- 11 Jul 19
Global superstar Beyoncé, who has performed in Ireland 11 times in the past decade, released her latest single, ‘Spirit,’ yesterday morning, which will appear on the upcoming soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift.
‘Spirit’ is a pop gospel anthem that meshes together the classic inspirational Disney style with the edgy and wide-ranging vocals Beyoncé is known for.
Opening with the chant: “Uishi kwa muda mrefu mfalme,” a Swahili phrase meaning, “Long live the king,” the song draws inspiration from the beginning of ‘The Circle of Life’ from the original 1994 soundtrack which also starts in Swahili.
“This is a new experience of storytelling,” explained Beyoncé in a statement. “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.”
She wrote the song along with Ilya Salmanzadeh and Timothy McKenzie as part of the upcoming soundtrack for Walt Disney Records’ original motion picture, The Lion King. The soundtrack draws influences from many genres including R&B, pop, hip hop, and Afro Beat. The multi-artist album was produced by Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records to complement the storyline of the upcoming feature film, set to hit theatres on Friday, 19 July.
“This is sonic cinema,” described Beyoncé. “I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline. 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.”
Beyoncé will star in the film, voicing Nala, alongside Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner as Timon.
“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,” explained Beyoncé. “Authenticity and heart were important to me.”
The digital soundtrack is set to be released on Thursday, 11 July, at 4 pm with the hard copy available from July 19 and preorder available here: https://disneymusic.co/TheLionKingPreOrder.