Producer: I’ll release new Michael Jackson songs
Michael Jackson collaborator Fred Jerkins III revealed that he plans to issue fresh material from the megastar while visiting Midland music students.
The influential R & B producer Fred Jerkins III, who worked with the troubled pop performer on his final 2001 album Invincible, led a masterclass at Access to Music in Digbeth on Thursday.
The co-writer of hits like You Rock My World, Jerkins made a big impression as he was whisked in to the specialist pop and rock college in Heath Mill Lane to answer questions from youngsters who are hoping to make their way in the music business.
And he said that he has plans to issue some unpublished material by tragic Jackson, who died four years ago aged 50.
“We have a number of unreleased songs and all sorts of video footage,” he said.
“There’s a project in the making right now that will include all those songs.”
Jerkins also sought to dispel the ‘Wacko Jacko’ stereotype saying that Jackson was a charming gentleman.
“I worked with him for two years exclusively – it’s the biggest highlight of my career,” said Jerkins, who works with his brother Rodney under the name Darkchild.
“He came to our studios in Pleasantville, New Jersey [the city where Jerkins grew up] and we built a really strong relationship and became really good friends.
“I remember him, just for fun, riding on a three-wheel bike in the parking lot that belonged to someone with disabilities.
“He was really relaxed. It’s things like that that you wouldn’t expect from Michael Jackson.
“We were comfortable with him as a family and my son had his fifth birthday at Neverland.”
Darkchild has also masterminded tracks for Beyonce, the Spice Girls, Will Smith and Lionel Richie.
Jerkins also recalled ‘hanging out’ with Whitney Houston, for whom he co-wrote tracks such as It’s Not Right (But It’s Okay).
“She’s been to our church singing,” he said of the vocal legend’s gospel roots, which included a stint at his pastor father Fred’s Evangelical Fellowship Church in Pleasantville.
“It’s very difficult when you see people like Michael and Whitney passing on because we had a close relationship with both of them.”
Fred, who is about to work on tracks for Usher and Rihanna, advised students to spend time honing their skills rather than expecting the kind of instant, but fleeting, chart domination enjoyed by winners of TV talent shows like The X Factor.
“An event like this is to inspire and educate people, and let them know what they can do,” he said.
“A lot of people pursue music and expect success to come real fast, but you have to stay at it. Winners of these talent shows need to sell records and to continue to sell for lots of years, after gaining that sort of platform in the first place.
“I come from an area where there was no music scene – it wasn’t like living in New York or Los Angeles,” said Jerkins, who plays piano, drums, bass and trumpet.
“When we broke into the music business it was just us.
“But so many people have broken in from there following in our footsteps, and told us ‘if it wasn’t for you guys, we wouldn’t have thought of making it’.”
Toby Smith, director of education at the college said: “This is marvellous to have such a big name in the music industry come to this region and support the music industry locally.”
For details about courses at the college, ranked as ‘good’ in a recent Ofsted inspection, visit http://www.accesstomusic.co.uk
Source: birminghammail / MJ-Upbeat.com