We all knew Beyoncé is lending her voice to The Lion King reboot. But that’s not all. She’s also curated a companion album for the film’s upcoming soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift.
“This is sonic cinema. 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.”
Beyoncé said about the project. Hours after the announcement, the singer-songwriter released the album’s first single, ‘Spirit‘. The track will also appear on The Lion King‘s digital soundtrack, which is now available for preorder. The Lion King: The Gift will arrive July 19, the same night the film hits U.S. theaters (August 21st in Italy).
Beyoncé explained her intention behind the curated album and how she chose which artists to feature.
“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. 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.”
She continued. Beyoncé, who voices The Lion King character of Nala, is part of a star-studded cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and James Earl Jones as Mufasa. The reboot was directed by Jon Favreau, who spoke about his experience working with Beyoncé as well as a mysterious song she recorded for the film.
Stream ‘Spirit’ below.