The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By soundtrack features over 40 international artists recorded in Lagos, Nigeria, Mexico City, London, and Los Angeles. Featured artists include Rihanna, Burna Boy, Rema, Tems, Fireboy DML, OG DAYV, Future, CKay, PinkPantheress, E-40, and many more.
Ludwig Göransson, who has two Emmys, two Grammys, and an Oscar to his credit, composed and produced both the score and the original songs on the soundtrack. His extensive work producing artists (Childish Gambino, Adele, Haim, Justin Timberlake) as well as his work scoring films and TV series (Black Panther, Creedm, The Mandalorian) made him uniquely qualified to helm both parts of the soundscape
For their fourth cinematic collaboration, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Coogler and Göransson set out to create an innovative soundscape where Göransson says, “The songs and score are one.” The two artists have talked about this approach since their days attending USC Film School and finally made it a reality with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
In what became a massive labor of love, Göransson spent over 2500 hours recording the score and soundtrack – which involved six studios, across three continents and five countries. Over the course of the film, the audience will hear over 250 musicians, two orchestras, two choirs, and over 40 vocalists.
Coogler was intimately involved in the creation of the music for the film, from co-writing lyrics on the Rihanna track “Lift Me Up” to suggesting the cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” performed by Nigerian singer/songwriter Tems and bridged together with Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” for the film’s instantly viral trailer.
Göransson said, “Ryan and I talked about the importance of creating an immersive journey of sound and voice. If we used a song in the film, we wanted it to be the entire song, and to be connected to the story. Thematically, we wanted to move the audience from grief to celebration. When you listen to the soundtrack, you can close your eyes and relive the experience of the movie. That was the intention.”
Given the story is inspired by both Nigerian and Mesoamerican cultures, recording sessions were set up in Lagos, Nigeria, and Mexico City, Mexico, as well as Abbey Road Studios in London. Producers worked with popular artists from Lagos including Tems, which has become a hotbed of musical innovation. In addition, emerging rappers and artists from Mexico City are featured on the soundtrack including rapper Pat Boy, who raps entirely in Mayan.
While in Mexico City, Göransson worked closely with music archeologist Alejandro Rojas to explore and research Mayan music. Instruments native to both Nigerian and Mesoamerican cultures were featured in the creation of the soundscape.