The Black or White by Michael Jackson released 19 years back on this day- November 11th and the single instantly became an international sensation, topping the charts for years. Even today, Michael Jackson is remembered for pushing the boundaries of the music video as an art form. Pianist, songwriter and Singer Shayan Italia has now presented his creation- Sha La La- a profound ballad with a deeply pertinent message of ‘Love Without Boundaries’. The music video is an ode of King of Pop Michael Jackson’s Black or White. While Jackson wanted to unite the human race fighting racial discrimination, Shayan through his humble effort talks of inclusion and the supreme human emotion of love that can’t be defined within the confines of societal boundaries.
The video is monochrome where 21 performers from world over are seen lip syncing to this Hinglish Single alongside Italia who is seen on the piano. The larger than life visuals capture many forms of romantic love that transcends beyond boundaries. The storytelling is sensuous, passionate and dotted with symbolism while the production design is classic making this single a true celebration of love. Never before has a music video from India had a contextual setup, as it opens with the message that “The World has changed” which is very relevant .
Talking about finding inspiration in Michael Jackson’s Black or White, Shayan Italia said, ” Sha La La- the lyrics, music and video are carefully constructed parts of a whole concept that has long been in the making and refined through many months of thought. As the entire piece started coming together, I felt a strange connection with what Jackson tried to convey through Black or White. What Jackson brought to the table was the concept of the music video, storytelling of the music and grandeur. Of course, he is a legend that the world can experience once in a century, Jackson’s videos were larger-than-life and it’s impossible for any artist to even attempt to match up to him. Sha La La draws inspiration from that era of music videos. It is also very different in storytelling to what is conventionally produced today and in the way it is shot. Somewhere I have also fought hate like Jackson did years ago. In COVID times, it is more pertinent than ever with all the hate and discrimination out there, that we must remind ourselves to LOVE. WITHOUT BOUNDARIES.”
The music has been orchestrated by 65 legendary musicians across 3 global studios. Directed by Muni Agarwal, Sha La La released privately to a selected few on International Coming out Day. By popular demand it has now come to YouTube being transcribed in 20 of the world’s most spoken languages giving it a truly global presence; a universal message many should be able to relate to beyond language.
You can check out the entire music video here: