Music

Samara Joy Takes a Detour From Jazz on New Song ‘Why I’m Here’ From Netflix’s ‘Shirley’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Samara Joy has taken a detour from jazz with her new song “Why I’m Here,” featured as part of the upcoming Netflix film “Shirley” about the first Black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

Produced by and co-written with PJ Morton, “Why I’m Here” sees the 24-year-old singer straying from her jazz roots, playing as a sweeping, anthemic ode inspired by the politician. “An easy road was never promised / And so much has been from taken from us / But I won’t stop no matter how much I have to go through / I won’t shed one tear, I know why I’m here,” she sings on the chorus.

“Shirley,” which debuts on Netflix on March 22, stars Regina King as Chisholm, a trailblazer in the political space. Directed by Oscar winner John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave,” “Jimi: All Is By My Side”), the film follows Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign and the impact she left on modern culture.

“For me, this song was a representation of how Shirley Chisholm’s commitment to pursuing her purpose has affected us all, whether we realize it or not,” says Joy. “Regina King’s portrayal of Chisholm only cements the importance of being persistent in the face of adversity and remembering why we all are here: to help one another.”

Morton adds, “It’s an honor to put music to such an important and inspiring story. And then to do it with one of my favorite new voices today just made it even more special.”

“Why I’m Here” arrives shortly after Joy took home her third Grammy for best jazz performance in early February. Last year, she was one of the award ceremony’s most notable victors, taking home the trophies for best new artist and best jazz vocal album. Her sophomore album, 2022’s “Linger Awhile,” made her a standout in the jazz world, and she followed last October with “A Joyful Holiday.”

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