Tems’ version of the 1974 original was first heard during Wakanda Forever’s recently-released trailer, but was released in full today (July 26), alongside additional soundtrack contributions ‘A Body, A Coffin’ by Amaarae and ‘Soy’ by Santa Fe Klan.
Together, the trio of tracks comprise the film’s first musical offering: Wakanda Forever Prologue. Listen below:
In a press statement regarding the EP, the film’s director Ryan Coogler and composer Ludwig Göransson described Wakanda Forever Prologue as an “aural first glimpse” into the “sound world for the film”, borne out of the pair’s “extended trips to Mexico and Nigeria.”
“During the nights on these trips, we had recording sessions with contemporary artists who were akin to the characters and thematic material explored in the film… The instrumental score and soundtrack for Wakanda Forever both organically grew from these sessions and workshops,” the joint statement read.
Set to be released in cinemas in November of this year, Wakanda Forever is the sequel to Marvel’s first Black Panther film, which was released in 2018. The soundtrack for that film was curated and produced by Kendrick Lamar, and featured the likes of SZA and The Weeknd, alongside an Oscar-winning score by Göransson.
The trailer version of the cover by Tems, who this year won a BET Award for Best International Act, was interpolated with a somber rendition of Lamar’s 2015 track ‘Alright’. While Lamar’s return to the Marvel project is as-yet unconfirmed, the film will see actors Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira reprise their roles in the franchise.
Tems’ appearance on the soundtrack follows the 2021 release of her sophomore EP, ‘If Orange Was A Place’, which earned the Nigerian singer a place among NME’s 20 best EPs and mixtapes of that year.
“[It was] a joyous return to the stage for the star…her UK comeback performance [was] flawless without any major hitches, and you can’t help but walk away feeling proud of her resilience,” Williams wrote.