Layla Swart shares insight into upcoming series, Blood Psalms

Layla Swart, producer and co-creator of the upcoming series, Blood Psalms, discussed the inspiration behind the pre-colonial mythology in an interview with JustNje.

Layla Swart and Jahmil Qubeka serve as the producer and director of the ten-part series, Blood Psalms. The pair also conceptualised the unique and authentically African story. The series tells the powerful story of a fierce teenage African queen, Zazi, who battles a world-ending prophecy to navigate her people through complexities, politics and endless wars. Blood Psalms will be a blend of fact and fiction, as it portrays an authentic African story whilst creatively exploring an intricate storyline.

In an interview with JustNje today, 5 August 2020, Layla Swart discussed the inspiration behind the series, stating that it was developed to explore the identity of Africans, which is a concept that has been lacking in local television. She also explained that the cast of over 50 actors forms an integral part of the story, with many of the roles being specifically written for the actor. She stated, “The strength of this piece is in its ensemble cast.”

When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the production, Layla explained that they had lost approximately R2.9 million due to the lockdown-enforced production break, and have not received any relief since they are a relatively small production company. She stated that they have now taken all the necessary measures to ensure that the production is not shut down again, further confirming that the series will premiere in early 2021.

Listen to the full interview below.