‘Uishi kwa’: Beyonce features Swahili in her latest song
The next album to feature and be produced by Beyonce, the soundtrack to Disney’s new version of the Lion King, will be “steeped in the sounds of Africa”, according to the film company.
The first single – Beyonce’s Spirit – was released just a few hours ago and the first words you hear are in Swahili.
“Uishi kwa muda mrefu mfalme,” a voice chants twice, with a deeper voice responding “uishi kwa“.
The phrase means: “Long live the king.”
In English Beyonce sings:
Rise up to the light in the sky, yeah
Watch the light lift your heart up
Burn your flame through the night
The Lion King follows the story of a young lion and his travails as he tries to become the king.
Disney says the full album, The Lion King: The Gift, will be released in nine days coinciding with the global release of the film.
It’s set to feature the work of African producers according to Beyonce, who is quoted in a statement.
“It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me…”It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, hip-hop and Afro Beat.”