Music icon Lenny Kravitz is once again gracing us with his signature sound, this time with an original song titled “Road to Freedom.” The soulful ballad is the musical centerpiece for George C. Wolfe’s highly anticipated film “Rustin,” adding an extra layer of depth to the movie’s impactful narrative.
In “Rustin,” Kravitz’s soul-stirring tune finds its perfect home as it accompanies the powerful story of Bayard Rustin, portrayed by Colman Domingo. Rustin, a gay activist and co-organizer of the historic March on Washington, is a key figure in the civil rights movement, and his journey from struggle to triumph is beautifully underscored by Kravitz’s emotive lyrics and melody.
Wolfe, the visionary behind the film, spoke of his serendipitous connection with Kravitz: “I first met Lenny very early in both of our careers… and the first time I heard him sing was acapella, and I remember the sound quite vividly.” This initial encounter led to a collaboration that elevates the film’s emotional resonance.
The heart of the song lies in its ability to transport the audience from mere feeling to tangible action. Wolfe’s vision for “Road to Freedom” was to use it as a vehicle to bridge the gap between the emotions the film evokes and the call to action it inspires. The result is a track that speaks to both the past and the present, capturing the essence of 1963 while simultaneously resonating with the current era. Kravitz’s voice becomes a sermon that uplifts and guides, touching hearts and minds with its profound message.
One of the standout elements of “Road to Freedom” is the incorporation of trombones, a musical choice that adds layers of depth and significance to the song. Inspired by a conversation with Branford Marsalis, the composer of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Wolfe’s fascination with trombones found its way into Kravitz’s creation. The addition of the legendary Trombone Shorty enhances the song‘s sonic landscape, creating an auditory experience that is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
“Road to Freedom” isn’t just a song; it’s a journey. A journey that takes listeners on a path of reflection, empowerment, and transformation. As Kravitz’s powerful vocals intertwine with the soulful melody, the song becomes a vessel for Rustin’s legacy, carrying it forward and allowing it to resonate with a new generation.
With its soulful essence and poignant lyrics, “Road to Freedom” is undoubtedly poised to make a mark beyond the film. Set to be released later this year, the song is sure to garner attention and acclaim, positioning itself as a contender in the realm of original songs vying for recognition at the Oscars.
Lenny Kravitz’s musical journey doesn’t stop here. As he pours his soul into “Road to Freedom,” he’s also gearing up for a 2024 tour, preparing to serenade audiences across the globe. Moreover, he’s in the midst of crafting a new record that promises an “upbeat” vibe, with a fall release date on the horizon.
As “Rustin” takes center stage with its star-studded cast and impactful story, “Road to Freedom” shines as its musical heart. The film, featuring luminaries like Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, and Audra McDonald, is set to hit select theaters on November 3, followed by a global release on Netflix on November 17. With Kravitz’s soulful contribution, “Rustin” is bound to leave an indelible mark on cinema and music alike, reminding us all of the enduring power of art to inspire change and transformation.