93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

SPEECH BY: H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas

MUSIC: "FIGHT FOR YOU" from Judas and the Black Messiah; Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

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Q. What up, girl? 
A. Hey. 

Q. Listen, I am ‑‑ do you know that I jumped up out of my seat and almost knocked over everything on my coffee table when they said your name?  I just ‑‑ I think about how the morning after the Grammys ‑‑ I keep saying this.  The morning after the Grammys, you are a Grammy winner, and the nominations come out for the Oscars, and now here we are.  I think about how ‑‑ you talked about how difficult it feels to maybe try to celebrate with all that is happening, you know, especially after the Derek Chauvin verdict.  But I wonder for you now, right now, who are you most excited to share this with?  Why are you most excited to share this, and what does this mean for you to win for this song and this film? 
A. Well, I mean, I couldn't think of better timing to win something like this, and I was just happy to be here at the Oscars.  I was happy to be part of an important film.  This film is educating people.  I feel connected to my roots.  I know more about the Black Panthers because of being part of this film.  So the education that it gave me and the history that it gave me, it's just ‑‑ nothing compares to that.  And also, you know, I feel like this is for the people. 

We are literally saying, you know, as long as I'm standing, I'm going to fight for you.  And I have been given this platform and now an Oscars stage to share a message, you know, and to really speak my own truth and to continue to spread the word of our history, what is happening today.  And, you know, pain and what we write is a reflection of what we feel.  And that is why I love collaborating with Tiara and D'Mile because their art speaks to who they are and what they represent.  So this win means so much to me for all of us and for the people. 

Q. Congratulations.  And I told you this was going to happen at the Grammys.  I told you. 
A. You did. 

Q. You are so young, and you are halfway home to an EGOT.  Is there anything Broadway‑wise or a TV project that is on the horizon, and what are you going to do tonight to celebrate? 
A. Oh, there's absolutely going to be an EGOT in my future hopefully.  But, yeah, you know, I'm also super compassionate about acting as well.  So you may see me up here as an actress also.  And I love musicals.  Me and Brandy have been talking a lot, and she inspired me since she did a musical.  But, yeah, honestly, I cannot believe that we are here.  I'm so thankful to be standing next to these two.  I'm still speechless.  I feel like the Oscars are happening tomorrow, and I'm dreaming right now.  I'm still pinching myself.  So I have no words. 

Q. Congrats. 
A. Thank you so much. 

Q. Hi.  I remember seeing you. 
A. My boo thang. 

Q. I remember seeing you as a young girl, you know, in our show in ‑‑ back then you were brilliant.  It was already evident.  Now you are an Oscar winner, writing your Oscar‑winning song in your mom's house.  What does being an Oscar winner mean to you, especially during this difficult time in both your black and Asian communities? 
A. Oh, my gosh.  Me just being up there is a message.  It's a message to all the young black and Filipino girls, black or Filipino, you know, that you can be up here too, you know?  What you say matters, what you say matters, what you play, what you write, it matters.  It's a reflection of who we are, and I'm just happy to represent.  I can't believe I'm here, you know?  So I just hope there is another little girl out there, whoever, you know, going I can do that too, I can be up there too one day. 

Q. Thank you.  Congratulations to our winners. 
A. Thank you so much, guys.


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