What’s the Best Way to Make Music?

I’m rather opinionated about music. Folks know this.

And while all that frustration criticism comes through loud and clear when I write or tweet, I’m definitely not as good at communicating that I understand and respect how profoundly difficult making music really is.

I thought about this when I came across this Tyrese quote on Singersroom.com:

“Producers these days are lazy. Making tracks. Sending emails. I’m just saying. When you make music under the same roof, with the actual artist that you’re working with, everybody is praying together, eating together, laughing together. It’s a different kind of nuance that’s created around music.”  (emphasis mine)

I do think there’s something profoundly special about the music that can come from songwriters, producers and artists spending time together crafting music that the artist feels a close connection to because that artist has had some input into making it, but with that understanding comes a deeper understanding that I think critics of black music don’t articulate nearly enough: what Tyrese longs for is the exception in the music industry, not the rule, particularly with black popular music.

In other words, a lot of people aren’t afforded the luxury of getting into a room with the best songwriters and producers and creating something that they can feel has the personal touch because that’s not the kind of artist they are intended to be, whether they know it and acknowledge it or not. We should be honest about this fact.

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How Michael Jackson Should Do His Comeback

There is quite a bit of chatter about the kind of album that Michael Jackson should be doing.  The current producer/songwriter names rumored to be working on Mike’s comeback album range from Ne-Yo (naturally) to Akon to will.i.am.

And folks are talking about what constitutes a great Mike comeback album, some good and some eh…not so good.

So I’ve decided to put together my dream list of collaborators for Mike.

Singer Michael JacksonHow I like to think of Mike.

Full disclosure: my favorite Mike album is Dangerous, though I do think that creatively Off The Wall is his strongest (only because Dangerous is overlong and the Free Willy song and Heal The World are on there).

That said, I don’t want him to recreate either of those albums.

But I do want him to go into this album with the same mindset that created those albums.  That is: I want him to collaborate with the best songwriters of this generation to make an album that is both current and timeless.

Key words: current, timeless, songwriters.

So:

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