To keep it brief-there has been such an outpouring of emotion over Michael Jackson’s death-there is nothing more I can say.
Just that growing up in Bombay, India, in the eighties, MJ was my first exposure to seeing a black American singer on stage. I know the politics and the power structure of that now. Why it is important to have with us the music of Michael Jackson and Prince. It is a reminder of the need for representation and to reiterate your place in the world. Through visibility, music and storytelling. Michael Jackson did what a lot of African American singers before him could not do. Not even Isaac Hayes. Living here in New Zealand I understand that better. Sometimes I wonder if we Indians are ever going to get that kind of music that goes beyond the purity of Lata Mangeshkar. No doubt that Lata is the Nightingale of India and her contribution to popular (and classical) Indian culture is immense but I crave for the complexity and ambiguity that talks about current India. Globalisation, aspiration, poverty, fanaticism and spirituality. I hope it will happen one day-for in my gloom and looking at videos on Youtube that is all I can think of. So in conclusion here is the video of the theme music from SHAFT (Issac Hayes) and MJ doing his version of Ain’t No Sunshine. RIP. Love always.