Sony Masterworks Broadway will release a Studio Cast Recording for Witness Uganda (An American Musical) February 11, 2022; it is now available for preorder. The album for Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews' musical features 24 songs from the show, performed by Matthews and a star-studded cast including Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo, Grammy winner Ledisi, and stage-and-screen stars Nicolette Robinson, Emma Hunton, and Kristolyn Lloyd, among others.
Ahead of the release, listeners can enjoy the single "Bricks", which opens with a provocative spoken word verse, propulsive drums, and shimmering synths that eventually give way to a high-energy chorus. Listen to that song here, and watch the visualizer below.
“We’ve always seen ‘Bricks’ as a rallying cry,” co-creator Gould (Lempicka) says of the track. “If you’re coming into the musical for the first time through the album, we want you to know it’s not your run-of-the-mill musical. It captures the energy and the spirit of a generation trying to come to terms with whether ‘changing the world’ is even possible.”
Inspired by true events, Witness Uganda documents Matthews' journey on a volunteer mission to Uganda, during which he builds an unlikely bond with a ragtag group of teenage students, discovering community where they least expect it. Originally making its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in 2014, Witness Uganda then had an off-Broadway run at Second Stage in 2015 under the moniker Invisible Thread. A reworked version directed by Matthews, with its original title, subsequently played Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in 2019.
The 24-track collection features vocals by Matthews (The Flight Attendant), Erivo, Ledisi, Robinson, Hunton, Lloyd, Tyrone Davis Jr., Jamar Williams, Kameron Richardson, Jai’Len Josey, Amber Iman, India Carney, Jamard Richardson, Kevin Curtis, Sha’Leah Nikole, Naarai, Loren Smith, and Antwone Barnes. Many are alums of earlier iterations of the show.
“In the world of musical theatre, you often record a cast recording in two days,” says Gould of the album’s creation. “We had the luxury of time and space to record this like a pop album with Stephen. Because we had the opportunity to dig deeper, we were able to take a conceptual approach.”