Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ne-Yo to Cover Motown Hits in MOTOWN MAGIC from Josh Wakely and EMP Smokey Robinson

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*(LOS ANGELES, Calif.)  — Produced by Grace: a storytelling company (Grace) and Beyond International Limited (Beyond), the highly anticipated children’s series MOTOWN MAGIC will premiere worldwide on Tuesday, Nov. 20 exclusively on Netflix.

Inspired by the iconic music of Motown, the groundbreaking series features original characters and a fantastical world from the mind of Josh Wakely, creator of Netflix’s Emmy®-winning kids’ series, BEAT BUGS.

Motown music legend Smokey Robinson will serve as Executive Music Producer on the series, and a MOTOWN MAGIC soundtrack will be released concurrently in November on Melodia/Motown Records through Capitol Music Group.

MOTOWN MAGIC features 52 newly-recorded versions of songs made famous by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and many more. Each 11-minute episode incorporates a plotline inspired by the themes and characters of a classic Motown song, and an original version of that song covered by contemporary artists including Ne-Yo, Becky G, BJ The Chicago Kid, Skylar Grey, Calum Scott, and Trombone Shorty.

“It’s always time to introduce the music of Motown to a new generation, and Josh Wakely has the creativity and the vision to entertain families all over the world,” said Smokey Robinson. “It’s exciting to see these timeless classics reimagined through extraordinary animation and heartfelt stories while still honoring the roots of the music.”

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Colorful and family-friendly, MOTOWN MAGIC follows Ben, a wide-eyed eight-year-old with a big heart and an amazing imagination, who uses his magic paintbrush to bring the street-art decorating his city, Motown, to life. At the heart of this animated series is an upbeat and fun-filled story about music, magic and the power of imagination. The series is composed of a diverse cast and crew, including 11-year-old singing sensation Zacary James (of the Melisizwe Brothers), who covers the show’s theme song, “ABC,” and famed beatboxer HeaveN BeatBox.

“I was raised on the music of Motown, and always found it incredibly inspirational and culturally important,” said writer, director and creator Josh Wakely. “With MOTOWN MAGIC, my team and I have created stories that bring to life the world we’ve imagined while listening to these iconic songs in a way that families can enjoy together.”

Throughout its illustrious history, the Motown music label garnered dozens of worldwide hits, including “ABC,” “My Girl,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Superstition,” “Master Blaster,” “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” all featured in MOTOWN MAGIC. For this series, Wakely secured rights to the Jobete Music Company and Stone Diamond publishing catalogs in an agreement with EMI Songs Australia Pty Limited.

This marks the second project from Wakely’s independent film and television production and development banner, Grace: a storytelling company (Grace), after 2016’s Emmy®-winning kids’ series BEAT BUGS, inspired by the music of the Beatles. Wakely co-owns Grace with BEAT BUGS and MOTOWN MAGIC Executive Producer, Trevor Roy.

About Grace: a storytelling company
Grace is a global independent film and television development and production banner led by filmmaker Josh Wakely. Grace’s output is distinguished by innovation, and imaginative creative and business partnerships, combined to cultivate transformative storytelling. Based out of Australia and the US, Grace is committed to producing intelligent, elevated, talent-driven film and television projects to the worldwide audience.


About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 125 million memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


About Beyond
Beyond International Limited (ASX:BYI) is a leading international producer and distributor of television and digital content and is one of the largest independent distributors of home entertainment product in Australia. The Company is headquartered in Sydney and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Beyond has produced over five thousand hours of television programs for broadcast internationally including Mythbusters, Taboo, Selling Houses Australia, Deadly Women and Facing Evil. The company has production offices in Sydney, San Francisco and Los Angeles and produces programs for Australian, US and international broadcasters. Beyond’s international distribution business markets an extensive program catalogue sourced from third party producers and internal production. This business unit is headquartered in Dublin, with sale offices in London and Sydney. The Home Entertainment operation focuses on digital and DVD distribution and has an extensive catalogue of product, which is distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand. The Digital Marketing business performs online search optimization, website creation, development and performance and online media sales within Australia and New Zealand.











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