„What I do when I write is that I'll do a raggedy, rough version just to hear the chorus, just to see how much I like the chorus. If it works for me that way when it's raggedy, then I'll know it will just work… Listen to that, that's at home. Janet, Randy, Me… Janet and I are going "Whoo, Whoo… Whoo, Whoo…" I do that same process with every song. It's the melody, it's the melody that's most important, If the melody can sell me, then I'll go to the next step. The idea is to transcribe from what's in your mentality onto tape. If you take a song like "Billie Jean," Where the bass line is the prominent, dominant piece, the protagonist of the song, the main driving riff that you hear, getting the character of the riff to be just the way you want it to be, that takes a lot of time. Listen, you're hearing four basses on there, doing four different personalities, and that's what gives it character, but it takes a lot of work.“

On listening to an early version of Billie Jean on an iPhone
Ebony interview (2007)

Last update July 23, 2020. History
Michael Jackson photo
Michael Jackson98
American singer, songwriter and dancer 1958 - 2009

Related quotes

„I think writing is basically about time and rhythm. Like with jazz. You have your basic melody and then you just riff off of it.“

—  Kathy Acker American novelist, playwright, essayist, and poet 1947 - 1997

Context: I think writing is basically about time and rhythm. Like with jazz. You have your basic melody and then you just riff off of it. And the riffs are about timing. And about sex.
Writing for me is about my freedom. When I was a kid, my parents were like monsters to me, and the world extended from them. They were horrible. And I was this good little girl — I didn't have the guts to oppose them. They told me what to do and how to be. So the only time I could have any freedom or joy was when I was alone in my room. Writing is what I did when I was alone with no one watching me or telling me what to do. I could do whatever I wanted. So writing was really associated with body pleasure — it was the same thing. It was like the only thing I had.

Chris Cornell photo
Colleen Fitzpatrick photo
Dylan Moran photo
Sarah Dessen photo
A.A. Milne photo
Enya photo

„I get very inspired by traveling, by being home in Donegal … all those wonderful moments I'll take with me to the studio. And they, ah, then become at some stage, a melody. That emotion that I loved at some stage will evolve as a melody.“

—  Enya Irish singer, songwriter, and musician 1961

KSCA interview (1996)
Context: I get very inspired by traveling, by being home in Donegal... all those wonderful moments I'll take with me to the studio. And they, ah, then become at some stage, a melody. That emotion that I loved at some stage will evolve as a melody.

Ronda Rousey photo
DJ Shadow photo
Van Morrison photo
Mark Heard photo
Billy Joe Shaver photo
Ira Glass photo
Bon Scott photo
Katie Melua photo
Devin Townsend photo
Dashiell Hammett photo
Bob Dylan photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“