Beyoncé & Disney Release “Spirit” From Reworked ‘The Lion King’ Soundtrack

In commemoration of the remake of The Lion King and its red carpet premiere this evening, Beyoncé and Disney have released the first single of the film’s reworked soundtrack, entitled “Spirit.” On top of the film’s new score, Beyoncé will be curating a new album featuring artists from around the world called The Lion King: The Gift, which the track is also a part of.

In a recent statement, Beyoncé shared that “this is sonic cinema.” She continued:

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…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.

Director Jon Favreau recently shared with Fandango that the artist had “performed and wrote [“Spirit] in the spirit of the production,” making the track alongside Lebo M. and original The Lion King composer Hans Zimmer.

Beyoncé will voice Nala in the upcoming film, and will also be joining Donald Glover (who plays Simba) on a reworked version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” The reworked soundtrack arrives on July 11, with both the film and the Beyoncé-curated album arriving a week later on July 19.

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