FROM USHER TO “SCREAM”: JIMMY JAM TALKS ABOUT THE GREATEST “STUFF” HE’S EVER MADE

Producer Jimmy Jam has worked with some of the greatest stars of music: Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Prince, Luther Vandross, Usher, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Shaggy, Gwen Stefani, TLC and more.

Noisey sat down with him to talk about some of the greatest music he’s ever made….

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JANET JACKSON AND MICHAEL JACKSON – “SCREAM” (1995)

Jimmy: Michael had told us he wanted to do a song with Janet, so she came to the studio and we came up with five or six ideas to take to him, one of which would become “Scream”.

Michael comes into the studio that day very quietly, wearing a bunch of bangles, jewelry and hard shoes – all the things you’re not supposed to have in a studio. He’s all timid, very quiet, and says [Jimmy affects a perfect Michael voice], “Go ahead, play it from the top.”  Straight away he turned into some sort of Tasmanian devil; dancing all around the studio, clapping, snapping, stomping his feet. Normally you’d say something like, “Hey, you gotta stay on the mic.”  But we were just were like, “We’re just gonna watch this while you do your thing.” Janet – who was supposed to be recording her vocal the same day – saw this, turned to me and said, “Erm, I think I’ll do my vocal down in Minneapolis.”

I’d never seen anything like it before. I’ve never seen anything like it since. Over the years I’ve had some wonderful and moving studio experiences, but there was an earthquake in New York that day, and it was Michael. The force of Michael. He had just got married to Lisa-Marie Presley at that point. We asked her what brought them together, besides the fact they had showbiz in common, famous families and everything. She said he was the kindest person she’d ever met. That really struck me because that’s exactly what I thought about him too.

 

Read the full interview here.

Sources: Noisey | All Things Michael

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