Chapter 8

Chapter 8

As soon as we stepped off of the plane, Bill was there to greet us. Mariah couldn't help but look at all of her surroundings, which was nothing but airplanes. But even that surprised her, being that she's only gotten on an airplane through the terminal.


"And who is this pretty young lady," Bill smiled at Mariah as we met him at the car.


"This is my sister, Mariah," I told him. "This is our security, Bill, Mariah. Don't act shy. Say hi," I nudged her.


"Hi, Mr. Bill," she shook his hand.


"You don't have to call me, 'Mister.' It makes me sound old," he winked, causing Mariah to giggle. We piled into the car while the crew put our bags in the trunk.


"You guys have security? Why don't you have security when you come to Ohio?" she asked me.


"No one really knows Michael is in Ohio, because we always have family pick us up. If you noticed at the hospital, Michael wore his disguise, so he wouldn't get recognized. Everything is pretty chill in Ohio, but over here, it's a totally different story."


"Oh..." she looked around the car. "Where are we going?"


"Michael has to go to the studio to record for the new album. We won't be there too long. I just want you to see him at work. It's a magical experience. He'll be there all day, but we have to get home to Bubbles soon."


"Bubbles, the monkey, right?" she gave me a look.


"He's a chimpanzee," I corrected her.


"Right. A monkey. Do you ever bring him to the studio?"


"On occasion."


"Cool..." She looked out the window as we passed all the airplanes. I don't want Mariah to feel like I'm rewarding her with us going to watch Michael at the studio. I just want to be there for my own personal gain. It can be kind of therapeutic to listen to him in the studio.


VII


"What songs have you got for me today, Smelly?" Q asked as soon as we walked in. Michael took a piece of folded paper out of his jean pocket and slapped it on the table. Q picked it up and unraveled it, "Leave Me Alone?" he looked up at Michael.


"Yep," Michael nodded and sat down across from Q. "I'm tired of people talking about me. I'm tired of people calling me weird. I'm tired of people calling me 'Wacko Jacko.' This is my way of saying 'fuck you' to the media. Excuse my French, Mariah," he apologized after seeing the shocked expression on my face.


Q read over the lyrics, nodding, "that's a lot of, uh," he chuckled. "Leave me alone's, don't you think?"


"It gets the point across, doesn't it?"


"I mean, it does," Q shrugged. "Is this the song you had Greg make that fast-paced track on the synthesizers for?"


"Yeah," Michael nodded. "Did you like it?"


"Man," Q leaned back in his seat. "Greg did that!"


"He did, didn't he? That man knows what he's doing when it comes to making sounds, doesn't he? Greg is bad!"


"You're telling me! Whew! Well, since we've got the track," he went to play it. The room suddenly filled with a fast-starting piano that mixed with the sounds of strings so effortlessly and a sudden clap that matched the rest flawlessly.


I looked over to find Mariah tapping her foot along with the clap and nodding her head, "look at you. I told you this would be magical." She smiled, rolling her eyes at me playfully.


"So how are the lyrics going with this, Mike?"


"Ya know, I actually want my voice to be stacked on the chorus. I know I should be talking about the rest of the song right now, but all I can hear in my head is my voice stacking on the chorus and how beautiful it's going to sound."


"And how is that?"


"Right at the pre-chorus, I can just hear three harmonies of my voice. You see where it says, 'cause there's a time where you're right?'" He pointed to the page. "That's where I want my voice to stack. It needs to sound like there are at least three people singing it. And then, you see where it says, 'leave me alone' like seven times?" He pointed again. "Stacked. The first one, I want to sing it, then the two background versions of myself sing it. Then the next four, I sing the first one, then the background versions of myself singing 'leave me alone' in like three different octaves. Genius, right?" Michael's eyes lit up. I was getting excited just watching him get excited about the song.


"I've never seen anyone else do that with just their voice, Michael, but I'm sure it can be done."


Michael clapped his hands together, "that's what I want to hear. Let me get in there and start singing the song and after we get a perfect cut, then we'll start stacking," he ran into the mic room.


Q looked over at Mariah, "how rude of me. I'm Quincy and your name, little lady?" He stretched his hand out for her to shake. Mariah's eyes grew once she realized he was talking to her.


"Well, don't act shy. Go on and introduce yourself," I laughed.


Mariah swallowed and stood up to greet him, "my- my name is Mariah. I'm Shayla's little sister," she said nervously as she shook Q's hand weakly.


"Pleased to meet you, Mariah. You don't have to be nervous. I'm normal just like anyone else."


"But you're Quincy Jones! My parents play your music all the time! The only other celebrity I've met was Michael, but he's my brother, so he doesn't count anymore."


"Well, I'm flattered," Q laughed. "Have you ever seen your brother in the studio before?" Mariah shook her head. "Well, you're in for a treat. Come on," he patted the chair next to him. She reluctantly sat down and looked through the window as Michael already has his headset on, reading the lyrics. "Are you ready, Michael?" Michael gave him a thumbs up as he continued to read over the lyrics. "Now, Mariah, we'll be able to hear everything in there that Michael sings as if a record is already being played in your house. The only difference is, you'll hear all the mess ups, hiccups, maybe even a couple coughs because it's not yet perfect. Ready?" He asked her. She nodded as Q went to press play...

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