Don’t let quarantine keep you from enjoying new releases, The High Note is hitting your small screens on May 29 and it’s sure to be a comedy that will leave you on a high note.
Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross star in the feel good comedy, along with co-stars Ice Cube and Kelvin Harrison Jr. The movie follows Maggie Sherwood (Dakota Johnson), the personal assistant of famous singer Grace Davis, (Tracee Ellis Ross) as she desperately tries to prove her worthiness as a producer. Maggie discovers new talent (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) in a supermarket and devotes herself to making him a star.
The Knockturnal got a chance to chat with Kelvin about his role in the new movie. Although everyone has been quarantining, Harrison appeared in good spirits as he told me what he enjoyed about the movie the most. “One of the first movies that I watched in the theatre where I felt like a visceral musical experience was Dream Girls and everyone stood up when Jennifer Hudson said “I’m telling you!”, for me watching this movie I got to have that moment.” says Harrison. The young actor also appears singing for the first time on screen, but says that he’s not eager to start his musical career just yet. “There’s more things I want to check off of my box before, I’m doing the dream checklist right now.” He says “I’m getting everything I have always wanted to get in, in.” says Harrison.
Ice Cube starred as “Jack Robertson” Grace Davis’ grumpy manager in the new comedy, which didn’t seem like too much of a stretch from his normal no-nonsense demeanor. I asked Cube where he drew the inspiration to play such an ill-tempered character, “There’s a lot of people out there who are personalities and that’s what I wanted to be” he says “I think a guy like Jack is a guy who if he could sing he wouldn’t even need Grace Davis” he jokes. Each actor agrees that The High Note is exactly the relief we need during this difficult time, it has the ability to help you relax, laugh and come together with your family.
Director Nisha Ganatra says the releasing it in this capacity wasn’t the ideal circumstances for the release she had hoped for, but feels grateful the movie turned out exactly as she pictured it. “My only regret in this current moment is that people won’t be able to see it on the big screen” says Ganatra, “But I will trade it [The big screen release] for everyone staying home and staying safe and healthy” she says.
The High Note will premiere May 29th on Video on Demand streaming service.
The Knockturnal: You’ve been in the music industry for so long and it was really surprising to see you play a manager over somebody’s career, did you draw any inspiration from anybody?
Ice Cube: Of course! You know I’ve seen em’ all. I ain’t gon’ give no names. I don’t need no Twitter beef or no Instagram stuff going. So I ain’t gon’ pull no names but there’s a lot of people out there who are personalities and that’s what I wanted to be. You know I think a guy like Jack is a guy who you know if he could sing he wouldn’t even need Grace Davis you know what I mean? He would do it himself; he thinks he’s the star and to me those are the funnest guys to watch even in the game forreal you know he was a fun guy to play for sure.
The Knockturnal: Do you think that managers like Jack are really crucial to people’s success though?
Ice Cube: Yes. You know I think managers where they mess up some of em’ get greedy some of em’ you know take advantage of artist eagerness to be in the game. You know most artists when they first get into the game, the first thing they tell you is I don’t even want no money I just wanna be on the radio. So, of course that wears off real quick and so you just need a guy who is not gonna take advantage of that but knows the right directions and also has the connections … has the connections to the industry to get you you know so you could jump step a couple of things and not have to go up every you know tier of the game. So you know people that can help you leap frog some of these tears and get to the top or wherever you’re trying to get, you know is definitely useful.
The Knockturnal: Definitely. What advice would you give to somebody like Maggie though? Because she was grinding. She was on her grind; she was trying to get up there she was trying to be a producer. What advice would you give somebody like that?
Ice Cube: Do what she did. You know you can show somebody way better than you can tell them, and sometimes it’s just better to show them before you tell em. So that’s what she did. She went in and she didn’t wait. She went and took the initiative. She did some great, you know I don’t wanna give away the movie, but she did what she had to do, she didn’t wait she didn’t ask. She just went and did it and came up with something great and presented it and that’s how it got accepted. You know you always to me get more done when you you do the work for free. You gotta do a little bit at the front for free to show people what you can do then you know if everything is right you may end up getting a job.
Darissa: Definitely. And my last question is who do you wanna see in the next versus battle on instagram?
Ice Cube: I don’t know. You know the versus to me, I think the way it was done I woulda done it a little different. I woulda had it versus but I woulda had like Jill Scott playing her favorite Erykah Badu songs and then I woulda had Erykah Badu playing her favorite Jill Scott songs. So it ain’t no versus it’s all love going across so they gotta flip the format for me to really be down.