A-Trak took to Twitter yesterday, July 14th, to share the astonishing story behind an official remix he produced for the the King of Pop, which he admits "will never come out."
"Back in 2012, I got asked to do a Michael Jackson remix for the 25th anniversary of Bad," A-Trak wrote. "They said I could pick any track on the album." He goes on to say that he chose Jackson's legendary single "Smooth Criminal," which appeared on the late artist's seminal studio album Bad, before teaming up with Oliver to flesh out the remix.
When music producers are tapped for a remix, the original artist simply sends the DAW project file or the song's stems in a Zip archive. This exchange is somewhat perilous, though, since it leaves a digital footprint and renders the music vulnerable to a potential hack or leak. According to A-Trak, Jackson's team at Sony was so protective of his music that they "would only send a hard drive to a studio WITH A SONY PERSON who stayed there and watched the drive."
After two days of work at Cutting Room in New York City, A-Trak and Oliver submitted their remix, only for it to be shelved due to what the former suspects were creative differences between Jackson's estate and Sony. While they may never be able to release the track, the experience is something he cherishes. "The craziest part about listening to MJ stems was all the ambient/background sounds in the vocal track," A-Trak wrote. "You could hear him tapping his feet while he sang, the way his whole body moved was so rhythmic."
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You can read the tweets and listen to a preview of the remix below, which A-Trak shared in a series of Instagram Stories alongside an unfortunate caption that reads, "This will never come out."