights and climbing trees.. those are two of my favorites.” 

 Michael Jackson


FEEL BELIEVE by: Michael Jackson

(Michael Jackson write this in the late 1970’s about writing and composing a song)




Michael never really give credits to himself when he was writing his songs. In most of his interview he always tell that his songs just pops into his head and like it was created somewhere in the universe. It was God whom he always give credits to all his artistic works. A true genius, Michael our inspiration.

@MJJHero as you requested. :)