Afrojack Took ‘Deep Breath’ Before Remixing Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’

Superstar DJ created two remixes of Bad title track for 25th anniversary reissue.

At first, superstar DJ/producer Afrojack wasn’t sure he wanted the gig. After all, what would you do if Michael Jackson’s family came calling and asked you to remix one of his most iconic hits?

Despite the daunting nature of the task, though, the Dutch house producer decided that his love of MJ’s catalog was bigger than his fear of coming up musically short.

“You sit down and you first take a good, deep breath and realize what the f— you’re doing,” he said of the initial process of coming up with two banging remixes of the title track to Jackson’s 30-million-plus-selling smash, Bad. “Then you just do it. It’s scary s—. He’s passed away, he’s the biggest legend of pop music … ever. People will say it’s disrespectful, it sucks or you can never touch anything Michael did.”

But, considering that Michael’s family and estate personally reached out to ‘Jack for the remixes, he said he figured they knew best what the late King of Pop would have wanted, so he went for it. “I accepted it and started on it and tried to make a 2012 version of the song for a new generation,” he said. “And a lot of people like it and the family is happy with it and they’re pushing it as one of he main singles, so I’m quite honored.”

The 25th anniversary edition of Jackson’s 1987 smash album not only features a remastered version of the original release (with such hits as the title track, “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Dirty Diana” and “Smooth Criminal”), but a second disc of rarities and remixes, a live CD and live DVD.

In addition to 13 previously unreleased or rare songs such as “I’m So Blue,” “Price of Fame,” “Al Capone,” “Fly Away” and “Don’t Be Messin’ Around,” the extra disc of songs features Spanish- and French-language versions of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” a “Speed Demon” remix by Nero and the two Afrojack tracks.

Due for release on September 18, the package features both an extended club mix by ‘Jack with a faster tempo, harder bass line and relentless dance beat and another one with a rap by Pitbull that was put together by Pit’s frequent collaborator, DJ Buddha.

“The first time I heard about it, I was like, ‘I’m not sure if I even want to do this because it’s f—ing Michael Jackson,” Afrojack said. “It’s an honor, but I was like, ‘are you sure?’ I talked about the schedules not working and they tried everything to get me to do the remix. They even got a plane to fly me to the original studio where it was recorded in L.A. to make it happen.”

The producer said the family and estate chose him because they knew he was in a good place with lots of hype on his career, but also because Michael always wanted to work with the newest talents and sounds around. “I’m pretty sure if the family says this is what he wanted, this is what he would have wanted. It’s all done out of respect for Michael.”

The anniversary of Bad will also be accompanied by a documentary on the album directed by Spike Lee 
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