Hakuna matata because Beyoncé has gifted us with a new, uplifting anthem.
To coincide with the world premiere of The Lion King, Queen Bey—who voices Nala in the Disney flick—dropped her original song “Spirit” late last night. And, needless to say, this empowering track will help and encourage you to overcome just about anything. You know, in case your uncle overthrows the empire and you’re exiled to the jungle with a meerkat and warthog. The usual stuff, right?
“The waters crashing / trying to keep your head up high / while you’re trembling, that’s when the magic happens,” the superstar belts out on the nearly five-minute song. “And the stars gather by, by your side / saying rise up to the light in the sky, yeah / let the light lift your heart up / burn your flame through the night.”
“Spirit” is the first full single to be released from the movie’s upcoming soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift, which Beyoncé herself is producing.
But, luckily for us, it’s not the only song she lends her voice to for the film. The “Formation” singer is also joined by castmate Donald Glover—he voices Simba—on the classic, award-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” sung by Elton Johnin the original movie.
“This is the culmination for them of so many years of hard work trying to get to our level,” co-star Billy Eichner joked about the duo in a joint Variety interview with Seth Rogen. “It’s really gratifying that we’ve been able to give them this opportunity.”
Chimed in Rogen, “Yeah, I feel good for them. I can’t imagine how thrilling it must be for them.” (Eichner and Rogen play Timon and Pumbaa, respectively. The cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, and John Oliver.)
Last month, director-producer, Jon Favreau teased that new Beyoncé music would be coming.
“There’s a song that she performed and wrote in the spirit of the production along with working with Lebo M., who’s part of it with Hans Zimmer,” he told Fandango. “They were all collaborating with her and helping to bring this new piece of music into a film where there’s already a very established musical personality to the piece. So it was nice of them to have them working with her to allow the new song to feel organically a part of the new production.”
And, in addition to new music, fans will also get to see Bey take on a larger role in the beloved flick. “In the original film, her role is not as large as in the stage production,” he added, “and we definitely drew inspiration, and that was one of the areas where we were going to expand this.”