Posted on Leave a comment

Beyonce’s Lion King Inspired Album & Africa As An Emerging Market

Beyonce’s Lion King Inspired Album & Africa As An Emerging Market

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – 2019/07/14: Jon Favreau attends the European Premiere of Disney’s The Lion King at the Odeon Luxe cinema, Leicester Square in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) “The Lion King” is an iconic story and set of songs with unparalleled enduring resonance. From “Hakuna Matata” to “Circle Of Life” to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, the music from the original 1994 animated film made big cross industry waves. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” sold 11 million copies world-wide and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 67th Academy Awards in March 1995 . The song also won Elton John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal performance in 1994. Fast-forward, over two decades and Jon Favreau’s hyper-realistic CGI adaptation of “The Lion King,” has positioned itself to make similar waves, having sold a record-breaking $543.6 Million in global ticket sales, as of last weekend. Recording artist, Beyonce, is not only the voice of Nala but unveiled a Lion King-inspired album entitled “The Gift ” on Friday, July 19th. To-date, the album has seen over 60 Million audio and video streams in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen. A music video for the song “Spirit,” which is featured on the film’s playlist soundtrack, debuted earlier Tuesday July 16th, and has received over 23 Million YouTube views to date, globally. A second music video was released July 19th featuring “Spirit” and a song entitled, “Bigger,” which has earned over 5 million views on YouTube. Beyonce called the soundtrack “a love letter to Africa,” in an interview with Robin Roberts after the “Spirit” video premiere on Tuesday. The 27-song album includes both songs and short clips from the film. In addition to an internationally star-studded featured artist list, the album highlights prominent and upcoming African talent including: Tekno, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Lord Afrixana, Burna Boy, Kendrick Lamar, JAY Z, Childish Gambino, Oumou Sangare, Salatiel, Pharrell Williams, SAINt JHN, Wizkid, Blue Ivy Carter, Tiwa Savage, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer, Tierra Whack, Moonchild Sanelly, Nija, Busiswa, DJ Lag, 070 Shake and Jessie Reyez. “A lot of the drums, chants, all of these incredible new sounds are mixed with some of the producers from America. I feel the soundtrack, it becomes visual in your mind, it becomes a soundscape because each song tells the story of the film.” Beyonce brought support and awareness to African culture, art, music and fashion in her previous work . Her actions speak to larger artistic shifts towards global cultural amalgamation or merging, a musical ecosystem with disintegrating boarders and to the variety of different forms in which this can be actualized. “ It’s a tipping-point moment ,” notes Tuma Basa, Director of Urban Music at YouTube, and the person who created the African Heat playlist during his previous position at Spotify. According to the IFPI , the African economy is growing rapidly. The mobile broadband penetration in Sub-SaharanAfrica increased from 2 percent in 2010 to 11 percent in 2013, according to the International Telecom Union report. Additionally, the IFPI notes that: “Despite its huge influence on music repertoire across the globe, most countries in Africa have not historically been significant markets for the international music industry. Today, that is beginning to change. Digital technology is enabling the recording industry to effectively reach mass numbers of consumers across Africa for the first time. Across the continent, international record companies are working to establish innovative services and invest in A&R.” On May 2, 2019, Nigerian singer-songwriter, Tiwa Savage, who is featured on “The Gift,” alongside Mr. Eazi, signed an exclusive global recording agreement with Universal Music Group . Under the terms of the deal, UMG will release Savage’s future music in over 60 countries, worldwide. African music has been an inspiration for centuries, for many around the globe. This moment of increased awareness could presage a growing opportunity for African artists to independently break into the North American market.

Beyonce’s Lion King Inspired Album & Africa As An Emerging Market

Leave a Reply