Image Source: Parkwood Entertainment
Beyoncé and Disney Plus have announced the singers new visual album, Black Is King. The release, inspired by The Lion King, will premiere globally on Disney Plus next month. The singer has taken on the roles of writer, director and executive producer for the film.
The visual album is set to tell the story of a young king’s “transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity”, a modern re-imagining of the lessons of the Disney film. "These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power,” a statement from Disney and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment said, with "lush visual that celebrate Black resilience and culture.”
In a similar vein as 2016’s Lemonade, this film will be set to the music from The Lion King: The Gift, an album inspired by the CGI remake of the classic Disney film, starring Beyoncé herself. The record featured Childish Gambino (who voiced Simba in the film), Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Jay-Z, Wizkid, Jesse Reyez, Shatta Wale, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Tekno, Mr Eazi, Temi Alade and the singers daughter with Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter. The film will feature some of the albums collaborators.
“‘Black Is King’ is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” the statement coninuted. “The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”
In a statement on Instagram, the singer spoke of the films relevance in a time where equality is at the forefront of social issues, during the Black Lives Matter movement. “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books.“ She contued to talk of the the vision of the film, adding “With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy. I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs.”
Black Is King premieres globally on July 31 on Disney Plus. Check out the trailer for the visual album below!