In addition to voicing Nala in Disney’s live action remake of The Lion King, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will be releasing an album to accompany the film’s premier later this month. According to Hollywood Reporter, Disney stated that the album, The Lion King: The Gift, will be “steeped in the sounds of Africa.” This album involving African artists will, according to Beyoncé, present “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.”
One of the songs featured on the album, “Spirit,” was released Tuesday during the film’s world premiere screening at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater. The song has received positive media reviews, commenting on its deep-seated energy and strong undertones.
Beyoncé stated that she focused on the relationship between the music and the film’s plot when creating the album. She also had to consider how the songs would fit into a newer version of a now-iconic 25 year-old story. “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…Authenticity and heart were important to me.”
Lion King will release in theaters July 19th and stars Beyoncé alongside Donald Glover, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard and John Oliver.