Hear Leslie Odom Jr. invoke the spirit of Sam Cooke in 'Speak Now' from One Night in Miami
Fresh off its inclusion in the new trailer for One Night in Miami, Leslie Odom Jr. has finally released his song "Speak Now."
The Best Original Song contender was written for the historical drama in which he plays the iconic soul singer Sam Cooke on the night in which he celebrated Cassius Clay's win against Sonny Liston alongside the boxer (who'd soon become Muhammad Ali), activist Malcolm X, and football star Jim Brown.
Odom told EW last year that the film's producers "were always very interested in whomever was cast as Sam [being] the person that would write the song for the movie. That they would take that experience of Sam and then [write a song]. Because the task was so great, we wrote four different songs."
Both Regina King, the film's director, and the producers agreed that "Speak Now," which Odom had written with songwriter Sam Ashworth, was the best of the bunch.
When it came time to record the track, Odom explains that "because I spent the whole film trying to come as close to Sam Cooke as possible, we wanted to make sure that enough time had passed. That Sam had kind of left me, and I was feeling like myself again, so that this could be what sounds like me hopefully."
The performer adds that the song resonates, in his opinion, because "it sounded like: Listen, your time is precious and you're not guaranteed a lot of it, so speak right now in this moment. Use your life, use everything that you are given, to make a change and to make a difference right in this moment."
Listen to "Speak Now" by Leslie Odom Jr. above, as well as EW's One Night in Miami panel with King, Odom Jr., and the rest of the main cast.