Beyoncé – “Spirit”

In addition to starring in Disney’s pseudo-live-action Lion King remake, Beyoncé has curated a companion album, The Lion King: The Gift. Tonight, we hear its lead single, a new Beyoncé song called “Spirit.” The track will also appear on the film’s soundtrack, which comes out this Thursday and includes Bey’s duet with Donald Glover on “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.”

Beyoncé’s “Spirit” was made with the help of Hans Zimmer and South African producer and composer Lebo M. Zimmer composed the score for the original Lion King. Lebo arranged and performed music for the original film and its subsequent stage productions.

“This is sonic cinema,” Beyoncé says of the forthcoming album in a 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.”

“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” she continues. “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.”

Beyoncé voices Nala in the new Lion King remake. She stars alongside Donald Glover as Simba, John Oliver as Zazu, Eric André as a hyena, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and more. Listen to “Spirit” below.

The Lion King: The Gift is out via Walt Disney Records 7/19, the same day The Lion King hits US theaters.