Michael Jackson was by pop culture standards ‘The King of Pop.’ It was a sad event for many when he passed away last year. One of the things I came to realise was that he had been a constant presence around me. There had never been a time in my life when there had not been Michael Jackson, indeed his life and career extended long before I showed up on this planet – and he had been Michael Jackson the entertainer almost his entire life too.
When you watch him perform it seems everything he touches turns to gold. It’s a kind of miracle. You don’t sit there thinking, “Wow, so he’s been developing his talents for close to fifty years,” you just think “wow!”
But was it always as easy as he made it seem? Robert DiFazio doesn’t seem to think so. He has a startling revelation and I’m hoping it will change the way you look at your own work too.
The average person would say ‘scrap this, come up with something better.’ But the producer is supposed to say, ‘no, there’s a Billie Jean in this song. We can figure this out.’ It’s going to be hundreds of different decisions and hours and days and months and whatever. But you have to somehow recognise the forest through the trees and see the whole picture at the same time. So don’t discredit things that suck initially is one thing I would say to my students…
You have to see the forest, the trees and the whole picture – all at once. There’s an obligation to have a sense of the work as it is while also imagining how it could be. And then, of course, you build on what you have. So don’t be too dismissive of your early efforts, they’re building blocks and you’ll never know what you can create upon those foundations unless you try!