Beyoncé – the voice of Nala in Disney’s 2019 remake of The Lion King – has produced and curated a new album, The Lion King: The Gift, the Disney studio has announced. It will be out later this month. The star has also recorded a song for the record, ‘Spirit’, which is out now. You can check it out below.
The album features “global recording artists” and is “steeped in the sounds of Africa”, Disney announced on its Instagram account yesterday, 9 July. The announcement coincided with the film’s world premiere.
The Lion King: The Gift is set to drop on 19 July, the same day Disney’s The Lion King remake arrives in theatres. ‘Spirit’, the first single from the album, was written by IIya Salmanzadeh, Timothy McKenzie and Beyoncé. According to a press release, it will play in the film during a pivotal scene with Nala.
Beyoncé served as executive producer on The Lion King: The Gift, which is touted in a press release as “a musical ode to the classic story of Disney’s The Lion King feature film”. In a statement, the pop star described the album as “sonic cinema” and “a new experience of storytelling”.
She added, “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 Afrobeat.”
The artists’ personal connections to the 1994 film and its story were taken into consideration during the making of the album, the press release notes.
“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” Beyoncé explained. “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,” she said. “Authenticity and heart were important to me.”
Beyoncé will also appear on the film’s official soundtrack, duetting with Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino), who voices Simba, on ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’.