Black Panther fans are days away from diving into the highly anticipated sequel - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Now they’ll have something to tide them over the next few days — the film’s original soundtrack. Grammy Award winner Rihanna is making her long-awaited return to music with Lift Me Up, the lead single on Marvel’s upcoming film.
During a press conference which was attended by News18, for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Coogler shed light on how he persuaded the Barbadian singer to come out of her six-year hiatus. “I can’t take sole credit for that. I think that we have an incredible composer, Ludwig Goransson, who’s also a music producer, who’s got a great reputation. You know, made This is America with Childish Gambino [indiscernible] so I think Ludwig was a major factor. Big thanks to Jay Brown at Roc Nation and Jay-Z, who’s a friend, who helped make the connection."
The filmmaker said that Rihanna’s fans wouldn’t be sad even if she decided to retire, “She has given us a whole career, a whole catalogue of music, and now she’s given us, make-up and clothing, and I think the world would understand if she hung up her mic. And I completely understand, because I love her music so much, I feel like she’s given us all that you could ask for."
He added, “We were looking for a great artist who could tell the story of the film, and embrace the themes of the film, and present them to the audience in a different packaging. That’s what Kendrick did for us so beautifully with the first film. And this film is different. You know, it made sense that it would be a woman, it made sense that it could be someone who could speak to, not necessarily the words, but the feeling of motherhood, because that’s a major theme in this film."
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Coogler has co-written the song along wit Tems, Ludwig Goransson, Rihanna, and it’s a tribute to the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa in the original Black Panther and passed away of colon cancer in 2020 at the age of 43. The follow-up film centres on Wakanda’s leaders as they contend with the death of their ruler and fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers. Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke co-star in the film.
The filmmaker says that the collaboration with Rihanna happened at a perfect time, “She was in that kind of space in her life. And she was open and it was really the trailer I think that, when she saw the performances that everybody was putting down in the trailer, that was what kind of put her over the edge and she said, ‘Hey, I wanna see this film, I wanna see if I can figure this out.’ We collaborated with this incredible singer Tems. And she and I wrote the words, Ludwig made the music. The music was recorded on, like, three continents."
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