Wherever you find Kanye West, the influence of his mother is not far behind. From the themes of his music to naming his design and content house DONDA, West has taken considerable steps to honor his late mother, who passed away in 2007. Now, the 22-time Grammy winner and larger-than-life personality has turned to the video game industry to create an interactive memorial.
The trailer for Only One debuted at Sony’s E3 press conference last Tuesday in Los Angeles featuring an animated version of Donda West riding on the back of Pegasus as they surge through the clouds toward Heaven, where Donda receives her wings against an epic, ethereal landscape. Players of Only One, which does not yet have a release date, will assume the role of Donda as she enters through the gates of Heaven.
Only One, a 2014 song of West’s of the same name featuring Paul McCartney, is a collaboration with animation studio Encyclopedia Pictura (EP) with directors Isaiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch. EP has created videos for artists such as Panda Bear, Grizzly Bear and Björk.
During his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show in February, West shared a snippet of Only One for the audience, saying, “I worked on a video game and I wanted to show y’all. The idea of the game is, my mom traveling through the gates of Heaven.”
Despite his fame, West told the audience he had a difficult time finding a game studio to work with, but finally partnered with EP to realize his creative vision. Aside from the premise and art style, no other details about the game have been revealed.
The Only One game trailer was unveiled the same day that West announced his Saint Pablo tour. West will be returning to North American arenas for the first time in three years to perform The Life of Pablo—a raw collection using a gospel theme to explore the concept of redemption and made to sound unfinished. The link between gospel and his mother’s ascension into Heaven are unlikely a coincidence and could even be an indicator as to the aesthetic of West’s upcoming tour.