Queen Bey rises up.
Earlier today, it was announced that Beyoncé has recorded a brand new album, The Lion King: The Gift, a musical ode to Disney’s live-action film. She not only contributes new music, but also serves as the album’s executive producer and curator. The project, described as a “love letter to Africa,” features some of her favorite artists along with today’s top African acts.
The first song, “Spirit,” is available now. The uplifting anthem was written by IIya Salmanzadeh, Timothy McKenzie, and Beyoncé, and produced by Beyoncé, IIya, and Labrinth. It appears in the film during a pivotal scene with Beyoncé’s character, Nala.
“Spirit / Watch the heavens open, yeah / Spirit, can you hear it calling?” sings Bey on the triumphant track. “Your destiny is coming close / Stand up and fight.”
The Lion King: The Gift is set for release on July 19, the same day the film hits theaters. The song also appears on The Lion King original motion picture soundtrack, which releases on July 11.
“This is sonic cinema,” said Beyoncé 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, pop, hip-hop, and Afro Beat.”
In addition to Beyoncé, the live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1994 animated classic stars Donald Glover (Simba), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Billy Eichner (Timon), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and Alfre Woodard (Sarabi).
On Tuesday night, Queen Bey attended the world premiere of The Lion King in Hollywood wearing custom Alexander McQueen.