The young boy is enticed by a monkey to enter a warehouse. Beyoncé added that the costume design utilized color and symbolism in order to "transition from one emotion to another". [60] In South Africa, the Shakaland Zulu Village in KwaZulu-Natal and the Ndebele church in Mapoch were the sets for the royal family's village and the wedding scene, respectively. The video is called a “visual album” and features music from her album “The Lion King: The Gift”. [106][107] Ponte City Apartments in Johannesburg was chosen as the location for the king's ascension to heaven, as the building used to be a bastion of apartheid in South Africa, and so the film upends that symbol and shows the prince floating out of it. Colonialism, slavery and the oppression of black people has severed their connection to their heritage and has caused even black people themselves to think of their culture as corrupt or worthless, in the same way the prince was led to believe that he is undeserving of the role that was his birthright. Nicholls' own daughter was chosen for the film; Nicholls explained that "it's made my daughter be part of something where five years from when she wanted to look like Elsa and Anna, is singing along to the song "Brown Skin Girl"". Inspiration is not going to fill my bank account, show me the money. My process is tedious. [151] Niellah Arboine of The Independent said Black Is King shows Beyoncé at her most experimental, with a cinematographic style where "every shot is a piece of art" and music genres that the film "seamlessly jumps through". [105] Filming for the "Keys to the Kingdom" video took place at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos, as Ake wanted to show a vision of Africa that isn't fantastical, but is grounded in a real location yet still amazing and impressive. Black Is King is a 2020 American musical film and visual album directed, written, and executive produced by American singer Beyoncé. [15][74][115] Co-director Julian Klincewicz operated a 1980s Ikegani Tsushinki broadcast camera. [157], Chanté Joseph of The Guardian praised the film's messages of black unity and empowerment, describing how the film is storytelling led by African creatives showcasing African cultures that also speaks to black people in the diaspora searching for their identity. "[163] Writing for Vogue, Hayley Maitland opined that Beyoncé is "shifting the zeitgeist" with Black Is King, noting that the film's release feels especially timely after the resurgence of Black Lives Matter. The king gives the young prince a small golden scepter and tells the prince that his ancestors look down on them from the stars and will always be there to guide him ("Find Your Way Back"). The film's production was top secret, with the public not being aware of the film and some contributors not knowing the scope of the project until the release of the trailer. I can't just say, 'Parents, give me your children for a few days to fly out to California tomorrow, to work for somebody and I don’t know who it is, for a video I have no details about, and to stay in some hotel!'" Twenty-five years after the release of the original classic, The Lion King, is getting a live-action remake from Disney and Beyonce has recorded a … [199], At the 2020 UK Music Video Awards, Beyoncé was one of the four artists leading the nominations, with her nominations including Best Music Film for Black Is King and three additional awards for "Already", of which it won Best Styling in a Video. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. [86] Akers collaborated with American fashion designer Natalia Fedner on a gold chain headpiece covered in gold earrings of various styles and sizes for "Already." @Beyonce always pushes for greatness. "Spirit" is a song by American singer Beyoncé for the soundtrack of the photorealistic remake of The Lion King and the companion album The Lion King: The Gift. He now dreams of spending his time partying with girls inside a tricked-out hearse ("Ja Ara E"). [71] When asked how he was brought onto the film, Nyaniso Dzedze said that he asked himself the same question and described it as "spiritual and divine". [98][109] Filming also took place in Apple Valley in California and Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon; Black Is King was the first production to be filmed at Havasu Falls, with the Havasupai people granting special permission to Beyoncé. [210] Steff Yotka of Vogue wrote that "Black Is King was the digital fashion event of the summer, upstaging official fashion weeks by aligning garments with history, celebrity, purpose, and unparalleled beauty". [32] Stylist Zerina Akers put the actors in designer animal print costumes, explaining how she "wanted to turn that [stereotype of Africans' primitive nature] on its head and raise it up to make it feel really high fashion". [17] Jeremy Helligar of Variety wrote that Black Is King "reminds us that Black lives didn’t begin in chains" and inspires young black people "to learn about the history of their race and the ways in which it has shaped the world". You just don't get to see representation like that or black people honored in that way. The film received universal acclaim from critics, with praise for Beyoncé's direction, the cinematography, score, costume design, subject matter, and cultural themes. [131] Black Is King's release was also one of the eight most talked-about moments on Instagram of 2020. I don't know everything but I know that…, "Casting children for Beyoncé 'a dream come true, "Beyoncé's Producer Shares Her Experience Of Working On 'Black Is King, "Beyonce's Black Is King: That Grape Juice's Top 5 Moments - That Grape Juice", "Baltimore bodybuilder, 84, cast in Beyoncé video", "How Zerina Akers created Black is King's fashion fantasy", "6 Very Specific References You Might Have Missed in Beyoncé's Black Is King", "Beyonce's 'Black Is King' Costume Designer Unpacks Cultural References, Favorite Style Moments | Hollywood Reporter", "A Fashion Historian Unpacks the Symbolism of Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Costumes", Beyoncé's Black Is King film aims to start "a global conversation" says stylist Zerina Akers, "Beyoncé's Lead Hairstylist Explains The Inspiration Behind The Hair In 'Black Is King, "How Beyoncé's Long-Time Hairstylist Created The Head-Turning Hair Of 'Black Is King, "Beyoncé's Hairstylist Kim Kimble on Creating Iconic Hairstyles for "Black Is King, "A.V.O Boyz: The journey before 'Black is King, "Working with Beyonce, experience of a lifetime –Stephen Ojo", "Meet Papi Ojo, the Breakout Star of Beyoncé's Black Is King", "Beyoncé's Knowing Ethnic Splendor in "Black Is King, "Black Is King Beyonce black synchronized swimmers", "Kany Diabaté on Instagram: "CHOREOGRAPHER POST !! Beyoncé first rose to prominence as the lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child, which … [124] On the film's release date, the official music video for "Already" was released, as well as a deluxe edition of The Gift which includes both the original and extended versions of "Black Parade" and a remix of "Find Your Way Back" by MeLo-X. "ALREADY" is a song composed by Beyoncé, Toumani Diabaté, Diplo, GuiltyBeatz, the Picard Brothers, Starrah, and Shatta Wale for the 2019 remake of The Lion King. [214], 2020 American musical film and visual album by Beyoncé. [98] The circle motif is also reflected by the inclusion of Lee Broom's Hanging Hoop Chair in "Find Your Back Way" and "Don't Jealous Me". His ancestor tells the prince that he will meet himself at the shore, as the blue man walks into the sea ("Water"). It was an amazing shoot. Beyoncé Presents: The Lion King giveth, and Beyoncé Presents: The Lion King continue to giveth!On Tuesday morning, Bey released the track list for her curated Lion King … The album reminded me that America's tortured relationship with race was only one part of an international experience, not the whole of it. Black Is King was in production for over a year and was filmed across three continents. [38] Actors in the film were dressed with headpieces and belts made from cowrie shells, an allusion to when the shells were treated as currency in Africa. [63], The "Brown Skin Girl" segment was mainly filmed in London, as well as in Nigeria and Los Angeles. [209], Many of the designers Beyoncé and her dancers wore in Black Is King saw triple-digit spikes in search traffic after the film's release. 'The Lion King: The Gift' album follows in the footsteps of Kendrick Lamar's "Black Panther" and is a worthy addition to Beyonce's own canon. [82][32] Stylist Zerina Akers described how the aim of the wardrobe was to have a "global conversation"; the costumes would enable people of all races to "recognise and respect the power and beauty of brown skin", while black people would be inspired "to research their spiritual heritage and what truly belongs to them" and be left with the sense "that the world does belong to them and that they belong in the world". BEYONCE may have a starring role in The Lion King movie, but she is struggling to keep her claws in to her title as Queen Bey. Albums; Songs; Videos; DVDs; Tour Beyoncé and her team eventually found the Island Aquatics Synchro team in Port Antonio, Jamaica, and an agency representative contacted the team's coach Olga Novokshchenova in early September 2019. Beyoncé wanted to recruit a diverse cast and crew and to provide opportunities for new talent. The Official Website of Beyoncé. He was then brought back as a choreographer for Black Is King, teaching African dance styles and giving the meaning behind them. [167] Esquire named the film one of the 12 best movie musicals of all time. "Spirit" is a song composed by Beyoncé, IIya Salmanzadeh, and Timothy McKenzie for the 2019 remake of The Lion King. She was such a boss, directing, overlooking everything, and so sweet and warm. I Just Can't Wait to Be King (2019 soundtrack), The Lion Sleeps Tonight (2019 soundtrack), Can You Feel the Love Tonight (2019 soundtrack), The Lion Guard (Music from the TV Series), https://lionking.fandom.com/wiki/Beyoncé?oldid=286091. [101][116] The video for "Scar" was directed by Pierre Debusschere and was filmed on December 15, 2019 in the Sahara nature reserve in Lommel, Belgium. Stephen Ojo and Caleb Bonney of dance group AVO (Africa's Very Own) Boyz were unexpectedly contacted by American choreographer JaQuel Knight and asked to fly out to Los Angeles the following day. [58][59] Director Ibra Ake described Beyoncé as "a scholar" who wanted to learn about and discuss the meaning and history behind every detail that would be included in the film. "[8], Claire Shaffer of Rolling Stone described Black Is King as "a Pan-African collage", with the film showcasing fashion, music, dances, locations and languages from throughout the African continent and diaspora. The prince is reunited with his childhood love ("Brown Skin Girl"). Embedding the earrings into Fedner's patent pending chain textile headdress, Akers wanted to show how gold jewelry connects generations of black women and the African diaspora. ", "A Quick Cultural Guide to Beyoncé's 'Black Is King, "5 Takeaways From Beyonce's Elaborate New Visual Album 'Black Is King, "How the directors of Beyoncé's Black Is King created an exercise in modern mythmaking", "Black is King: Is Beyonce fashion's ultimate influencer? Outside, a biker gang arrives and encircles the prince. [212] Beyoncé's fashion in the film made her become the most influential woman in fashion in 2020. We went in. [162], Dominic Patten of Deadline wrote that with Black Is King, "you have a cultural dominance almost unknown nowadays", with the film being "the conformation of its creator and star as the cultural Queen of our time. [85] One look in the "Already" video was a 5:31 Jérôme blue Nigerian lace trench dress with an accompanying Nigerian gele, inspired by the fashion of matriarchal women at Nigerian weddings. And, after having my son, Sir Carter, I felt it was important to uplift and praise our boys and to assure that they grow up with enough films, children’s books and music that promote emotional intelligence, self-value and our rich history. [197] The film's nomination in Best Music Film makes Beyoncé the most nominated artist in this category in Grammy history, with five nominations. [123], Black Is King was released globally on July 31, 2020, on Disney+. The ancestor tells the prince to return to the river, in which he finds the scepter. [64], Bob Iger, Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, handled talks with Beyoncé to release Black Is King on Disney+. [169] Christine Emba of The Washington Post selected the Black Is King soundtrack as the piece of culture that had the biggest impact on her in 2020, explaining that it "functioned as the most buoyant retort to the summer’s narrative of pain". "Spirit" is a song composed by Beyoncé, IIya Salmanzadeh, and Timothy McKenzie for the 2019 remake of The Lion King. [11] Fordjour noted how the George Floyd protests began after they had completed the final edit, describing how they were "looking at the news and the edit like, "Oh my god, this is insane. The prince reunites with his father and breaks down in front of him. The representative would not tell Novokshchenova who the project was for, and they asked her to fly out to Los Angeles with all 10 swimmers the next day. [206], New York University hosted an event titled "The Making and Unpacking of Beyoncé's Black Is King", sponsored by the Center for Black Visual Culture/Institute of African American Affairs-NYU and the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. An extended version of "Black Parade" was used for the film's credits. "[60] Director Jenn Nkiru explained how in the set of the "Brown Skin Girl" video, there was "a huge presence of life", specifically a lot of flowers and plants, representing the themes of growth and nurturing. He is reunited with the elder, who anoints him again with white paint, and he floats upwards into the spiritual plane. [160] Sukriti Wahi of Elle Australia praised the inclusion of non-black people of color who have experienced colorism in the film, such as South Asian model Sheerah Ravindren, as well as the showcasing of black fashion designers. The Lion King: The Gift is a soundtrack album curated and executively produced by American singer and songwriter Beyoncé for the 2019 live-action remake of Disney's'The Lion King'. Here's how to watch it", "What's Trending On Disney+ | Black Is King | What's On Disney Plus", "Beyonce, BTS, and more make the 'Twitter from Home' quarantine report", "These were the most talked-about moments on Instagram in 2020", "Beyoncé Recognized for Humanitarian Work at BET Awards: 'Please Continue to Be the Change, "Beyonce to Release 'Black Is King' Visual Album on Disney+", "Honored to be working with @Beyonce this! [36][74], Various pieces of art were added to the sets in Black Is King. The representative then revealed who the project was for, but Novokshchenova still had doubts that it was a hoax until she met fellow Jamaican swimmer Nicole Chin Sue at the airport. [9][49], In July 2019, after the release of the music video for "Spirit", Beyoncé wanted to release more visuals for The Lion King: The Gift. [100], Statues that were on the "Keys to the Kingdom" set, including one of a black woman with a child wrapped on her back, were intended to inspire young black children, with director Ibra Ake saying: "Just seeing that as a black man, coming from America, I'm like, yeah this is opposite of what I have to inspire me growing up. [165][166], Screen Rant ranked Black Is King at number one on its list of the visual albums that have redefined cinema. Weinbender concluded: "She's in complete control of every element here, confidently so, and the texture and warmth she brings to this project suggests it should stay that way. On the beach, the prince is anointed with white paint by the ancestor, while in a royal palace, he is similarly anointed by an elder. Beyoncé: THE LION KING: THE GIFT - The Official Website of Beyoncé [41] The Gift was curated and produced by Beyoncé, who described the album as "a love letter to Africa" and recounted her determination to find "the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sounds and [do] my interpretation of it". "[66] All of Beyoncé's earnings were used to ensure that they used the best crew and production. [8], Sophia Ordaz of Slate noted that as well as the message of the film being "that Black kingship amounts to responsible manhood, Black femininity is just as integral". [207], Dissect, a podcast known for thoroughly analyzing contemporary music, are dedicating a seven-episode season to analyzing Black Is King, due to be released in January 2021. [94], For the "Mood 4 Eva" video, Beyoncé and Knight had a vision of a Busby Berkeley-inspired synchronized swimming routine, with swimmers creating formations such as a dolphin chain circle through which Beyoncé would swim. "Brown Skin Girl" (stylized in uppercase) is a song by American singer Beyoncé, Guyanese singer Saint Jhn, and Nigerian singer Wizkid, featuring Blue Ivy Carter from the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift The song was sent to Top 40/Rhythmic radio on July 23, 2019 as the second single from the album. He lives in an extravagant mansion full of expensive clothes, servants, and feasts ("Mood 4 Eva"). [132], On the night of June 27, 2020, a teaser trailer for Black Is King was posted on Beyoncé's website, the first official announcement of the film to the public. Beyoncé first rose to prominence as the lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child, which became of the most successful girl groups in history. She also co-wrote and sang "Spirit". [118] Many different versions of the film were made. In her cover story for the December 2020 edition of British Vogue, Beyoncé explained what inspired her when developing the film, saying:[48]. Gonzalez also used a diffusion filter to bloom the highlights and make the images slightly softer, and made the window light bloom so that they conveyed a dream-like quality to the video. "[39] Janell Hobson of Ms. wrote that the "Brown Skin Girl" video is "a reminder of how Black women's collective gaze on each other is powerful enough to challenge the male gaze", as well as "a reminder of the community and solidarity of women to build each other up and raise our daughters toward the confidence they need to navigate a white imperialist and hetero-patriarchal world". I landed on mountains to swim in waterfalls. It was released on July 19, 2019, as part of the film's inspired album The Lion King: The Gift. Beyoncé has recently released a brand new video labeled “Black Is King” on Disney Plus. [208], Inspired by Black Is King, the New York Public Library published a guide of various materials (such as literature, documentaries and photographic collections) that "you can use to expand your knowledge of the arts and cultures from across the African Diaspora", building on the film's aim of celebrating the various cultures of the diaspora through art, fashion and music. [60], Beyoncé had a vision for the story she wanted to tell, and she brought on Blitz Bazawule to assist in writing it, who subsequently produced a storyboard with over 250 frames. Other scenes in the segment were inspired by Eddie Murphy's Coming to America and Hype Williams' Belly. It was released digitally on July 11, 2019, and physically on July 19, 2019, as part of the film's soundtrack. [97] Ugo Rondinone's sun sculptures, which symbolize rebirth and renewal, were featured in the "Already" video in order to reflect the film's motif of the 'circle of life'. They are all equally important. The prince's uncle tells the prince to flee the village, and he takes over the throne ("Scar"). Dzedze explained that the casting team went on a lengthy process in order to find the right person for the role, and "somehow my face, my image found itself on the table, and I guess the stars aligned and God said yes". In the spiritual plane, the ancestor leads the king's funeral, while the blue man sits alone ("Nile"). [129] Black Is King was one of the 15 most-watched streaming video on demand films of 2020, according to ScreenEngine/ASI. "[27], According to Rading Biko of The Standard, Black Is King "has awaken the spirit of Pan-Africanism", a movement that aims to unite black people in Africa and the diaspora. Similarly, with the film, Beyoncé is empowering the African diaspora to connect with their heritage, celebrate their culture and recognize their self-worth. [136][67] The release of the teaser also triggered discussions and debates on the portrayal of Africa in Western media and the relationship between African Americans and Africans, with some viewers expressing concern that the trailer suggested that the film would be misrepresenting Africa. I start with identifying my intention and making sure that I am aligned with the collaborators for the same purpose. Beyoncé called Black Is King "my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year". It was released on July 19, 2019, by Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ Is Beyonce’s Love Letter to Blackness The soundtrack features over 20 artists from the United States, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Cameroon. That could not work. [48][110] Beyoncé and Emmanuel Adjei were the directors of the "Don't Jealous Me" and "Otherside" sections. She started to create custom looks with local designers, while her counterpart in Paris, Rogelio F. Burgos, started to collect runway looks. [38][29] The fashion in the "My Power" video was designed according to the colors of the Seven African Powers, with each singer representing a different orisha. About … [110] There were 20 large setups around the mansion and the film crew totaled around 40 people in grip, electric and camera. Beyoncé was impressed by his performance and she sought him out, ultimately casting him in the lead role in Black Is King. The album is packed with star-studded names including husband and frequent collaborator Jay-Z, along with others such as … A basket floats down a river. A Twitter spokesperson said: "Because we know that some of the best moments deserve a little spark and delight, we are testing a product that lets partners customize Twitter's Like button animation with iconic imagery that complements their campaign." In another time, a sandstorm arrives ("Otherside"). Together, we work to create the best comprehensive encyclopedia for the Lion King franchise. "[117], Post-production took place from December 2019. The symbolism and color...wow. "[170] Entertainment Tonight named Black Is King one of the biggest stories of 2020, describing it as a film that "beautifully celebrates African cultures and roots" and which showcases Beyoncé's attention to detail, citing the "jaw-dropping looks that perfectly encapsulated the visual album's theme of afrofuturism". Sam Adams of Slate wrote that the inclusion of this selection of recordings in Black Is King "underline the way in which tradition is passed down through music" as well as "how that transmission can be exploited by outside parties for profit". She released her debut album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003, leading her to become a solo artist. [156] Janell Hobson of Ms. agreed, describing Beyoncé as an auteur who orchestrated the music, visuals, fashion, dances and artists "in a grand unifying vision". Beyoncé is an American actress, dancer, singer, and songwriter. \"Disney’s upcoming film journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. She learnt about the story of Solomon Linda, the South African composer of the song "Mbube" who received no credit or royalties from the song being used as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in the original The Lion King.