Mary J. Blige’s search for musical freedom captured on film
It’s rare for a performer as famous and beloved as Mary J. Blige to reveal herself as authentically as she does in the documentary film Mary J. Blige: The London Sessions, which premiered last night at The Tribeca Film Festival.
The intimate portrait was filmed over the 19 days MJB spent in London writing and recording her 13th studio album. Masterfully directed by Sam Wrench, the behind-the-scenes look into Blige’s creative process also captures the improvisational and emotionally charged moments as she works with some of Britain’s hottest recording artists, including Sam Smith, Disclosure, Emeli Sandé, Naughty Boy and Sam Romans.
In one poignant moment, Blige meets with the late Amy Winehouse’s father and they remember the talented musician who shared Blige’s struggles with alcohol and substance abuse.
After the film Blige walked onto the stage confident, empowered and humbled by the ongoing applause erupting from the crowd. She told personal anecdotes as they related to each song, proving that she is as eloquent conversing with the crowd as she is belting out her hit songs. The performance that followed was in a word—electric.
At the after party held at The Empire Hotel, Blige relaxed with friends and fans alike as the bright lights of New York City twinkled in the background.