That buzz you hear is the sound of the Beyhive following the arrival of “Spirit,” Beyonce’s new single that dropped Tuesday night in advance of the July 19 release of The Lion King: The Gift.
“Spirit” makes its appearance in the film during a pivotal scene with Beyonce’s character, Nala, and was written for the film by IIya Salmanzadeh, Timothy McKenzie and Beyonce, produced by Beyonce and IIya and Labrinth.
The Lion King: The Gift — curated by Beyonce — is described as “a robust soundscape bringing together some of her favourite artists with the most talented and important African artists of the day to both pay tribute to the iconic film and bring the authentic sounds of African music to the world.”
“This is sonic cinema,” said Beyonce of the album. “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.”
In planning and recording the new album, Beyonce explained that the artists’ personal connection to the film and its story was something she considered greatly.
“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” she continued. “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.”
The Lion King: The Gift, will feature new recordings by Beyonce, and features “a beautiful, multi-genre symphony, steeped in African influences from various corners of the continent, with unexpected collaborations, pulsating rhythms and crisp production that celebrate the African diaspora.” Described as a “love letter to Africa,” the track list and info on featured artists will be coming soon.
Beyonce’s “Spirit” can be found right here.