Demo of Beat It composed using only Michael Jackson’s voice
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.
Where we had the most control was at the gigs. So the idea was to get people to the gig. We had divided the whole world into two categories: there was flyers and there was the gig. You’re either doing the gig, which is like one hour or your life, or everything else to get people to the gig. Interviews were flyers, videos were flyers, even records were flyers. We didn’t tour to promote records, we made records to promote the tours, because the gig was where you could make the money.”
Last week, they uploaded a 10-track album of complete silence called Sleepify to Spotify. As frontman Jack Stratton explains, if someones put Sleepify on repeat before they go to bed, just 800 listens will generate $4. While that doesn’t sound like much, if enough people stream the album, eventually, the band’s tour will be completely funded. What’s more, if this crazy idea actually does work the band will use Spotify’s data to pinpoint where they should tour. The band plans promises each concert will be free.”