Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the album companion to Marvel Studios’ $250 million Black Panther sequel, differs in key ways from the first set curated by Kendrick Lamar. For one thing, the film’s unforeseen delays, including the devastating loss of lead actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020, derailed the film’s plot and release dates for years. And without a guest curator, director Ryan Coogler and composer Ludwig Göransson were the driving force behind the soundtrack.
“When we lost Chadwick, great Chadwick, we had to find a way to move forward,” says Coogler diversity in this week’s cover story. “Once that was clear, we also thought about the music and gave the audience something that felt as spiritually connected as what we did with Kendrick [on the first soundtrack].”
“Every aspect of this film, including all the artists [that have] To have been part of it, it was really a labor of love,” says Göransson of the 15-track and musically varied soundtrack of the film. “I never expected everyone to come together and pour so much heart and so much love into it.”
The plan, which Coogler admits, was “an imaginative idea,” seeking Rihanna as the soundtrack’s lead female voice in order to balance the rise of Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) and the warrior women who lead Wakanda (including Angela Bassett , Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira) who are taking on roles as new protagonists of the franchise.
A phone call to Roc Nation’s Jay Brown and Jay-Z, and the comfort of a pre-existing friendship between Göransson and Rihanna, laid the groundwork for the dream to come true.
“Lift Me Up,” the orchestral track that brought Rihanna out of hiatus, pays homage to the life and legacy of Boseman and was co-written by Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems – whose cover of Bob Marley’s staple “No Woman, No Crying,” received similar recognition. “As I heard [‘Lift Me Up’] For the first time, it was a very strong experience,” Göransson recalls. “This film is also about motherhood, so having her story and putting her into the song was magical.”
“Born Again” is the second Rihanna song on the set and stylistically faster than the latter; The piano ballad ends with elliptical power chords and primal chants composed by The-Dream, credited with Rihanna’s 2007 breakthrough “Umbrella” and “Birthday Cake,” as well as several of her other hits.
Emerging Mexican artists with Latin trap and Mexican folk influences, as well as South African amapiano, afrobeats and touches of reggae make up the diverse collection of sounds on the playlist.
In conversation with diversity, Göransson says he traveled to Mesoamerican regions after recognizing the film’s various Mayan influences. He consulted music archaeologists and spent two weeks in Mexico City working with Mexican musicians and performing “hundreds of ancient instruments,” ranging from clay flutes to unusual percussion instruments. He also examined paintings of Mayans playing on tortoise shells, alongside dozens of similar musically inspirational moments. All told, the composer spent more than a year on the score and estimates that 250 musicians and singers were involved, including an 80-piece London orchestra, 40-piece choirs in London and Los Angeles, and an additional 20-piece choir from LA, who specializes in Mesoamerican music.
Rappers Mare Advertencia Lirika and Vivir Quintana’s “Árboles Bajo El Mar” fills the sonic space of the character’s birth sequence with breathy, prolonged vibratos that end with a whispered anthem that builds to a chant. Rapper Pat Boy raps entirely in Mayan on “Laayli’ kuxa’ano’one,” and lilting synthesizers sweep through much of the record, as on “Con La Brisa,” featuring Foudeqush – whose delicate vocals on the Mexican corrido “No Digas Mi Nombre.” “, with Calle x Vida. Snow Tha Product and E-40’s “La Vida” deftly blends mariachi chords with hip-hop rhythms and is one of the lighter-hearted tracks on the soundtrack.
Elsewhere, Nigerian singer-songwriter Ckay and PinkPantheress share a spirited duet on “Anya Mmiri,” set over a melodic Afrobeats tune recorded in Lagos with the help of producer P. Priime. “As a black man, Black Panther is very close to my heart,” Ckay shared in a statement. “To be a part of such a moment that celebrates and uplifts black culture worldwide is something I’m very proud of.”
“It has been an incredible experience and honor to create a soundtrack that is so intricately woven into the fabric of the film itself,” said Archie Davis, Def Jam soundtrack producer and chief creative officer. “Most of these songs are included in the film in a meaningful way; They advance the narrative, they create soundscapes as the characters and story develop. This kind of immersive integration of sound and film is something Ryan, Ludwig and I have always craved.”
Music by and inspired by “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – Official Track Listing
Rihanna, “Pick Me Up”
DBN Gogo / Sino Msolo / Kamo Mphela / Young Stunna / Busiswa, “Love & Loyalty (Believe)”
Burna Boy, “Alone”
Tems, “No Woman, No Scream”
Vivir Quintana / mare Advertencia, “Árboles Bajo el Mar”
Foudeqush / Ludwig Göransson, “Con la Brisa”
Snow tha Product, “La Vida” (ft. E-40)
Fireboy DML, “Coming Back From You”
Tobe Nwigwe / Fat Nwigwe, “You Want It But No Achievement”
ADN Maya Colectivo / Pat Boy / Yaalen K’uj / All Mayan Winik, “Laayli’ kuxa’ano’one”
OG Dayv / Future, “Limoncello”
Ckay, “Anya Mmiri” (ft. Pink Pantheress)
Bloody Civilian, “Wake Up” (ft. Rema)
Inglés, “Pantera” (ft. Rema)
DBN Gogo / Sino Msolo / Kamo Mphela / Young Stunna / Busiswa, “Jele”
Blue Rojo, “Inframundo”
Calle x Vida / Foudeqush, “No Digas Mi Nombre”
Guadalupe de Jesus Chan Poot, “Mi Pueblo”
With reporting by Jon Burlingame
https://variety.com/2022/music/news/black-panther-wakanda-forever-new-soundtrack-1235428530/ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Director, Composer Talk Soundtrack