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YouTube / Beyoncé

As if Beyoncé starring as Nala in the live-action remake of The Lion King wasn’t enough, yesterday Disney announced that the Queen Bee has also curated and produced a new album featuring international artists called The Lion King: The Gift. On the heels of the announcement, Beyoncé released a single from the soundtrack called “Spirit.”

“This is sonic cinema,” Beyoncé shared in a recent statement. “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.”

The artist went on to explain her intention behind this project, and why it was so important to involve African artists to bring an authentic African sound to the world. “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.”

“Spirit”is the first single of the Beyoncé-curated album. The track was written and produced alongside Lebo M. and the original The Lion King composer Hans Zimmer. You can listen to it below.

The Lion King: The Gift arrives on July 19, the same day as the film hits US cinemas.

On this episode of The Dropcast, we are joined by Jabari “Jacuzzi” Khaled, founder of Basketball Skateboards and under-the-radar creative who’s worked with your favorite designer’s favorite designers.