Let’s face it, if there was anyone that was going to compete with the chest-rattling oomph of Elton John’s songs from the original soundtrack to The Lion King, Beyoncé was a strong contender. Now only two weeks away from the release of Jon Favreau’s photo-realistic take on the Disney classic and ‘Spirit’, a single from Beyoncé’s specially curated album to accompany the film has arrived online. If you want your hairs on end first thing this morning, this is a good place to start.
Produced by Beyoncé, IIya Salmanzadeh and Labrinth (remember him, where’d he go?), and written by Beyoncé, IIya and Timothy McKenzie, ‘Spirit’ is one of the songs on the upcoming album of The Lion King: The Gift which she’s been hard at work on during production of the film. Describing the upcoming animation that will undoubtedly dominate the box-office as ‘sonic cinema’, Beyoncé sees her latest venture as “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.”
HRH Queen Bee also added, “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.”
Ensuring that your eardrums don’t suffer any risk of not hearing a song from any version of The Lion King in the next few weeks, there are various musical accompaniments on the way. Firstly there’s the soundtrack for the new film produced by Jon Favreau and Hans Zimmer (apparently he’s some up and comer) along with Beyoncé’s album will be released on the same day as the film. Also, if you want to soak up that nostalgia, the original soundtrack for the 1994 film is getting a re-release as well.
Coincidentally, two key vocal artists from the film – Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner (who voice Timon and Pumbaa, respectively) have shared their thoughts on working with Beyoncé, who voices Nala and Danny Glover who voices Simba in the new film. Speaking to Variety, Billy ‘she drove me here’ Eichner said “it’s about time. This is the culmination for them of so many years of hard work trying to get to our level. It’s really gratifying that we’ve been able to give them this opportunity.” Rogen added, “yeah, I feel good for them. They deserve this break. I can’t imagine how thrilling it must be for them.”
Reports confirmed both have been charged with treason for their audacity and won’t be attending the premiere.
Anyway, The Liong King arrives in cinemas July 19 and you can listen to ‘Spirit’ on various streaming services via the link here.