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Beyoncé sets out to empower and inspire with her new song, "Spirit."
The anthem is part of The Lion King: The Gift album, which Beyoncé produced, and is a musical ode to the classic story told in Disney’s The Lion King. This is separate from the original motion picture soundtrack for the movie.
"Spirit" is also featured in the upcoming Lion King film, directed by Jon Favreau, during a pivotal scene with Beyoncé's character, Nala.
For the album, Beyoncé collaborated with African artists in an effort to pay tribute to the country where the film is set.
"This is sonic cinema," says the 37-year-old entertainer. "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."
Beyoncé also explains how the classic story of The Lion King inspired these songs.
"I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” she shares. "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."
Fans quickly and excitedly responded to "Spirit", with one member of the Beyhive simply replying with exclamation marks, while another wrote, “Coming for an Oscar.”
“The Lion King: The Gift,” an album featuring global artists & steeped in the sounds of Africa, produced & curated by @Beyonce Knowles-Carter, will release 7/19. “Spirit,” the single from the album & soundtrack for The Lion King, will be available tonight. https://t.co/IbMpQvJ97Upic.twitter.com/AA7Fxl7hb7
Favreau recently told Fandango in an interview that Beyoncé "performed and wrote ['Spirit'] in the spirit of the production," and created the song with Lebo M. and Hans Zimmer.
"They were all collaborating with her and helping to bring this new piece of music into a film where there’s already a very established musical personality to the piece," the Lion King director explained. "So it was nice of them to have them working with her to allow the new song to feel organically a part of the new production."
The Lion King: The Gift will be released on July 19, while The Lion King's original motion picture soundtrack, produced by Zimmer and Favreau, drops on July 11 at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET. and is now available for pre-order.