As an actress and singer-songwriter, Hailee Steinfeld brings a lot to the table on any project — and her latest, starring as poet Emily Dickinson in Apple TV+ series Dickinson is no exception.
On Thursday, Steinfeld dropped an original song she wrote for the series, “Afterlife,” which was inspired by Dickinson’s poems. She co-wrote the song with Stargate, Kennedi Lyken, and KOZ.
“It’s a dream for me when I get to combine my love of music and acting in one,” Steinfeld tells EW. “With this show being so inspired by contemporary music, it only felt right that I could at least attempt to contribute, so that’s always a fun and exciting process. It was a very last minute thing ,and I ended up being able to deliver a song that all the filmmakers felt accurately represented the show.”
Since its trailer dropped, Dickinson has earned buzz for its modern soundtrack infused with hip-hop and rap, and with the news that Wiz Khalifa will be guest starring as Death, the show’s musical credentials were ratcheted up. For creator Alena Smith, there are natural ties between Dickinson’s writing and modern music. “There’s some connection to be drawn between poetry as the pop music of its day and the soundtrack of Dickinson which hopefully will be your new favorite playlist,” she tells EW.
Steinfeld is working on new music of her own as well, and she says portraying Emily Dickinson has had a profound impact on her songwriting in general. “What’s been so incredible about playing this character is that when we wrapped our season 1, I went back home to L.A. to continue writing my music,” she reflects. “l owe a lot to Emily Dickinson as a writer and as a character I was able to play because I went back into a writing room and I really felt like I could say anything I wanted.”
Listen to “Afterlife” above. Dickinson premieres Nov. 1 on Apple TV+.