Artist News

Michael Kiwanuka collaborates with Nas on soundtrack to new Baz Lurhmann drama

By | Published on Wednesday 27 July 2016

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka has collaborated with Nas on the soundtrack for a new drama series made by Baz Lurhmann for Netflix. Nas is also an executive producer on and the narrator of ‘The Get Down’, a “music-driven drama series” set in 1977 that “chronicles the rise of hip hop and the last days of disco”.

I think it’s fair to say Lurhmann is something of a Kiwanuka super-fan, hence him getting the musician involved in the project. “Michael Kiwanuka’s music came into my life at the same time we were evolving the story of ‘The Get Down'”, says the director. “While we’ve worked with many of the great classic artists from hip hop, soul, and dance, Michael’s music was perfect to illuminate our main character of Books, who like Michael himself, is stepping out into the world asking questions: who is he, where is he going, what is life about?”

Lurhmann went on: “What I find remarkable, is while his songs are immediately fresh on first listening, you have a feeling that they’re somehow classics that you’ve been hearing for years. I guess this only speaks to the influence of his heroes Otis Redding, Issac Hayes, Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye, all iconic music figures performing and recording at the time that our story is set”.

The series will launch on Netflix next month, though a trailer featuring Nas rapping over a Kiwanuka track was posted on YouTube earlier this week. Kiwanuka also recently released his second album ‘Love & Hate’, but you knew that already.