‘Precious’ song was personal for Blige

Recording artist lives the music that she writes

When noteworthy recording artists pen songs for films, it’s an opportunity for them to flex their creative muscles and brand themselves in another arena, but rarely do you hear about a hired performer exorcising their demons.

Which is what makes Mary J. Blige’s track “I Can See in Color” from “Precious” so transcendent: Blige has walked in the title character’s shoes.

The lyrics in “Color,” co-written with Raphael Saadiq and LaNeah Menzies, are largely upbeat, describing Precious’ awakening as she delivers her second child.

But with its light organ, rhyth­mic drive and Blige’s soulful cry, the tune lays on a thick bluesy sound reminiscent of Donny Hathaway’s ’70s hit “Giving Up.”

“Lee would say ‘I want it darker, bluesier. Use your own life,'” Blige explains about how director Lee Daniels prodded her to draw inspiration from her hard-knocks upbringing in a Yonkers, N.Y., project. “I went into the studio and cried hard, reaching back.”

Urban pathos has long been a motif in Blige’s canon, but her decision to return to her roots stems from an obligation to reach out to the hopeless young women on the street.

“‘Precious’ is why I keep telling this story,” she says.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Marketplace

    Leave a Reply

    No Comments

    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    More Film News from Variety

    Loading