Paying a tribute to the late Michael Jackson on his 59th birth anniversary today, musical duo Nirali Kartik and Kartik Shah of Maati Baani have got 45 child artists from across the world to sing a cover of MJ’s popular Heal The World. And the video is magical. It has already crossed 50 million views on Facebook and guitarist Kartik Shah says that it has crossed another 50 million views via unofficial uploads on several other social media sites. The folk music duo have produced the song.
“We wanted to bring the song at a time when different kind of stuff is going around the world. When I say ‘stuff’, I mean war-like situation. Everyone is talking about war and we saw some videos where children are talking about war so we thought of using children as key singers to spread the message of peace,” says Shah.
He admits that the reason they chose MJ’s Heal the World is because the veteran singer is their favourite and the song makes perfect sense in the current scenario.
He adds that the artists who have performed are musical child prodigies. “Angelica Hale is currently participating in America’s Got Talent and Sparsh Shah is a singing prodigy. Like them, several others are already popular and already viral,” he says, adding that it took them nine months to work on the video.
“It was a time consuming process. We worked on it for nine months on and off. We had to approach each child and initially we were not sure on how they would respond. But their response was very encouraging and there was active participation from the parents. Some of the kids were not available and we had to reschedule the shoot. But I have to admit that most of the work was done in August. We were not even sure if we would be able to finish the project on time but after sleepless nights, we kind of completed the project,” he says.
He adds that around 50 technicians were involved in the making of the video. “It was team work though it was quite crazy putting the whole thing together. We interacted with the kids and their parents, watched the shoot happen via Skype. But it was a rewarding experience considering the number of views the song has got,” says Shah.
The guitarist says that they have been receiving mails from people from across the world. “The song has got 10 million hits on a social media site in China, which is a big thing to crack. Those who have sent us mails have written that they were in tears and had a feeling of compassion after watching the video,” he adds.
Shah also known for tracks like Tore Matware Naina, Naina Bawra, among others, calls the video a breakthrough of a sort. “No one has created a collaboration like this before and it’s a completely new format for music,” he says. But the collaboration has happened all because of internet revolution and social media. “There are two aspects to it. Social media uses us for its benefit and we are the product. In case of this video, we have used social media to spread the message of peace and brotherhood,” says Shah who plans to work on similar projects.
Shah believes that kids are the best way to reach out to people. “They won’t change things drastically but they can bring in a movement in a subtle manner. If you hear the song and feel compassionate and have a kind of remorse, a lot can change,” he says before signing off.