John Legend lends his ear as the executive producer for the forthcoming WGN America show Underground. The Grammy-winning singer provided the soundscape for the Civil War drama — which follows a group of slaves who hatch an escape plan from a plantation — which includes sound bites from contemporary songs like Kanye West‘s “Black Skinhead” as well as updates to vintage classics like Johnny Cash‘s “I Got Shoes.”
“Part of my job as executive produce is to curate the music of the show,” Legend says in a behind-the-scenes featurette. “We’re altogether trying to create a soundscape that fits with the show’s urgency and power.”
Soul veteran Raphael Saadiq also hops on-board as composer, implementing tape to piece together the music. “We find the love in the music to make it come alive,” he says.
Watch songstress Alice Smith also lay down the vocals for the show’s theme song “Heaven’s Door” in the full clip below. Underground premieres on WGN America on March 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.