The Edit

MS MARVEL SOUNDTRACK & REVIEW

ms marvel

 

Photo Credit: www.disneyplus.com

"It’s not really the brown girls from Jersey City who save the world"

Ah, but it turns out, it very much is. Disney+’s Ms Marvel has earned rave reviews from both fans and critics.

A stunning, emotional rollercoaster that explores everything from origin stories to generational healing, mother/daughter relationships, immigration, time travel and real-world history, featuring bold, colourful cartoon visuals and a brilliant soundtrack, let’s dive into what makes Ms Marvel such a fantastic new addition to the MCU.

Marvel Comics’ First Muslim Character

There have been four characters to take the name Ms Marvel to date. The first graphic novel to star Kamala Khan came out in 2014 – she was Marvel Comics’ first Muslim character to headline her own comic book.

Kamala (played by newcomer Iman Vellani – a genuine Ms Marvel comics superfan), is a Pakistani-American teen from Jersey City, NJ.

She inherits a magical bangle that helps her to unlock the powers of alternate dimension the Noor, but it also brings her into potentially deadly contact with a super-powerful group known as the ClanDestines, aka The Djin – exiles who want to return to their dimension, but need Kamala’s powers in order to do so.

The TV series was created by British writer and stand-up Bisha K. Ali, who has previously worked on Loki (and our favourite Netflix series, Sex Education) and was a long-term fan of the Ms Marvel graphic novels.

She talks about the process of bringing the character to the screen and creating the show’s distinctive vibrant, joyous visual style in this interview with Screen Rant Plus:

Drawing On Their Own Backgrounds

As head writer, Ali says that Kamala Khan’s character was informed by her own experiences growing up as the child of Pakistani-born parents, and that the show speaks, in part to, ‘people who rarely get to see themselves be the protagonists, who have suffered from a history of poor media representation in the West.’

The members of the writers’ room drew heavily on their own lives and influences when creating the Ms Marvel world, from attending mosque to celebrating Eid, and Kamala’s best friend Nakia’s choice to wear hijab to feel empowered, together with their families’ experiences of partition.

As Ali told Vulture, their conversations weren’t typical, ‘we were sharing things you don’t normally get to share at work: “What was your sibling’s wedding like?”, “What was your masjid (mosque) like?”’

Family and Community as a Superpower

The series will introduce many MCU fans to elements of Muslim and Pakistani life – and, in the penultimate episode, where Kamala travels back in time to 1947, to the lived history of partition.

By the end of the season, it becomes clear that family and community underpin all of Kamala’s powers, as much as the force she’s channelling through the bangle.

As Ali told Nerdist, ‘her family and her community – who they are is her superpower.’

An Award-Winning Composer and Director

Here at Audio Network, we were thrilled to see that Laura Karpman was on board to compose the soundtrack. Laura’s music for Sitara, an award-winning animation that tells the story of Pari, a Pakistani girl who wants to follow her dream of becoming a pilot, was released through our catalogue.

Plus, two of Ms Marvel’s six-episode season (‘Seeing Red’ and ‘Time and Again’) were directed by Sitara’s director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

Obaid-Chinoy discusses bringing her own life experiences to life through the medium of Ms Marvel, from props to costume and set designers to create Karachi, her home city, which Kamala visits to find out more about her family history, as part of cementing her identity:

Obaid-Chinoy and Karpman’s work on Sitara made for an excellent precursor to Ms Marvel, whose heroine Kamala Khan dreams of being a superhero like the iconic Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers.

Creating the Sound of a Teenage Superhero and Her Heritage

Laura Karpman is a five-time Emmy winner and spent five months scoring Season One. She told Variety that she relished the challenge of bringing Kamala Khan into the Marvel Universe, and that her overall concept for the score was: ‘Marvel superhero meets a deep and significant heritage that had to also be a part of the sound of the show. It’s about representation, about elevating people who have not yet been seen a certain way, cinematically.’

How to bring together Kamala’s teenage side, her superheroic powers and her heritage? Karpman used a combination of a traditional, 70-piece orchestra, a theme that is, ‘hip, driven by contemporary beats, dhol beats, table beats, or both’ and added South Asian flavours.

Mostly recording remotely in India and Pakistan, a variety of artists played traditional instruments including the sarangi and sursringar, bansuri flute and mridangam drum. The ensemble also features a violinist, Raaginder, who is a specialist in Indian classical music, and vocalist Ganavya Doraiswamy.

Karpman also composed themes for Kamala’s bangle, a love theme for her great-grandparents and more, to create tracks that are simultaneously universal, yet distinctly regional, collaborating with exec producer Sana Amanat and music supervisor Dave Jordan, as well as her musicians.

The Music Supervisors

Music supervisor Dave Jordan and co-music supervisor Shannon Murphy also had to juggle different elements when it came to the needle drops used in the show.

The original Pakistani music includes tracks such as ‘Ko Ko Korina’, which Kamala’s mother, Muneeba, loves – from a 1966 film, Armaan, the song is considered by music critics as ‘Pakistan’s first pop song.’

Teenager Kamala is more into artists such as Swet Shop Boys – ‘Anthem’ features in two episodes – three songs from DJ and singer Ritviz are used, together with underground cult hit ‘The Sibbi Song’, which is in Episode Four.

Perhaps the most joyful use of music in Season One comes courtesy of the reveal that Kamala’s parents are die-hard Bon Jovi fans (from their younger days in Pakistan). Bon Jovi are, of course, a New Jersey band and both ‘Bed of Roses’ and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ are used in the wedding scene – played by local cover band, ‘Brown Jovi’.

Add in The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ (used both in the trailer and the show), and empowering 90s rap (Mase’s ‘Feel so Good’) and you’ve got one of the year’s most eclectic and interesting soundtracks.

Want an even deeper dive into the world of Ms Marvel?

Check out this Cinema Blend interview, with the cast and creators, who talk easter eggs, best friends, mother/daughter and older sibling dynamics, and collaborating with the show’s cultural consultants:

With only six episodes in Season One, we can’t wait to see what Ms Marvel does next – what we do know is that you can catch her in The Marvels, which is slated for release next summer.

Can’t Get Enough TV?

For more deep dives, check out our monthly look at the best in TV and streaming, whether it’s Atlanta or Stranger Things, Russian Doll or teen dramas such as Euphoria and Yellowjackets.

And if you’re on the hunt for eclectic music to soundtrack your project and tell a story, then we have tracks in every possible genre – from blockbuster trailers to world music, rap to classical.

Need Music for Your Project?

At Audio Network we create original music, of the highest quality, for broadcasters, brands, creators, agencies and music fans everywhere. Through clear and simple licensing, we can offer you a huge variety of the best quality music across every conceivable mood and genre. Find out how we can connect you with the perfect collaborator today by clicking the button below!




A GUIDE TO AFROBEATS MUSIC

Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido? At Audio Network, we explain where to start with Afrobeats, and share the origins and characteristics of the world’s fastest growing genre.


Updating... one moment please