Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Ryan Coogler REVEALS how he convinced Rihanna for solo music return
During Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Press Conference, Ryan Coogler was all praises when Pinkvilla asked the director about Rihanna, who sang Lift Me Up for the OST of the movie.
There's a lot of anticipation surrounding Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, mostly because of the intrigue around the storyline with Chadwick Boseman's untimely death. Carrying his legacy forward is the OG cast and Ryan Coogler, who has been speaking candidly about missing the actor, a close pal, in the sequel. Interestingly, Rihanna made her solo music return after 6-7 years with Lift Me Up, which is a part of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Soundtrack, and it's a tribute song to Chadwick Boseman's MCU legacy.
How Did Ryan Coogler Convince Rihanna to Make Her Solo Music Comeback with Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever OST?
At Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Press Conference, Pinkvilla asked this very question to Ryan Coogler, who couldn't help but quip, "Yeah, that's a great question." Getting serious, Ryan shared, "I can't take sole credit for that. We have an incredible composer, Ludwig Göransson, who's also a music producer, who's got a great reputation. You know, made This Is America with Childish Gambino. So, 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."
Showering praises upon Rihana, Ryan Coogler added, "Look, Rihanna has given us a whole career, a whole catalogue of music, and now she's given us make-up and clothing and 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. But the truth is, 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 [Lamar] did for us so beautifully with the first film."
On how Lift Me Up's pivotal theme is motherhood with Rihanna recently becoming a mother herself, Ryan Coogler deciphered, "And this film is different. 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. And it timed up, that she was in that space in her life. And she was open and it was really the trailer that, when she saw the performances that everybody was putting down in the trailer, that was what put her over the edge and she said, 'Hey, I wanna see this film, I wanna see if I can figure this out.'"
Ryan Coogler also had a writing credit on Lift Me Up, as he elaborated on the music process: "We collaborated with this incredible singer Tems. And, she and I wrote the words, Ludwig made the music. But truthfully, the music was recorded on three different continents. Some of it was recorded from the first Black Panther when Ludwig was in Senegal. So, it came together in a lotta different ways. And I'm super happy with it and feel super thankful. But the truth is, once she played us the record, she said straight up, 'I did this for Chad[wick Boseman]. And so, it was him, man."
Ryan Coogler Gets Emotional Talking About Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Cast
Furthermore, getting emotional, Ryan Coogler spoke directly to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's cast members Letitia Wright aka Shuri, Lupita Nyong'o aka Nakia, Danai Gurira aka Okoye and Tenoch Huerta aka Namor: "Sitting here thinking about it, it's hitting me right now. These four actors [points at Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Tenoch Huerta] that are next to me, I watched you guys' work since way before I knew y'all. I remember seeing y'all work and saying, 'Man, I'd love to work with them someday.' Tenoch in Sin nombre, that's the first time I saw you. Danai, Mother of George. Lupita, we came up together with 12 Years [a Slave] and Fruitvale [Station]. At the same time, I saw you [looks at Wright] in My Brother the Devil, 2012. And Chad brought us all together, brought us together, you know what I mean? He just keeps on giving, you know?"
"So, I'm just really thankful that Rihanna was the latest gift to join the family and can't wait for folks to, the song is out, but I can't wait for folks to see how it's used in the film," Ryan Googler wrapped in conclusion. Ryan's humbling words left Lupita, Letitia and Danai in tears as they consoled one another.
No better than Rihanna to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman's legacy!
What did you think of Rihanna's epic track Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever OST? Share your personal opinion with Pinkvilla in the comments section below.
Meanwhile, Black Panther releases on November 11.
ALSO READ: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Lift Me Up: Rihanna makes a RIVETING comeback with a gorgeous song
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