“I never thought she’d say yes,” director Ava DuVernay says of serene ballad “Flower of the Universe”
Sade released a beatific acoustic ballad titled “Flower of the Universe,” the group’s first new release since 2011. They recorded the track for the forthcoming soundtrack to A Wrinkle in Time, which arrives March 9th.
Anyone familiar with Sade’s work, especially the Lover’s Rock album, will recognize the ingredients in “Flower of the Universe”: A scratchy beat, elegant, melancholy guitar and singer Sade Adu’s polished, imposing vocals. At the end of each verse, a pretty tangle of strings and brass wafts through the song, and “Flower of the Universe” ends in a handsome swirl of orchestration.
Producer No I.D., who recently earned a Grammy nomination for his work on Jay-Z’s 4:44, helped craft the track. “A legend,” he wrote on Twitter. “Sade, it was an honor.”
Director Ava DuVernay announced Sade’s contribution to the A Wrinkle in Time soundtrack last month. “I never thought she’d say yes, but asked anyway,” DuVernay wrote on Twitter. “She was kind and giving. A Goddess.”
Along with Sade’s contribution, the Wrinkle in Time soundtrack will also feature a new song from DJ Khaled and Demi Lovato, “I Believe,” that will play during the film’s closing credits. Sia, Kehlani and the R&B duo Chloe x Halle also wrote and recorded new music for the film, while Ramin Djawadi composed the score.
“Each song on the Wrinkle in Time soundtrack was crafted with great care in close collaboration with the artists,” DuVernay said. “My creative partnership with Sade on ‘Flower of the Universe’ was so connected that I reverse engineered the usual process and used her lyrics as actual dialogue within the film. I truly loved working with DJ Khaled who jumped into this project with open arms and an open heart, along with the great Demi Lovato. Sia, Kehlani and Chloe x Halle beautifully embraced the visuals of the film to create distinct songs that expand and elevate Meg’s heroic journey. And working with Ramin Djawadi was a dream come true as I have been a long-time admirer of his stellar work. His musical compositions for the film are perfectly otherworldly.”
Sade’s last album, Soldier of Love, came out in 2010. The band’s immaculate Quiet Storm R&B is immensely popular – since debuting in 1984, they’ve sold more than 50 million albums around the world. This commercial success has allowed Adu to work at her own pace: After a flurry of releases in the 1980s, she took eight years to help make the group’s fifth album and another decade before releasing Soldier of Love.