Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Guava Island, the long-incubating mystery film project from Donald Glover and Rihanna, is finally emerging into the light of day. On Friday, Spotify began airing ads for Guava Island: a 30-second-long clip of Glover singing in a sweet falsetto with the sound of crashing waves in the background. It displays a simple graphic reading “Guava Island” in blocky yellow letters, surrounded by abstract illustrations of various flora. (This might be the sole benefit of retaining a free Spotify account.) According to Pitchfork, the streaming platform’s Rap Caviar playlist also started displaying a line reading “presented by Guava Island.” At the same time, posters—illustrated with the same image as the Spotify advertisement—began to surface around New York, as spotted by one W editor.
The song, at least, is the same one that Glover plays in the first trailer for the project, which screened at the Pharos Festival in New Zealand last year, offering the first insight into the tightly concealed film. The ad offers little other context, making it just as cryptic as this whole endeavor has been so far. This time at least, though, the preview comes with a release date: Saturday night, April 13, per the advertisement. In case you weren’t paying attention, that also happens to be the night after Glover, as Childish Gambino, is playing the first weekend of the Coachella festival (we wouldn't too surprised if Rihanna joined him on stage, considering she's usually there anyway).
There’s one important detail still missing: How, exactly, does one tune in on April 13? Where can one observe the much-anticipated Guava Island making its debut into the world?
Last year, Donald Glover, Rihanna, Letitia Wright, and director Hiro Murai, Glover’s longtime collaborator and the eye behind Atlanta and “This Is America,” among others, were spotted around Cuba—Rihanna, out purchasing cigars; Murai, Atlanta writer Ibra Ake, and “This Is America” choreographer Sherrie Silver, out scouting locations. At the time, it wasn’t entirely clear what the project would be—a music video? An Atlanta tie-in? The long-awaited Rihanna album, perhaps in visual form?—but with the trailer release in November, the scope became clearer. This is a real, entire film that, judging by the two-minute-long trailer, combines vivid music and dance with sharp social commentary. “We live in paradise, but none of us have the time,” Glover says, “or the means to actually live here.”