The new movie The Sun Is Also a Star, out May 17, is about two teens who fall in love over the course of one day in New York City. And since the fact that Daniel (Charles Melton) and Natasha (Yara Shahidi) are both from immigrant families — his Korean and hers Jamaican — plays a big role in their stories, the soundtrack for The Sun Is Also a Star comes from artists from around the world or who come from families who immigrated to American themselves.
Director Ry Russo-Young explains in the production notes for the film, "Sun is a story told in the language of the young, romantic and staunchly metropolitan perspectives of our two heroes. The music we chose for the film reflects their experience, while finding a modern take on what a [love] song can be."
The original score is by Icelandic composer Herdís Stefánsdóttir, who previously contributed to the soundtrack for The Hate U Give. "I was 7 months pregnant when I started writing the score and that made the experience very special for me," she said when the soundtrack was released (via Just Jared Jr.). "I was extra emotional and focused because of my situation, which I felt helped me overall in the creative process, and was able to write the music quickly and felt inspired by the story. I needed to write music that would evolve and mature with the characters in the film and the growing feeling of love." Stefánsdóttir's full score is available on YouTube. It's very dreamy and really does sound like what should be playing while two teens think about love, walk around the city, and look at constellations. Per Amazon, the score will be released on CD on May 24.
As for the pre-existing songs that are part of the soundtrack, these include a wide variety of artists that Russo-Young chose with music supervisor Warren Fischer. A soundtrack playlist has been uploaded to YouTube — unofficially, not from the movie itself — and features songs from the film, including "She Ready" by American rapper Lil Yachty and musician PNB Rock, "Don't Stay Away" by Jamaican singer Phyllis Dillon, and "Here With Me" by Korean-American singer Susie Suh and German musician Robot Koch. (The latter is also featured in one of the movie's trailers.)
For one of the other songs in the movie, "Paradise" by Bazzi, Warner Bros. released a short music video that features behind-the-scenes footage of the film's stars dancing around on set.
The movie also prominently features "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells, which is also in one of the trailers. In the movie, Daniel sings the song to Natasha at a karaoke place while she imagines what their future could be like together. Daniel takes a while to choose what song he's going to sing, because he's looking for one with extremely fitting lyrics for two people who just met each other: "Now I don't hardly know her/But I think I could love her/Crimson and clover."
Whether you see the movie and want to relive it or are just looking for some uplifting, summery vibes, the soundtrack for The Sun Is Also a Star is worth a listen.