Beyoncé has announced a new album straight outta Pride Rock. A companion piece to Disney’s upcoming live-action remake, it’s called The Lion King: The Gift and features a number of international artists picked by Queen Bey herself. In anticipation of its July 19th release, she’s unlocked her own new anthem titled, “Spirit”.
“This is sonic cinema,” she says of the album in a 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.”
“Spirit” finds Bey collaborating with Lebo M. and the great Hans Zimmer. In an interview with Fandango, director Jon Favreau explained, “They were all collaborating with her and helping to bring this new piece of music into a film where there’s already a very established musical personality to the piece. So it was nice of them to have them working with her to allow the new song to feel organically a part of the new production.”
Beyoncé further elaborated on the album itself: “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.”
Stream the track below. It should be noted that The Gift is separate from the film’s original soundtrack, which will also feature “Spirit”. As previously reported, that album also includes Beyoncé’s duet with Donald Glover on the recently teased “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. The two play Nala and Simba, respectively.
The Lion King roars into theaters on July 19th.
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