As promised in the earlier article, Michael Jackson: 50th Anniversary Celebration
We have 'sat down' (virtually ofc) with the man himself.
- So. Azura is an awesome name. Is this your real name - and if not, how did you pick it?
Azura is not my real name, I’ve been using this alias for years now. I believe I saw it first used in a video game and thought it sounded cool. It was something I thought I could use to create a new identity for myself online, and I needed a name to use for my YouTube channel.
- When did you become an MJ fan? What fascinated you more about him - the music, or the video?
As far as I remember, I’ve always been a fan of Michael. The first ever video I saw was around 2004/2005, the 30th Anniversary Jacksons Medley. As a kid, I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I still can’t. Michael just has something that attracts all ages to him. I started becoming a big fan in 2017. I did my research on Michael, went through most of his music, and decided that this was the most humble, most innocent and most talented person to have ever walked this planet.
- Tell us a little more about yourself
I started creating music in 2009, after my father showed me how to use FL Studio. FL Studio is the music production software I still use to this day. I taught myself how to play the piano and just started jamming along with music. Michael Jackson, Toto, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake – this is the music I was really interested in. Along the way I taught myself how to mix music, how to properly use an equalizer, compression, dynamics, mastering, etc. – and decided to start a YouTube channel to share my mixes with fellow fans.
- Do you collect or own any cool memorabilia?
I don’t really collect physical items. SWG was so kind to send me some really cool albums and such, besides that I don’t really have any items. I collect audio. Demos and multitracks are what interest me. Hearing Michael’s vocal takes, him stomping to the beat, telling Quincy to turn up a specific track, or him creating the lyrics on the spot. So interesting.
- You, and other 'remixers' seem to care and support each other in their own respective 'releases' - Do you guys ever bounce ideas off of each other or collab?
I became friends with a lot of fellow remixers and support them with all my heart. Groovefunkel, ZeconMusic, SingleWhiteGlove, Remixed by Nick*, MJJacksonizer and Reborn Audio, I became friends with along my YouTube journey. They’re all great and incredibly talented. Sure, we bounce ideas off – Nick and I were both working on a remix of Smooth Criminal at the same time and had the idea to release it on the same day, he’s a great input when it comes to artwork as well. I talk to Zecon and Reborn almost daily and give each other feedback before we release videos. I’ve collabed with Zecon before, we’ve both worked on some Dangerous Tour recreations and he’s been very kind to play the guitar in some of my remixes.
- You have a new megamix, titled 'Michael Jackson: 50th Anniversary Celebration'. You previewed a trailer of it a short time ago. It's sharp, it's exciting and that bass in Billie Jean! (wow!) It gets your blood pumping. How long have you been working on this megamix? Has it always existed in this form, or have you had random ideas which came together?
By the time this interview is published, my 50th Anniversary video should have been released as well. It’s a huge megamix of some sorts. I’ve been working on this for weeks, but the first concepts started at the beginning of last year. It started out as a mashup of Bad and Smooth Criminal, and slowly transformed into something bigger than I could’ve imagined. I wanted to put in Michael's innocence and humanitarian work as well, as that to me is as important as his music. This is also my first attempt at film restoration, remastering all short films used. Meta and Rafeski from MJJ4k were a huge help with providing tips, and Meta even remastered the Remember The Time and HIStory Tour in Munich footage in the video.
We really do thank Azura for his time, and wish him all the best for his future endeavours. We can't wait to have another year of awesome mixes from him and the other creators!
Full Source - Behind The Mask