Chloe Bailey Says She and Her "Praise This" Character Both "[Speak] Things Into Existence"

Art imitates life for Chloe Bailey, who stars in the upcoming movie "Praise This" as an ambitious young singer named Sam whose music career seems to be taking off in a huge way. There are some big differences about her life and Sam's, though — Bailey is already a massive star, and also, "Praise This" follows Sam's journey into the world of competitive gospel youth choirs.

The trailer, released on March 6, finds Sam unhappily stuck in Atlanta after being sent away from Los Angeles for the summer by her concerned father to live with her upbeat cousin Jess (Anjelika Washington). Things start to take off when Jess persuades Sam to join her faltering praise team, and Sam eventually dives in, determined to help the group win a national championship competition while launching her music career.

Bailey found a number of strong connections to her character from the get-go. "I'm from Atlanta and I moved to LA. Sam is from LA and she's moving to Atlanta," Bailey tells POPSUGAR. "I've never been in a youth choir per se, but in school, I was a part of the actual choir. And from time to time, visiting our grandparents in South Carolina, we would be singing in front of the church, singing our hearts out. It was just so fun bringing my love of music and acting and God together within this space."

She also relates to Sam's ambition. "I shy from speaking my mind as openly as she does, but the producer engineer side of us is definitely the same," she says. "Sam speaks things into existence that she wants. Any of us as aspiring musicians — we have those Grammy speeches that we tell ourselves in the shower and in the mirrors."

In addition to "Praise This," Bailey has another major creative milestone coming in the spring: she's releasing her debut solo album, "In Pieces," around the same time the film comes out. For the star, the process of making "Praise This" and her album both felt similarly intense. "Both require creatively birthing a child," she says. "I'd go straight into the studio and pull an all nighter, then straight to set for my five or six AM call time. I was equally giving my heart and my soul and being vulnerable in both worlds. It's crazy that they're both being birthed a week away. I couldn't be happier."

"Praise This" is directed by Tina Gordon, who drew inspiration from watching her own family balance church and the late-night music scene. "My uncles were all musicians in the church. They would play in clubs on Saturday night, and my grandmother would make them have to get up and play in her church on Sunday morning," she says. With "Praise This," she wanted to blend those two worlds.

"I think the comedy is surprising for a faith-based movie. We don't take ourselves so seriously," Gordon says. "It's a nice intersection of funny and faith, sinners and saints, the club and church. It's a big tent and everybody is welcome and I think that's the surprising part about it. It's a movie of faith that's not preachy."

Watch the trailer and learn more about "Praise This" below.

"Praise This" Plot

"Praise This" follows an ambitious young musician named Sam who is sent to live in Atlanta with her cousin for the summer. She soon joins her cousin's competitive youth gospel choir team, and also manages to make inroads in Atlanta's music scene. "What she discovers, though, is that ambition can command a high price and that praise is not about glory, but gratitude," the official synopsis reads.

"Praise This" Cast

Bailey stars as Sam and Washington plays her cousin, Jess. Tristan Mack Wilds plays Pastor "PG" Goodman, and Quavo plays musician Ty. Loren Lott, Kiara Iman Heffner, Ilario Grant, Crystal Hayslett, Cocoa Brown, Vanessa Fraction, and gospel stars Jekalyn Carr and Koryn Hawthorne also round out the cast.

"Praise This" Release Date

"Praise This" will premiere on Peacock on April 7.

"Praise This" Trailer

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