This isn’t your typical musical! It’s a familiar musical.
“Praise This” is fun!
From director Tina Gordon, writer-director of “Little” and the writer of “What Men Want” and “Drumline,” “Praise This” follows aspiring musical superstar Sam (Chloe Bailey), a young woman driven, at almost any cost, to break into the music business.
We spoke with Gordan about the sounds and scenes.
(from left) Chloe Bailey and director Tina Gordon on the set of Praise This.
Q: The music selection is a vibe! There’s a Gospel Jodeci type of group with choreography. There was some Jabbawockeez energy. And the Beyonce, Cardi B, and Xscape bangers. What was the musical process like? Do you have to tap in with the gospel gatekeepers because they’re very protective?
TG: The music selection process was exhaustive. We went through so many talented songwriters in the gospel space who flipped the songs to the songs that you’ve heard in the movie. Most of them are gospel songwriters. First you have to find co-conspirators that are ready to do this very edgy assignment. Then it’s about matching the personalities of the praise team. I wanted the teams to have personality and a little bit of humor so the tone of the movie is not taking itself so seriously. It’s just a little nod…Every team has a little joke – the Prodigal Brothers, they’re just so alluring. They have no idea they’re so sexy. They love the Lord and they’re just gorgeous. Our Promise Ringtones, same thing; unattainable, girl group, sweet as pie. Then it’s just finding songs that match their personalities.
(from left) Sam (Chloe Bailey) and Ty (Quavo) in Praise This, directed by Tina Gordon.
Q: There’s a scene with Quavo and Chloe where his character doesn’t act like a stereotypical rapper – girls willing to do anything to get on. Talk about writing his character and the choices you made.
TG: …The bad rapper. There’s a bravado, an assumption about rappers. Having worked in this industry for a while, I’ve become friends with many rappers. Privately, many of them are so different than the bravado that they present. It’s interesting because the assumption that you make is based on the assumption that somehow this industry has just… It feeds on itself, that it’s just this hyper bravado of all of the rap….Not all of them, but [some are going to take advantage]. It was a conversation that I got into with Qauvo. It’s a conversation that I’ve gotten into with male rappers, particularly, about how it was important to just show a vulnerable side, but just a human side behind the ra-ra. He just did it beautifully. I think he understood that assignment and he was just confident enough to just show that side, so I loved that.
#PraiseThis will stream only on Peacock April 7th.
For Tina’s full interview click the video above.
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