Kamasi Washington today shares he has scored Becoming, director Nadia Hallgren and Higher Ground Productions’ documentary profiling First Lady Michelle Obama, which debuts on Netflix today. The score features new original music Washington—whom Hallgren asked to join the project very early in its development—composed for the film as well as selections from his catalogue. Watch a trailer for the film here. In addition, the score will be released next Friday 15 May via Young Turks Recordings / Remote Control on all streaming platforms, see full tracklist below and pre-save here.
“Working with Kamasi Washington on the musical score for Becoming was a dream come true,” says Hallgren. “Not only is Kamasi a masterful musician, he also has a unique sensitivity that he pours into his music. His music reaches deeply into your soul. Mrs. Obama loves music, and when I read the line in her book ‘And heaven, as I envisioned it, had to be a place full of jazz,’ I knew immediately Kamasi was the artist that could interpret her experience musically. His sound is contemporary and timeless, a magical fit to her story.”
“It was such a pleasure and honor to work on Becoming,” says Washington. “Michelle Obama is such an amazing person and this film gives a very unique insight to who she is, how she thinks, and the way she navigates the world. It’s truly inspiring to see! Working with the film’s incredible director Nadia Hallgren to create a musical palette to support this amazing piece was truly a blessing. I’m so thankful to her for the opportunity to be a part of this. Barack and Michelle Obama’s time as President and First Lady had an impact on the history of this country and the world that is hard to put into words, but both Michelle Obama’s book and Nadia Hallgren’s film do an amazing job of it!”
Becoming is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.
Kamasi Washington is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer born and raised in Los Angeles. His three bodies of work to date—The Epic; Harmony of Difference, an EP originally commissioned for the 2017 Whitney Biennial; and Heaven and Earth, are among the most acclaimed of the past decade. As Told To G/D Thyself, his short film companion to Heaven and Earth, debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and earlier this year he released his first concert film, Kamasi Washington Live at The Apollo Theater in partnership with Amazon Music. Washington has toured the world over, and collaborated and shared stages with Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine, Herbie Hancock and many more.
PBS Feature Record
RTRFM Feature Album
Eastside Radio Feature Album
“It’s simply too colourful and creative to safely inhabit any single style. While jazz fans will be delighted, curious listeners are also likely to find Heaven And Earth to be richly rewarding.” The Music ★★★★
“If there’s an artist brilliantly bridging jazz past, present and future, it’s Washington; the swirling atmospheric brilliance of his production values are straight of 2018, but his soloing and classic big jazz band dynamics draw obvious influence from the greats.”STACK
“Lavish, portentous, aware of its political significance…”MOJO
“The title promises something gigantic, and the contents deliver…”Uncut
“Drawing on the inclusive spirit of seventies soul jazz and utilizing massed strings, vocals, and a contingent of eclectic improvisers, Washington creates his effect by painting with sweeping brushstrokes.” The New Yorker
“yet another colossal batch of material, exploring an unfathomable scope of moods, genres and ideas.”Exclaim!, 9.0
KAMASI WASHINGTON—BECOMING (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY)
1. Shot Out Of A Cannon
3. Take In The Story
4. Southside V.1
6. The Rhythm Changes
7. Song For Frasier
10. Fashion Then and Now
13. Looking Forward
14. I Am Becoming
15. Southside V.2
Kamasi Washington – Becoming (Music From The Netflix Original Documentary)
is out Friday 15 May via Young Turks / Remote Control Records.