We knew ‘The Lion King’ wouldn’t hit theaters without something special from Beyoncé.
The 23-time Grammy Award winner is the executive producer of ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ album, whigh is described as “a musical ode to the classic story” The Lion King.
The project features new music from Bey — a song called “Spirit” which is available already. The rest of the African-inspired album drops July 19.
The powerful track, “Spirit,” appears in the film, during a pivotal scene with Beyoncé’s character, Nala and appears on the Walt Disney Records original motion picture soundtrack and on The Lion King: The Gift album from Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records. The song, available globally later tonight, was written for the film by IIya Salmanzadeh, Timothy McKenzie and Beyoncé and is produced by Beyoncé and IIya and Labrinth.
With The Lion King: The Gift album, Beyoncé curated a masterful recording, a robust soundscape bringing together some of her favorite artists with the most talented and important African artists of the day to both pay tribute to the iconic film and bring the authentic sounds of African music to the world.
“This is sonic cinema,” said Beyoncé. “This is a new experience of storytelling. I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film. It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat.”
In planning and recording the album, the artists’ personal connection to the iconic film and its story was highly considered.
“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” she continued. “Each song was written to reflect the film’s storytelling that gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation. It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me.”
The Lion King: The Gift, with new recordings by Beyoncé, features a beautiful, multi-genre symphony, steeped in African influences from various corners of the Continent, with unexpected collaborations, pulsating rhythms and crisp production that celebrate the African diaspora. This love letter to Africa highlights the setting of the film, rooted in African culture and wondrous narratives. Track list and featured artists on The Lion King: The Gift are forthcoming.