Beyoncé has unveiled new song “Spirit,” which will appear on her forthcoming album, The Lion King: the Gift, as well as on the soundtrack and in the film for the live-action remake of The Lion King.
“Spirit” opens with resonant voices trading call and responses. Over rich piano, orchestral melodies and choir-tipped choruses, Beyoncé sings her uplifting verses about resilience. “Rise up to the light in the sky, yeah,” she sings. “Watch the light lift your heart up/Burn your flame through the night.”
For the Beyoncé-executive produced and curated The Gift, the singer said the album features some of her favorite artists. “This is sonic cinema,” Beyoncé said 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, hip-hop and Afro Beat.”
“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.”
Beyoncé voices lioness Nala and Donald Glover portrays the older Simba in the remake of the 1994 Disney animated film. The pair also teamed for a rendition of Elton John/Tim Rice’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” which appears on the film’s soundtrack.
The Lion King: the Gift will be released on July 19th, while The Lion King original motion picture soundtrack arrives on July 11th. The Lion King hits theaters on July 19th.