NEW YORK – Teddy Riley is on the verge of tears. Tears of joy.
The singer and producer responsible for Michael Jackson said he was just days away from his big show at the Apollo Theater – a return to his hometown in Harlem after more than 20 years – he was moved and fans would see him on stage.
"I'm really moved because I'm so incredulous. I come from projects, man. Few people could say that for successful projects, "said Riley, who grew up near Apollo. "It will be tears of joy."
Riley, 51, spearheaded the New Jack Swing era in the music of the '80s and' 90s, creating a new, highly successful sound that dominated radio and charts. He has sung in successful bands Guy and Blackstreet – winner of a Grammy Award for the classic R & B "No Diggity" – and has also shone behind the scenes as a producer and songwriter, co-producing the "Dangerous" album by Jackson and producing hits like Johnny Kemp's "Just Got Paid", "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-N-Effect and "I Like the Way" from Hi- Five, who hit the top of the pop charts.
Riley, with R & B maven, Keith Sweat, will perform two shows on Sunday at the Apollo, nicknamed "The Kings and Queens of New Jack Swing." It will also feature Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Al B. Of course, MC Lyte as well as members of Guy and Blackstreet.
"I play at the corner of the street where I was raised. And all the guys can say it – Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh and Keith Sweat, "said Riley. "I'm moved, and I can be moved on this stage. Some of the things that will happen will spark emotions. But that will bring happiness. New Jack Swing has always brought happiness, and that's what we're talking about. "
Riley has also produced songs for Lady Gaga, Bobby Brown, Heavy D and the Boyz and Robin Thicke. He said that he had the habit of seeing famous artists enter the back of the Apollo when he was a child of his school, which inspired him to become musician.
The Sunday shows will take place at 18h. and 21:30 East. Riley said returning home made him "a bit nervous," but he also hopes to pay tribute to those who died when he came on the scene.
"I do not say fans, I say my friends. Harlem is my home, "he said. "I'm a little disappointed because not everyone is able to see it, especially those who are not with us today. Many of my friends died before age 30. That's why I feel lucky. "
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