The Story ⚡
Voices Rising – The Music of Wakanda Forever, a three-episode documentary directed by Bernado Ruiz and Meji Alabi is now streaming on Disney+.
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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever captured the hearts and imaginations of both local and international audiences, from the cinematography to the delivery. However, an aspect that struck and stuck with the audience was the soundtrack featured throughout this African-based fantasy film.
The series takes us behind the sound and soundtrack of this fantasy flick with a host of artists led by Oscar-winning composer, Ludwig Göransson, and documents the making and production of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s music.
The first episode of the docu-series was released on Tuesday, 28th February 2023. The next episode is to be released on the 7th of March, while the final episode will be released on the 14th of March 2023.
What To Expect?
In episode 1 of Voices Rising – The Music of Wakanda Forever named “Nigeria: Past is Present”, Director Ryan Coogler and composer Ludwig Göransson work together in Lagos, Nigeria, which is at the centre of a rapidly growing, dynamic musical scene. Focusing on the themes of past versus present and technology versus tradition, Göransson starts each recording day working with traditional musicians and ends the day working with modern recording artists, including Fireboy DML, Bloody Civilian, and Busiswa.
The docu-series was Executive Produced by JM Films’ Jimi Adesanya alongside Peter Nicks, Justine Nagan, Ryan Coogler, and more; Produced by Serin Marshall; Co-Produced by Gaby Arvizu; with partners at Marvel Studios, Actual Films, Proximity Media, and JM Films.
Prior to the release of the movie, Marvel Studios’ Ryan Coogler and the main cast and crew of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever visited Nigeria to premiere the film on the African continent. The result of this strategy? A ₦1 billion cume at the Nigerian box office. The first and largest box office ticket sales ever made by any film in the country, and this was made in 3 months.
Going by this, the high demand for the product in the country is evident. However, the question remains: will Disney+ capitalize on the popularity of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and expand to the West African market? Or will the media company miss out on this low-hanging fruit?
Another point to consider in the music following this Black Fantasy film is the genre. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is punctuated by varied afrobeat music, alluding to the rise of the genre internationally. The music following the Black Sci-fi film includes Tems’ cover of Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry, which was featured in the teaser trailer; Coming Back for You, performed by Fireboy DML; Alone, performed by Burna Boy; and Anya Mmiri, performed by CKay featuring PinkPantheress.
Mavin Records singer and songwriter, Rema, appears as a featured artist on two projects in the album: Pantera with Mexican rapper, Alemán; and Wake Up with Afrobeats singer, Bloody Civilian.
Other incoming Disney works are Madu, which follows Anthony Madu, the Nigerian boy who became a viral sensation after a video showed him dancing ballet barefoot on a rainy street outside Lagos; and animated anthology Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire which presents bold visions of advanced technology, aliens, spirits, and monsters imagined from uniquely African perspectives. Evidently, Disney is on a trail to increase its supply of authentic African content.
It is important to note that although Disney+ has launched its product in South Africa, it is yet to launch in Nigeria. This means that Black Panther fans in the country will, unfortunately, miss out on watching this docu-series.
The soundtrack for the first Black Panther 2 movie was a huge part of its success, and for the movie, the creators went bigger with a mix of artists from different continents speaking different languages. Voices Rising – The Music of Wakanda Forever is a three-episode series showcasing how the extraordinary Black Panther team pushed the boundaries of what a Hollywood score and soundtrack can be, creating an immersive, moving experience in the process.
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