The show will follow the musician’s uncle, Bishop Ezekiel Williams, a well-respected musical genius in the area of Hampton Roads, Va., which includes Pharrell’s hometown of Virginia Beach. The unscripted series will center around the town, as it builds one of the world’s most inspiring gospel choirs.
The bishop and his core team of influential gospel leaders will venture out into Hampton Roads to find undiscovered talent, and with the belief that diverse backstories can give their collective voice a greater meaning, the group will be searching for people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.
Pharrell and the bishop announced news of the series during a conversation on Sunday at Essence Festival, which went digital this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Insiders describe the series as an upbeat, feel-good project, which is “just what we need right now,” during a fraught time in the world.
Pharrell, who will appear on camera, will serve as an executive producer through his multi-media company, I Am Other. The series marks the latest television venture for the Grammy winner, who has also served as a judge on NBC’s “The Voice.”
Mimi Valdés of I Am Other will also serve as an executive producer with Arthur Smith and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. along with Bianca Barnes-Williams.
“Voices of Fire” comes shortly after news of another potential Netflix project for Pharrell, who is reported to be in the early stages of development with the streaming giant on a feature-length musical about Juneteenth, along with Kenya Barris, who is under a massive overall deal at Netflix. The duo are also working on a live stage musical about the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
For Netflix, “Voices of Fire” is its latest unscripted project, as the company has been pushing hard into the alternative landscape over the past year with fellow music-centric show, “Rhythm & Flow,” and a slew of breakout dating series, like “Love Is Blind,” “Too Hot To Handle” and most recently, “Say I Do.” Netflix also recently greenlit two new docuseries-style romance series, one revolving around individuals with autism dating and another focused on an Indian matchmaker.
“Voices of Fire” is set to launch on Netflix later in 2020.