Kenya Barris and Pharrell Williams Team Up For ‘Juneteenth’ Musical
Black-ish creator and producer Kenya Barris has an exciting new project in the works. He’s teaming up with Grammy Award winning producer Pharrell Williams work on a new stage musical that is inspired by Juneteenth, an African American holiday tradition that celebrates the final day of slavery in the United States.
The inspiration behind this upcoming musical comes from the season four premier episode of Black-ish is titled “Juneteenth: The Musical.”
Barris along with Peter Saji will write and produce the opera. Pharrell whose songs include “Happy” and “Freedom,” is set to write and compose the music and produce under his company “I Am OTHER” with partner Mimi Valdés.
Barris shared his excitement for the upcoming project stating,
The acknowledgement and celebration of Juneteenth as an American and possibly international holiday is something that I would put in the life goals column for me. For Peter and me to be able to team up with Pharrell on such an important project like this is something that neither of us in a billion years would have thought possible.
He then briefly spoke about why this musical is so important.
For us, this project isn’t about numbers; it’s about humanity. Slavery is America’s recessive gene and it’s time we all dealt with it and what better way to have an audience swallow this dose of medicine than with amazing music and raw, honest, jaw dropping comedy?
Pharrell also shared his excitement about teaming with Kenya for this project.
“I dream about projects like this. Kenya and Peter are geniuses and Juneteenth will change culture and change history. We couldn’t sign up fast enough. We are thrilled to collaborate with them.”
Details for the plot have not been disclosed. However, the musical is expected to focus on two different African American families, one during the Civil War era and the other during contemporary times.