Paul Rivera MICHAEL Interview Q&A
Q: After more than a decade since on a tour, why did you pick now to do a tour?
A: I've spent a decade raising my kids, but back in 2009 when I was doing This Is It, I believe they were ready to see what their old man can do. However when Michael died, I just shut down completely.
Q: So what rejuvenated the want to go back on tour?
A: The music, the fans, my family, and the thrill to entertain people with what I can do. I also wanted to revive the original rock concert that has been missing for so long in arenas, while also spreading the message of love with Michael.
Q: What can we expect from this tour and will this show hold some elements from This Is It?
A: You can expect only Michael Jackson classics; this tour is for him and his legacy. We've reinvented the classics to another level you've never seen. You will see many elements from the This Is It rehearsal for the big numbers, but I'm bringing back songs I haven't played since the 80s.
Q: What is your favorite song on the tour?
A: Oh that's a hard question to answer. Uhm … I love all of them and the way we've played them out is just fantastic … but if I had to pick, it'd be Billie Jean. That is such a personal song that it's timeless and I would never get bored of doing it; I never get tired of doing the same song again and again. I especially love the breakdown; it's one of the rare songs where it's just me and Michael.
Q: You're 53 now, music has evolved to different genres and levels that people are divided by what they like. How is it so many can be connected by your music and Michael's?
A: I really don't know how, but when you look back at the accomplishment from Mike's Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and my Slave To The Rhythm … it hit so many levels in culture that how can anyone not remember these songs or heard of them. I'm blessed that kids today have been bred to know these songs and it makes me feel like the music will outlive me long after I and my children die in the future.
Q: Where are you going on this tour? Why did you start it in Japan and not at the O2?
A: Everywhere I can, I'm planning to go to every continent at least once or twice. I want everyone to see my project and not just on a television screen, I want them to experience it. Japan is one of the biggest Michael fan spots and its culture is so rich and innovative that it represents a part of my creativity.
Q: Is it true you're planning a new album?
A: Yes, but scheduling is a little difficult so we'll have to be patient and wait for the song to write itself and then we can get it started. I've got about a 1000 songs locked away, waiting to escape and become a hit.
Q: What is the key to a great song?
A: That is so hard because everyone is so different and they have so many different tastes. If I were to say what make a great song, it would be the energy put in the song. Too many songs today have this industrial preparation that I didn't get when I was at Atlantic and Epic Records. It has to be raw and from the soul, if one just makes up lyrics to go with the beat than it doesn't work. For me, it's never about the beat or the lyrics, it's about the message and how it comes through. Music is a gift from the heavens and I'm a source through which it comes.
Q: In the world of pop, who do you say influences you the most today?
A: Lady Gaga … my god that girl is such an invigorating … I can't even say woman because she's a creature that knows how entertain and provoke the media. She influences me by her drive, it's beyond what I had as a young kid and hopefully she won't repeat my mistakes. I have high hopes for her in the future.
Q: So where does your creativity in song writing come from?
Q: Is there anyone interesting in your life right now?
A: No, but I do have some fine young ladies on the side to help me out on my lonely nights. I maybe 53, but I know the game too well. I am a Latin lover for age 20+.
Q: How is life as a solo parent? Is it hard being a father and mother?
A: It's great and the best part about it is that I'm not fighting with someone on how my kids should be raised. I've got one in college; the other is ending high school and two in middle school. It isn't tough because I know when to be tough and show compassion like my mom taught me. I still get help from my sister, Maya, when I need to have my alone time. It's all good for me.
Q: How have you felt since Michael passed?
A: Not a day goes by when I don't think of him. The man was a brother I never had and I knew all about his pain and desires. The guy was larger than life and when the world threw him down, he got back up and said, "I Love You". I miss him a lot and I thank God I can do this tour because his spirit will be with me on stage.
Q: What do you want everyone to say when they leave the show?
A: I want them to call their friends and tell them to watch this show and that it is nothing you've ever seen. I want them to remember the time of their lives and grow from learning something new from my music.
Q: Who's bad?!
A: Republicans, but if you're referring to the song, I'm Bad, *laughs*
Q: Final question. Today you are still on top of the world and you've experienced good and bad moments, so what are your hopes for the future?
A: My hopes are to wake up with my kids smiling, knowing their father has achieved everything possible and that he is ready to finish the journey off in a big way. Will MICHAEL be my final show? Maybe or maybe not, but I know that when I die, my name will be in history books. My music is the blueprints for the next generation and every generation. Paul Rivera and Michael Jackson are IMMORTALS.