Beyoncé is gifting us with so much this week. First, there was the Lion King: The Gift tracklist. Then there was a rare interview with Robin Roberts about the album. And now, Beyoncé's "Spirit" music video is here, and does it serve. And Blue Ivy is in it truly serving face. The drama. The passion. The power. The mind of Beyoncé!
"Spirit" was the first single released from the Queen Bey-curated Lion King: The Gift album. On top of voicing the role of Nala in The Lion King remake, Beyoncé also served as the creative head for the concept album released along with the film. There's the film soundtrack (on which "Spirit" is featured), and then there's Beyoncé's album, that features JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Blue Ivy Carter herself (she's literally top-billed on one of the tracks, people), and a lot more.
In Beyoncé's interview with Robin Roberts for a Good Morning America primetime special (which aired on July 16), she said that this album is a "love letter to Africa."
"This 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 did my interpretation of it," Beyoncé told Roberts.
Bey herself is the main vocal artist featured throughout the album, according to its tracklist. "Spirit" is the first song from the album to get a music video, and a love letter to Africa, it is.
Come on, visuals! Come on, Blue Ivy! The spirit of Beyoncé compels you!
People on Twitter are inspired by the video.
Continuing to comment on the work she did on the Lion King: The Gift album with Roberts, Beyoncé said,
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.
She also revealed that, on a personal level, being part of The Lion King film is surreal for her.
"I am still in a bit in shock that I'm a part of this film because I grew up watching The Lion King," she said. "It's the first Disney movie brought me to tears."
As for the visuals in "Spirit" and what she wanted to accomplish with this music video, she wanted to make plain how naturally stunning nature is.
"The concept of the video is to show how God is the painter and natural beauty in nature needs no art direction," she said. "It's the beauty of color, the beauty of melanin, the beauty of tradition."
"It was important that we weren't just inspired by Africa," she continued, "but that we actually included and learned from the motherland."
And in case y'all were wondering about Nala's role and if/how it has changed in the recreation of the 1998 classic, trust it has. This is a Beyoncé role we're talking about. Nala was already powerful in the original, but Bey wasn't going to let the film get away without giving her more power.
"It was important to the director [Jon Favreau] that Nala and that the females in this film were heroes," she said. "And he put Nala right alongside Simba. I thought that was very interesting and very real, because the women are, you know, we're the fighters." That we are, Bey. That we are.
The Lion King and Lion King: The Gift come out on Friday, July 19.