As Rihanna readies herself to perform at next month’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, the singer will likely hear her name being announced on Jan. 24 when Oscar nominations are announced. Rihanna is hotly tipped to be nominated for best original song for her “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” track “Lift Me Up.”
In a new behind-the-scenes video, Rihanna is seen in her recording studio listening to the finished song for the first time with filmmaker Ryan Coogler, composer Ludwig Göransson and Roc Nation CEO Jay Brown.
The song plays over the end credits of “Wakanda Forever” and was co-written by Göransson, Tems, Rihanna and Coogler.
In the video, shared Monday afternoon, the group swaps notes over an iPhone. Göransson states, “You’re making it timeless, you don’t know if it’s past the future or present.”
“Lift Me Up” was recorded as a tribute to celebrate the legacy of actor Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa in the original “Black Panther.” Boseman died of colon cancer in 2020 at the age of 43.
The idea for the song stemmed from a trip the composer and Coogler took when they went to Lagos. Göransson had a musical idea and asked Coogler to pen some lyrics. A few months later Rihanna and Tems added their voices to the mix.
The sequel centers on the women of Wakanda, led by Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda, as the nation contends with the death of their ruler and fights to protect their nation.
The song marks a return for Rihanna after a six-year hiatus. Rihanna’s own Westbury Road label released the track, in partnership with Roc Nation, Def Jam Recordings and Hollywood Records.
This would be a first-time nomination for Rihanna and vocalist Tems. Göransson won an Academy Award for original score in 2019 for “Black Panther” and Coogler earned a picture nomination as one of the producers of “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Watch the video below.