As Told To G/D Thyself, the highly anticipated short film from Kamasi Washington makes its public debut exclusively today on Apple Music—watch here. Originally premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, the film is inspired by Washington’s critically acclaimed second album Heaven and Earth. Directed by a collaborative collective The Ummah Chroma which consists of Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival, Solo: A Star Wars Story), Terence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness), Jenn Nkiru (Second unit director on Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “APESHIT,” Rebirth Is Necessary), Marc Thomas (Michael & Javier) and Kamasi Washington.

Additionally, Washington joins Apple Music’s Zane Lowe today for an interview on his Beats 1 show to discuss the creation of the film and more—watch here.

The film’s debut caps off a whirlwind year for Washington. Heaven and Earth and its counterpart The Choice were released in June of 2018 to widespread acclaim. Washington has toured the world over with sold-out shows in North America and Europe, including New York’s Apollo Theater and London’s Brixton Academy, as well as dates with Florence + the Machine at Hollywood Bowl, Barclays Center and beyond.

Heaven and Earth continues to receive critical praise:

“This tenor saxophonist—a blistering, continental colossus of jazz uplift and spectacle—returns this month with Heaven and Earth…At nearly two-and-a-half hours, the double album is nearly as sprawling and orchestral as its predecessor, with heaving solos crushed against humongous statues of horns.”—The New York Times

“In another life, the saxophonist Washington might have been a film director specializing in grandiose productions…Drawing on the inclusive spirit of seventies soul jazz and utilizing massed strings, vocals, and a contingent of eclectic improvisers, Washington creates his effect by painting with sweeping brushstrokes.”—The New Yorker

“Truly transcendent…[Washington’s] vast, refreshingly lavish soundworld is well worth getting lost in.”—Rolling Stone

“A multi-genre feast of musical ideas, his most sweeping and
complete statement yet…As a listening experience, Heaven and Earth contains the most transcendent moments of his output thus far, as well as some of the gnarliest.”—Pitchfork“A marvelous work. The constant push and pull of lush strings, agile sax, bubbling percussion, and a seemingly unending array of morphing arrangements mirrors the battle between inward beliefs and what we choose to become outward expression. That sublime tension within the dichotomy of eight tracks of Heaven and eight tracks of Earth makes for a resoundingly engaging and richly complex excursion in sound.”—Stereogum

“The O.G. saxophonist made his name in jazz, but he’s bigger than the genre.”—The FADER

Kamasi Washington is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer born and raised in Los Angeles. Forming his first band, the Young Jazz Giants, with Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, Ronald Bruner, Jr. and Cameron Graves in high school, Washington went on to study ethnomusicology at UCLA and play with Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq and more. His debut album, The Epic, was released in 2015 to rapturous critical reception, embraced as one of the best of the year and awarded the inaugural American Music Prize. Heaven and Earth follows The Epic as well as Washington’s 2017 EP Harmony of Difference, an exploration of the musical concept of counterpoint that debuted as an original work for the 2017 Whitney Museum of Art Biennial.