The track is part of an album called “The Lion King: The Gift” that Bey curated and performs on along with other artists. It’s set for digital release on July 11, with the physical album dropping July 19, the same night the film hits U.S. theaters. The soundtrack is now available for preorder.
“This is sonic cinema,” Beyoncé said about the project. “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.”
She also explained the process behind executing producing album and how she chose which artists to feature.
“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, who voices “The Lion King” character of Nala, is part of a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.
Director Jon Favreau recently spoke about his experience working with the singer and the music she recorded for the film.
“She’s incredibly engaged and committed, and so what was wonderful was that when we did get together to work, she was exceptional, as you can imagine in her performance, but also really gives everything a lot of thought,” he told Fandango. “She’s very hard-working and puts a lot of thought into things, and would often be so extremely well-prepared that she was clearly working on a lot on this even when we weren’t together […] Understanding who [Beyoncé] is and what she represents to so many people and the fact that she’s collaborating with me on this really helps differentiate it from previous productions.”
The “Lion King” soundtrack consists of songs from the original animated film, along with a new track from Elton John and Tim Rice, who wrote material for the 1994 feature.
You can stream “Spirit” now on all major platforms.