American superstar Beyonce Knowles Carter has revealed the choice of African music star’s that feature on her new music album, Lion King.
“I wanted to make sure we find the best talent from Africa,” she said.
Beyoncé released the track list of the album that she has produced to accompany The Lion King remake and it reads like a who’s who of top African musicians. But unfortunately no East African artiste features on the album, that is dominated by Nigerians on the African front.
Nigerian pop stars Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi perform the song “Keys to the Kingdom”, with the latter also appearing alongside fellow Nigerians Tekno and Yemi Alade on “Don’t Jealous Me”.
Nigeria’s Burna Boy has a solo track, “Ja Ara E”, while Cameroonian artist Salatiel appears alongside Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams on “Water”.
Other African artists include Nigeria’s Wizkid, Ghana’s Shatta Wale, and South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly.
When she first announced the project last week, Beyoncé said it “wasimportant that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers”, adding that “authenticity and heart were important to me”.
The album entitled “The Lion King: The Gift”, was released on Friday. It features four new solo songs alongside collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Childish Gambino, Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy and more.
It is separate from the soundtrack to The Lion King, though the Beyoncé song “Spirit”, which incorporates Swahili lyrics, appears on both.
The musical royalty has revealed her reasons for working with African artists in a new interview with ABC.
She explains that this project is a love letter to Africa which is why it was important for her to create authentic African music by collaborating with these acts.
In Beyoncé’s words, “The soundtrack is a love letter to Africa. I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa. Not just use some of the sounds and do my interpretation of it. I wanted it to be authentic about what is beautiful about the music in Africa.”