'This feels like Michael, this feels like the spirit of Michael,' Teddy Riley tells MTV News.
By Jayson Rodriguez, with reporting by Steven Roberts
Teddy Riley had a long-standing working relationship with Michael Jackson, and the producer said Jackson's latest project, Michael, is as authentic an LP as any of the superstar's past work.
"Oh, they're gonna say this is him, that's the first thing," Riley told MTV News about fan's anticipated reaction to the set. "And this feels good. This feels like Michael, this feels like the spirit of Michael. And we love him, that's what they're gonna say."
The project, which arrived in stores and online Tuesday (December 14), is the first posthumous MJ collection since the singer died in June 2009.
Riley, along with Akon, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart (Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, The-Dream) and a host of other producers and songwriters were commissioned to complete the project, which was birthed from a spate of unfinished material in Jackson's archives. In the past, Riley has helmed MJ's Dangerous album, on which he produced "Remember the Time" and "Jam," among other tracks.
For Michael, which Riley was called in to work on during the last three months of production, the former Guy and Blackstreet member had a handy trick to help him retrieve the vibe he shared with MJ.
"Just by bringing his spirit in the room, in the actual studio," Riley explained. "I had his pictures all over the place. Time after time, I would [also] go back and forth to Thriller and listen to all the music to get the spirit and keep his spirit in the room. To keep the bad energy out of the room. He was always about the good energy. Anytime there was a negative energy, nothing would happen. The computers would react, they would just go out. There was serious spirits in the room. Shutting down computers. That was the problems we were going through. But when it felt good and the energy was good, everything went smooth and we got through the project."
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