Only two episodes have aired, but it's safe to say that OWN's Queen Sugar is a near masterpiece. The brilliant acting and breathtaking cinematography make the show unmissable. But throughout each seen you'll find yourself being drawn in by the soundtrack that draws on multiple genres to set the mood.
The show's score is composed by bassist and neo-soul pioneer Meshell Ndegeocello. “I wanted to do my best to please [Ava] and to give her sonically what she needed,” she told Billboard.
Ndegeocello worked with a small group of musicians to create original music. “It’s not real beat-oriented,” she said. “There’s a ton of acoustic guitar, piano and percussion. These people transcended time, so I wanted to use music in the same way. There’s a natural sound that also has groove in some places, but you won’t notice me.”
Ndegeocello and DuVernay are also working together to create music for a film DuVernay produced for the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History.
Here's an example a moment elevated by her music.
Photo: Jordi Vidal