Adnan Sami who had the rare privilege of meeting interacting and working with Michael Jackson says he is stunned by the allegations made in the documentary Leaving Neverland where two of his former protégées have accused Jackson of being a pedophile.
Says Adnan with a sigh, “It’s hard to associate the image of Michael Jackson that I have with that of this monster that these men are talking about. The Michael that knew wouldn’t hurt a soul. He was so fragile and vulnerable himself. I really don’t buy this image of a monster.”
However Adnan admits it’s hard to know what a person is really like. “Showbiz makes you wear a mask over a mask over another mask…until you don’t know yourself anymore.For all we know, the sweet gentle MJ could be as much a reality as the one who seduced children. Whatever the truth, it is very unfair to attack a man and a legend who is no more . Michael’s image has been destroyed when he is no longer alive to defend himself. What if he was not guilty? It’s a frightening thought.”
Describing Michael whom Adnan met a number of times for a collaborative album as a childlike genius, Adnan says, “His life was troubled. But his music was his solace. Artistes who suffer always seek an escape route in their art. Ask me, I should know”
When Adnan first received a phone call from Michael and the Jackson brothers they discussed Adnan’s music in detail. “The Jacksons knew every detail about my songs. They had studied my music in detail. I listened quietly to them talk about my music. These were the same guys whose music I grew up on.”
How did it happen? “Michael’s brother Jermaine’s wife Halima is from Afghanistan. For some time she lived in Chandigarh. She got acquainted with my music while in India and she took my music to LA and introduced her husband to it. And then Jermaine introducedMichael and Janet to my music.”
Speaking of the Jacksons Adnan says, “They’re very humble people. Always attentive to what I say, always open to innovations and suggestions. They recognized a component in my musical style, and that is this. I really like strong base lines in my songs. What they don’t know is, that’s something I learnt from the music of the Jacksons.”
This was the first full-fledged collaboration between an Asian musician and major American musical icons. “I couldn’t believe I was actually working with the Jacksons. Without Michael it wasn’t the same. We completed four songs…I really enjoying this. Michael Jackson is much missed so many years after his death.Legends don’t die. They just move on.”