26 June 2009

It is a sad day that Michael Jackson is no more

It is sad because to me Michael Jackson was not just the super famous pop star with mind-blowing singing and dancing skills that had me and the world mesmerised as a child, he was also a true artist in the sense that he was a creator, pioneer and storyteller.

For him it wasn’t just about music, it was about an experience, which means that the one thing I’ll always bemoan is that my circumstances never allowed me to go to his live show when he was in South Africa in 1997. I always made myself feel better by saying that I’ll catch him on his next visit when his promoting his next album, which I assumed would happen with his 2001 album Invincible. But that never materialised.

Then he disappeared off the scene and got caught up in child molestation accusations, which seemed to drag on forever and threatened to end his music career. But when he was acquitted, I was satisfied because it meant that he could focus on his career again, then I started hearing news that he’s working on new material with artists such as Ne-Yo, and then I got excited because I thought the man’s creative juices is flowing again and he’ll soon be delivering that one-of-kind, entertainment experience that only he can. And what was even more upsetting was to learn exactly how hard he was busy preparing for that comeback and how he and his crew seemed genuinely excited about what they were preparing for. I have no doubt it would have been nothing short of magnificent.

Because truth be told, he was the only one around in the current music industry that could pull off true spectacle and something that never failed to make you sit up and take notice, because you know this is Michael Jackson and his genius brain is going to get to work in giving you something special that nobody else can quite pull off. You know he’s going to rope in the biggest and best talents in the business, and they’re going to get to work to produce spectacular stuff.

Because Michael Jackson is a storyteller, and as a storyteller he doesn’t just create music, he creates an adventure, and that is what I was keenly awaiting from Michael Jackson, because there’s simply no one else that can produce spectacle and excitement on the scale that he can pull off, even if it was something like the song and video for You Rock My World.

When they say that Michael Jackson’s passing is the end of an era, it truly is because the music world has changed so much since his heyday. Much of his legend and aura was brought about by the fact that he sold so many albums and spent so much time on the pop charts and will forever have the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller.

Today we don’t get wowed anymore by album sales, because albums don’t sell anymore, and nobody has really been so great that they’ve blown up the charts with three or more consecutive albums. It seems that Michael Jackson is the latest victim of the curse of legend, where it seems that if you’ve become a once-in-a-lifetime legend, you’re destined to die before your time, just as was the case with Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana, and leave the world looking around thinking what just happened and why don’t we have more of them to fill the void.

I was looking forward to at least 10 more years of MJ magic because creativity never really dies. In a way, Michael Jackson inspired me as an artist because he created both spectacle and substance; both the pyrotechnics and the moments that gave you pause and inspired you. And that’s pretty much what I try to do as well, to deliver the message all wrapped up in a pretty package. The artists of today either do the one or the other. He did both. And that is a huge gap in the showbiz industry that will most likely never be filled in my lifetime.

Rest in peace, Mr Michael Joseph Jackson - 29 August 1958 – 25 June 2009.

No comments:

Post a Comment