American Hip Hop star Beyonce has disclosed why she wanted African music entertainers on her ‘Lion King’ album, saying it is a love letter to Africans.
The yet to be released album titled “The Lion King: The Gift” features Africa superstar such as Yemi Alade, Tekno, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Mr. Eazi. Shatta Wale from Ghana also made the list as well as Moonchild sanely from South Africa to the album.
According to Beyonce, she describes the soundtrack of the movie, ‘Spirit’ as a ‘love letter to Africa and wanted a series of songs from various genres that is different from her interpretation.
“This is a sonic cinema. This is a new way of storytelling. I wanted to do more than find a series of songs that were inspired by the movie. It is a collection of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It’s influenced by everything from Afro-Beat, pop, R&B and hip hop”, she said.
“I wanted to put everyone on their journey to connect the storyline. Every piece of the song was written to reflect the film’s storytelling that allows the listener to imagine their imagery while listening to a new modern interpretation.”
“It was essential that the music was not only created by the most talented and interesting artists but also produced by the best African producers. Originality and heart matter most to me”, Beyonce added.
In the music video, She was seen wearing custom made African outfits and accessories from Dakar, Senegal.
According to a Nigerian music analyst, Segun Akande said that the album release is a recognition of the growing reputation and reach that African music, especially the Afrobeats genre has.
“Creating a major release around Afrobeats as a movement and Afropop as a sound is a major co-sign for what they have accomplished,” he said.
“When you imagine how huge the Lion King franchise is, the album has the ability to put Afropop in a worldwide conversation and introduce a younger generation across the globe to our music,” he added.
Nigerian artist, Wizkid, is among the successful Afrobeats stars in recent times. Back in 2016, his Afrobeat-infused feature on Drake’s hit, “One Dance”, launched him as the first Nigerian artiste to top Billboard’s US Hot 100 chart.
This development in Africa isn’t the first time African music is being placed at the center of a major Hollywood movie.
In 2018, The Black Panther soundtrack featured top South African artistes like Sjava and Babes Wodumo, and the album was credited with beaming a worldwide spotlight on the South African music genre.