Beyoncé gifted fans with a big surprise when she dropped her new music video for one of The Lion King‘s supplemental soundtrack’s singles called “Spirit” on July 16. The debut of the four-and-a-half-minute video — part of a 14-track album — happened during Robin Robert’s ABC primetime special entitled The Lion King: Can You Feel the Love Tonight in a sneak peek.
When Roberts interviewed the superstar, Beyoncé shared her deep-rooted feelings about The Lion King, saying she was “brought to tears” when she saw the original version of the Disney film that debuted 25 years ago.
According to Bey, her specific concept for the video was to prove how “God is the art director.”
Disney’s CGI live-action The Lion King remake directed by Jon Favreau enjoys Beyonce voicing the lioness Nala, Simba’s friend and partner. However, this is not the only magic the superstar brought to the film as she produced the fresh movie’s special supplemental studio album.
The bulk of the songs on Beyonce’s upcoming album, a side project to the original soundtrack, will not be heard in The Lion King. However, the song “Spirit” does comes into play for the actual movie during what is referred to as “Nala’s pivotal scene,” according to a Disney press release via Vox.
In Tuesday’s interview that aired during her The Lion King: Can You Feel the Love Tonight special, Beyonce explained what she wanted to accomplish with her new album. On Tuesday, Roberts previewed this information on Good Morning, America.
“[The companion] soundtrack is a love letter to Africa, and I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just use some of the sounds and my interpretation from the special. I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa. A lot of the drums, the chants, all of these incredible new sounds… we’ve kind of created our own genre. And I feel like the soundtrack, it becomes visual in your mind. It’s a soundscape, it’s more than just the music because each song tells the story of the film.”
Africa’s astounding animal kingdom is featured along with Beyonce, her talented backup dancers — wearing shades of yellow and green and blue, just like Bey — and, briefly, the celebrated singer’s 7-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy. Although many of the distinctive shots in the new “Spirit” video were obviously captured in Africa, one specular part of the video showing beautiful Beyoncé in front of an impressive waterfall was shot at Arizona’s renowned Havasu Falls.
This happened last Wednesday, per TMZ.
In order to take advantage of this dynamic shot, the movie crew needed to obtain one of 300 daily passes from the landowners, the Havasupai tribe. Beyonce’s people were lucky, stated TMZ, who added, “Thousands of people get turned away daily.”
Besides all the incredible scenery and amazing animals, The Lion King also stars Beyonce, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, John Oliver, Eric André, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones and Alfre Woodard.
The Lion King: The Gift album, featuring 070 Shake, Jay-Z, Tiwa Savage, Kendrick Lamar, Tierra Whack, Childish Gambino, Pharrell — and of course, Beyonce — was released on July 16. The Lion King will debut in theaters on July 18.