Creative Jon Batiste has captured one of the busiest years of his life in his new documentary American Symphony, which is set to be released on Netflix today.
Batiste was followed for seven months by Academy award-winning director Matthew Heinman – filming over 1,500 hours of footage for the one hour and 40 minute documentary, which showcases the highs and lows of his life in the last year.
The film depicts the troubling journey he and his partner, Suleika Jaouad, went through after finding out she was diagnosed with cancer – shortly after he was nominated for 11 Grammys.
He spoke about his own journey, navigating between the public and private lives, especially during his partner’s illness and the world expecting him to be happy at all times.
In an interview with Billboard he said, “It’s really something I’ve struggled with for a while. And I value parts of it as well – the idea of being able to bring folks a sense of happiness in dark times as an entertainer.”
“But in general, it’s been a struggle to navigate the humanity of being all those things. A lot of times, I think that’s the case, which is one of the reasons why such an invasive film like this, and the vulnerability required of our family to share what you see, is something we wanted to move forward with,” he added.
It was also revealed that Batiste’s new ballad It Never Went Away will be featured in his documentary, telling the tale of enduring love between him and his partner.