If you’ve ever heard the below early demo of ‘Beat It’, you’ll know Michael Jackson’s extraordinary process of writing songs – by building each element of a track with his voice. Every note of every chord, harmony, melody, bass and even the rhythm through beat-boxing. The full harmonies will blow your mind:
Jackson couldn’t read or write music at all. Contrary to received wisdom, he could play instruments a bit – he’s credited as playing keyboard, synthesizer, guitar, drums and percussion on ‘HIStory’ – but none proficiently. He didn’t have any formal composition training, though one could say he was trained harder than any other performer by his father.