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ATTENTION! Beyoncé just dropped a new track for the film, Disney‘s live-action remake of “Lion King“. She released ‘Spirit,’ the first single off of a specially-made album called “Lion King: The Gift”. The pop superstar specifically curated and produced the record herself. It’s a collection of songs in-line with the intrinsic African spirit of the film. 

Stream Beyoncé’s new single, ‘Spirit,’ below: 



The song begins with an African-style hymn, very reminiscent of the classic “Circle of Life” song from the original 1994 animated classic. Here, Beyoncé sings about one’s ability to rise up to expectations and capturing the ‘spirit’ in one’s self to guide you to your right path. In many ways, the lyrical narrative echoes the story in the film. It captures Simba’s inner struggle to find his inner king and reclaim his rightful place as the true ruler of both his pride and the animal kingdom. The song also features a gospel-like vibe that’s an indelible staple in African-American musical styles. 

Knowles-Carter shared more about the record in an official statement. “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.” she said. Though there’s no announcement nor hints as to the other artists present in the album, it’s highly likely that its male lead, Donald Glover, also known as ‘Childish Gambino,’ has a track or two in it as well. The Houston-born pop star also noted that she wanted this album to serve as a vehicle for people to approach the film on a more personal level. “I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” Beyoncé relayed.  “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.”

It’s important to note that this won’t be the official movie soundtrack for the upcoming film. A different release will feature the new renditions of the Disney classic songs remade from the original 1994 animation. This includes Glover and Knowles-Carter’s version of Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?“. Disney even used a snippet of it in one of the recently-released teaser trailers. They also used Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen’s rendition of “Hakuna Matata” in the film’s official trailer. This upcoming album is Beyoncé’s first release since her “Homecoming: The Live Album” from her Netflix special “Homecoming” from last April. This also marks her first original release since 2016’s Lemonade. “Lion King: The Gift” consists of original songs, including the recently-dropped ‘Sprit’ single. Since then, apart from her historic Coachella headlining gig last year, the superstar has been mainly focused on voicing Nala for this Disney film project. 

“Lion King: The Gift” will drop on July 19, 2019, simultaneously with the film’s premiere. The movie’s official soundtrack will also drop around the same time. 

Image Credits:

  1. Beyoncé in Lion King Featured Image – Vulture.com
  2. Mufasa and Simba – NME.com
  3. Nala – Harper’s Bazaar.com
  4. Lion King 2019 Cast – Popsugar.com

 

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