Beyonce is releasing a new 14-track album titled ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ that features Africa’s finest artists.
Unfortunately, no artist from East Africa is on the list and Kenyans are not happy.
Disney is set to release The Lion King soundtrack this week, produced by Beyonce herself and packed with Afrobeats artists including Yemi Alade, Tekno, Mr. Eazi, Burna Boy and Wizkid.
“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. I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa,” Beyonce said in an interview with ABC TV.
Other present in the album include the likes of JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino Moonchild Sanelly, Busiswa, Salatiel, Shatta, Wale, and Pharrell. The Lion King: The Gift is out this Friday, July 19.
The Lion King: The Gift full tracklist
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”
Kenyans took to social media to complain about missing the list, given that the movie remake of the 1994 movie was shot in the country.
“As much as we celebrate with our fellow Africans …. The obvious exclusion of Kenyans / East Africans on this Soundtrack is Depressing…. The movie was based on KENYA,” said singer Victoria Kimani.
“For a movie whose concept is fully based on the Kenyan/Tanzanian scenery, use of Swahili phrases and references, you would think they would at least consider artists from this region and not focus on artists from one country/region.” Sauti Sol’s Fancy Fingers said.
“Believe me I have nothing against the artists picked, if anything I am happy for them. It’s a lifetime opportunity that you can’t pass by! I am very much against the people who decide to present africa with artists from one country/region. #kunamatata #lionking or maybe am being petty.”
Fancy Fingers continued.
Veteran producer Tedd Josiah, however, believes Kenyans were snubbed because they ignore publishing deals.
Said Vanessa Mdee: “Hii kitu ni biashara poly, na waPopo wako na interests zao. Wote wanajua filamu iko set in East Africa na kihalali tungestahili kupata kanafasi, lakini hatuna wanaotuwakilisha huko kwa maExec wa Disney au kwa team ya Beyoncé.
“Isitoshe wakipiga mahesabu kihalali watu wa magharibi wanatuzidi kibiashara kwenye ununuzi wa bidha na mziki ndani na nje ya bara la Afrika. Kihalali kabisa ingepaswa hii album ijae kiswahili na masound ya pande zetu lakini kwenye soko la kimataifa bado sisi sio wazito in comparison to watu wa magharibi. Wangepaswa kufanya research to fully embody the essence of Simba. Lakini ndio hivyo. Na kiukweli ni misrepresentation na KUNA MATATA lakini ndiyo hivyo soko linavamiwa. Shikeni la kwenu. Ownership.”