Beyoncé is taking Afrobeats to a whole new level by injecting it into her new Lion King inspired album. Looks like that’s just what Afrobeats needs to launch it into the US music scene. In a few days, Disney is set to release the Lion King Soundtrack, produced by Beyoncé and packed with Afrobeats artists including Yemi Alade, Tekno, Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi and Wizkid. The diva queen, who lends her voice to the character Nala in the movie, has even called the soundtrack “a love letter to Africa”.
“I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just use some of the sounds and did my interpretation of it. I wanted it to be authentic about what is beautiful about the music in Africa,” she says.
Asides prominent Afrobeats stars, the album will feature South African acts, Moonchild Sanelly and Busiswa and Ghanian act Shatta Wale, along with Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar, the man behind the soundtrack for Marvel’s Black Panther. The 2018 release of Lamar’s Black Panther is, which featured upcoming Gqom artists, was credited with putting a global spotlight on the South African music Genre.
“There are a lot of people who listen to Beyoncé, or people who might not listen to Beyoncé that will get this album,” said Catherine Appert, an African music and hip hop scholar at Cornell University.
It’s quite exciting when you think about Afrobeats going global. It’s a genre that’s easy to identify with – a mix of West African rhythms, American hip hop, Jamaican dancehall and Caribbean soca that originated in Lagos and Accra, Ghana. Afrobeats continues to capture the imagination of fans in Paris, London and New York. Who says it can’t capture the world?
The narrative about this album is that it is steeped in Africa-ness, with the various collaborations in line with the setting of the film. A production which celebrates African diaspora, features Beyoncé’s first child, Blue Ivy Carter alongside Wizkid and Saint Jhn on a song “Brown Skin Girl.
Early release, Spirit will be the last track on the Album.
The Lion King’s The Gift is out this Friday, July 19.
The Lion King: The Gift track list
01 Beyoncé: “Bigger”
02 Beyoncé: “Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)”
03 Tekno / Yemi Alade / Mr. Eazi: “Don’t Jealous Me”
04 Burna Boy: “Ja Ara E”
05 Beyoncé / Kendrick Lamar: “The Nile”
06 Beyoncé / JAY-Z / Childish Gambino: “Mood 4 Eva”
07 Salatiel / Pharrell / Beyoncé: “Water”
08 Blue Ivy Carter / SAINt JHN / WizKid / Beyoncé: “Brown Skin Girl”
09 Tiwa Savage / Mr. Eazi: “Keys to the Kingdom”
10 Beyoncé: “Otherside”
11 Beyoncé / Shatta Wale: “Already”
12 Tierra Whack / Beyoncé / Busiswa / Yemi Alade / Moonchild Sanelly: “My Power”
13 070 Shake / Jessie Reyez: “Scar”
14 Beyoncé: “Spirit”
Check out Beyonce’s new interview about the album
JUST ANNOUNCED: ‘#TheLionKing Can You Feel the Love Tonight? with @RobinRoberts‘ special will feature the EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE PREMIERE of @Beyonce‘s music video for “Spirit” & an exclusive interview with the superstar! Watch TONIGHT at 8pmET on @ABCNetwork https://t.co/mfhnDwVq7G pic.twitter.com/bd884lHSy9
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 16, 2019