Michael Jackson's hit songs take on a Latin flare in Tony Succar's Unity tribute album coming out tomorrow (April 14). The project began in 2011 when Succar launched a Kickstarter campaign after being inspired from a Latin version of "Thriller" he recorded. Unity features eight other Latin artists alongside Succar, playing some of Jackson's most popular songs, such as "I Want You Back," "Man in the Mirror" and "Smooth Criminal," the lead single off of the album.
"I first started by listening to the whole discography," Succar said. "And every song that would give me goose bumps, I would sort of set apart. Then after that I would listen to the melody and try to see how it would fit into the Latin rhythms. And whatever song that would fit right, then I would choose that one and start tackling it and seeing how I could arrange it."
Succar has been a fan of Jackson since he was young and sees the late icon's music as a "universal language." The inspiration behind the album comes from the messages that Jackson's music conveys.
"Those iconic messages that speak about change," Succar explained. "It's not only about love and good things in life, but about making it better for everybody."
Succar and those featured on the album -- including Jean Rodriguez, who sings "Smooth Criminal" and "Billie Jean" -- hope to adapt the project for a live platform on tour and might even expand the Unity concept to other artists.
"I think of Unity, not just as a record, or even a tour, I see it more of like a movement of this concept, which is getting the Afro-Latin roots and combining it with great legendary music that's universal."
Be sure to check out Unity: Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson when it drops tomorrow and watch Music Times' full interview with Succar and Rodriguez below.