BEYONCÉ Producing Companion Album for “LION KING” Remake: “THE GIFT”

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When a major blockbuster movie comes out, there is a probability that an original soundtrack album will be released. That probability increases when the film is musical, and is a certainty when the movie is a Disney animation. Soundtrack albums in this case tend to be showcases of the sweeping background score with insert songs as well as the pop numbers that might play on the credits. But sometimes a second album of curated songs might come out that features music inspired by the movie as well, like with Marvel’s “Black Panther” as curated by Kendrick Lamar. The same will apply for the remake of “The Lion King” this July, and Beyoncé is spearheading it.

Entertainment Weekly has it that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will be curating a secondary companion album for the new “Lion King” movie. This was announced on Tuesday, July 9, by Disney Studios, which revealed the album’s name as “Lion King: The Gift.” It has been scheduled to release on the same day as the movie’s premiere next week, even as the original soundtrack album comes out on Thursday, July 11. Beyoncé also served as producer for “The Gift,” which will indeed contain songs inspired by the film.

The top song for this curated companion album is “Spirit” performed by Beyoncé herself, and is of paramount importance that it would be released as a single along with the soundtrack which contains the score and songs as sung in the film proper, including those by Beyoncé in her role as Nala, opposite Donald Glover as Simba. While none of the other songs for “Lion King: The Gift” have been revealed, they are said to be produced by African producers for authenticity according to the singer-songwriter diva, with musical influences from Afro Beat, R&B, hip hop and pop to produce what she calls “Sonic Cinema.”

Beyoncé said in interview that her vision for “Lion King: The Gift” was to “put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” and to “give the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation.” This is rooted in the different feel of the remake to the 1994 original, due to the new film trying to put more emphasis on the African setting (reflected in name changes with some minor antagonists) as well as added story elements.

The new “Lion King” film is directed by Jon Favreau who was at the helm of the well-received 2016 live-action remake of “The Jungle Book” as well as the first two “Iron Man” installments for the MCU. The movie will be released on July 19 along with “The Gift” album.

Image courtesy of Entertainment Tonight

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