CHENNAI: It may be five years since Michael Jackson passed away on that fateful day in 2009, but his music —topping the Billboard charts even posthumously (Xscape), clearly still lives on for generations to come. With the King of Pop’s death anniversary approaching on June 25, Sony in collaboration with Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory is planning to release two desi versions of his songs from the recently released album Xscape.
Says creative director of the music school, Adam Greig, “Sony got in touch with us just before the release of Xscape last month and when I told our students about the project, they thought I was joking at first!” Quite understandable...after all, how many 20-somethings get the opportunity to work on an official release of an MJ track?
The two songs that have been chosen from the album are the title track Xscape and Slave to the Rhythm, Adam who is overseeing it all, tells us. “I’ve put six of our best students on the job,” he states and adds, “of course Rahman is heavily involved and has listened to both tracks at every stage”.
The songs which have been given an Indian feel with the introduction of elements such as tabla beats and Hindustan is rule alaaps should be ready for release by the third week of June, City Express was told.
“In fact, we were up till 3 am just earlier this week working on the final mix,” Adam lets on with a content smile.
One has to wonder out though - isn’t it a tad odd listening to a Michael Jackson song with the strains of a harmonium in the melody? “Not at all,” Adam responds. “We’ve just brought out another layer to music that hasn’t been heard before. And the fact that it works so beautifully just shows the universality of a Michael Jackson song.”