The new film which premieres internationally on July 31 was inspired by her soundtrack for Disney’s reboot of “The Lion King”.
According to Beyoncé, “Black is King” is a visual album of her soundtrack “The Lion King: The Gift”.
Aside from Shatta Wale, Beyoncé also collaborated with other top African artistes such as Wizkid, Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi on the soundtrack. It also featured American stars including Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell, and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter.
Announcing the visual album, Beyonce accompanied the trailer on her Instagram page with a long piece which reads:
““Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose.
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.
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. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge.
I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people.
This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts. Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story.
This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride.
Love y’all, B”
“Black is King” was written, directed and executive produced by Beyoncé.