Beyonce, who stars in Disney's upcoming feature film, The Lion King, as Nala, has decided to take her love for the Afro-themed storyline a big step further by bringing together some of her favourite artists for a massive collaboration album which she has aptly titled, The Gift - and what a present it is for many of us!
Featuring some incredible features from around the world including Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar (USA), Blue Ivy and Jay Z, Yemi Alada and Wizkid (Nigeria), the album is looking to be a smash record but the big excitement for Mzansi listeners comes with the inclusion of two of our biggest South African musicians: Busiswa and Moonchild.
Beyonce (who has a song with Lebo M) released the album's artwork on social media and her website on Thursday afternoon before dropping the tracklist which got fans around the country excited when we spotted two of our own:
01 Beyoncé: “Bigger”
02 Beyoncé: “Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)”
03 Tekno / Yemi Alade / Mr. Eazi: “Don’t Jealous Me”
04 Burna Boy: “Ja Ara E”
05 Beyoncé / Kendrick Lamar: “The Nile”
06 Beyoncé / JAY-Z / Childish Gambino: “Mood 4 Eva”
07 Salatiel / Pharrell / Beyoncé: “Water”
08 Blue Ivy Carter / SAINt JHN / WizKid / Beyoncé: “Brown Skin Girl”
09 Tiwa Savage / Mr. Eazi: “Keys to the Kingdom”
10 Beyoncé: “Otherside”
11 Beyoncé / Shatta Wale: “Already”
12 Tierra Whack / Beyoncé / Busiswa / Yemi Alade / Moonchild Sanelly: “My Power”
13 070 Shake / Jessie Reyez: “Scar”
14 Beyoncé: “Spirit” (prod by Lebo M)
As soon as the news broke of Beyonce's upcoming collaborative record, South African fans quickly hopped onto social media to celebrate two of our most talented and boundary-breaking vocalists for securing their slots on this high-profile album.
One particularly excited fan pointed out how none of us even had a clue or a hint that the two of them were about to team up with Queen Bey on this record when she wrote, "The NDA is strong. We stan PROFESSIONALS with Visas"
Beyonce has described her upcoming album as a "Love Letter to Africa" and it reflects in her decision to pair up South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana's finest talents with the proudest black musicians from America. "I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sounds and did my interpretation of it," she shared on Good Morning America.
Our Gqom queens happen to be in good company! Seems like Beyonce and her team have had secret meetings with popular African acts who frequent the states for shows. Other African acts featured on the new Disney movie's soundtrack include Mr Eazi, Burna Boy and Yemi Alde!
The Lion King: The Gift releases on streaming platforms worldwide on the 19th of July - which is the same day the film comes out in South Africa.
Will you be listening and watching with us this weekend?
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main image credit: Disney