This article is a personal message to let all my readers and supporters know that I’ve just completed a brand new book (my first-ever book!) focusing on Michael Jackson’s creative process. The book is called Xscape Origins: The Songs and Stories Michael Jackson Left Behind, and will be officially released worldwide on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.
Xscape Origins pieces together stories about the real Michael Jackson; the musical genius at work. As told by the songwriters, producers, musicians, and technicians who worked intimately with him in the studio, and featuring a touching foreword written by his longtime engineer Matt Forger, the book takes you inside the recording studio, delivering captivating fly-on-the-wall insights into the creative process of the greatest artistic visionary the world has ever known.
“Damien Shields has taken on the task of researching some of these songs and the stories behind their creation, and for that I thank him,” says Forger in the book’s foreword. “There are so many lessons to learn from a creative genius like Michael Jackson. Just as Michael said ‘study the greats and become greater,’ we are now left to study how he, a poor child from a Midwestern American town, rose to be the most popular entertainer on the planet. These stories are a detailed examination of how some of the songs – unreleased in his lifetime – came into existence.
It is important to document the process and tell the story, not only because it’s history, but also to pay tribute to a person who loved storytelling and would want the story to be told.”
For the first time – featuring never-before-told stories uncovered during a series of exclusive interviews I conducted with the likes of Michael Prince, John Barnes, Brad Buxer, Matt Forger, Cory Rooney, CJ deVillar, Rodney and Fred Jerkins, Brian Vibberts, and others – Xscape Origins combines never-before-told stories from those who knew Jackson best with retrospective facts and anecdotes. “Hundreds of books have been written about Michael Jackson,” writes the Huffington Post, “but this is one of the very few must-reads to have been published since his death, forgetting his much-debated private life and shedding light on the one area most people appear least informed about; his work.”
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your unwavering support over the years. I truly and sincerely hope you will enjoy my new book, Xscape Origins, as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it for you all.