As Marvel Studios ramps up its awards campaign for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the company released a new behind-the-scenes video for its potential Best Original Song nominee “Lift Me Up.” The song was written by writer/director Ryan Coogler, composer Ludwig Göransson, Tems and Rihanna. It was composed as a tribute to late leading man Chadwick Boseman.
In the video, Rihanna is seen hearing the completed track for the first time while Coogler, Göransson and Roc Nation CEO Jay Brown are on a virtual call. They exchange congratulations on how beautiful the song came out. At one point, Göransson notes its unique sound, saying, “You’re making it timeless, you don’t know if it’s past, the future or present.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever follows Shuri, Ramonda, Nakia and the people of the fictional African nation as they grieve the loss of King T’Challa. After the audience goes on an extremely emotional journey of processing our own feelings, the song plays over the end credits, putting the perfect button on the story.
As much as we all want to see the song win an Academy Award, the original song category is very competitive this year. Notable entries on the Oscar shortlist include frontrunner “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, “Good Afternoon” from Spirited–which is written by Oscar-winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul–and “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman, written by 13-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren. We’ll all find out together if Rihanna will add Oscar nominee to her list of credits when the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards are announced on Jan. 24.
In the meantime, RiRi has more pressing matters to worry about as she’s set to perform during halftime of Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, Feb. 12. Though we still have no idea what the Savage x Fenty mogul has planned, we recently found out that Jay-Z and Roc Nation will put their considerable weight behind the performance. I suspect we won’t know what shape that takes until showtime, but it’s still exciting news.
So we’ve got the Oscars and the Super Bowl checked off. All we need is more new music and we’re set.