Raphael Saadiq Receives Oscar Nomination for “Mighty River” from ‘Mudbound’

Raphael Saadiq

By Jack Barnes

Raphael Saadiq received his first Academy Award nomination for co-writing the song Mighty River” from Mudbound today. The Grammy-winning musician, producer and songwriter is nominated along with co-songwriters Mary J. Blige—one of the film’s stars—and his frequent collaborator Taura Stinson. The Oscar nomination follows prior nominations for the song at the Golden Globe Awards, Soul Train Awards and Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

“I couldn’t be more surprised or thrilled that ‘Mighty River’ got a nomination,” notes Saadiq. “Working with Mary J. Blige and Taura Stinson is always a breeze, they are very talented. I am truly blessed.”

Saadiq has become a musical go-to in the film & television world over the last several years. In addition to his work on Mudbound, he scored the new Netflix film Step Sisters along with Laura Karpman; composed the music for the Sundance documentary STEP with Karpman and co-wrote the song “Jump” from the film, which won the Critic’s Choice Documentary Award for “Best Song in a Documentary”; and he composes the music for HBO’s hit series Insecure (see him on the show’s ‘Wine Down’ here). He also composed music for the film Black Nativity, television shows Underground (WGN) and Rebel (BET), performed on Luke Cage (Netflix), and more.

Other recent high profile projects include executive producing Solange’s critically lauded 2016 album A Seat at the Tablewhich also netted him another Grammy win; producing the Little Dragon track “Peace of Mind (feat. Faith Evans)”; and co-writing / appearing on the Rick Ross single “Apple of My Eye.” In 2017, he also headlined Afropunk Brooklyn in August; performed select dates with Maxwell including a show at the Hollywood Bowl; made an appearance with A Tribe Called Quest at FYF Fest this summer; and joined Metallica, Dead & Co and more for Band Together, a benefit concert for North Bay Wildfire Relief last month.

Raphael Saadiq’s first foray into the international music scene came as a teenager when he performed as part of Sheila E.’s backing band and toured with Prince. Saadiq has also released critically acclaimed solo albums including his five-time Grammy-nominated debut album Instant Vintage and 2004’s Ray Ray. For the last two decades, Saadiq has also worked behind the scenes as a celebrated producer and songwriter for major artists including D’Angelo (Grammy-winner for “How Does It Feel”), John Legend, Miguel, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, The Isley Brothers, TLC, Whitney Houston, the Bee Gees, Joss Stone, and more. He was also a founding member of the multiplatinum-selling group Tony! Toni! Toné!

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