When it was announced that Beyoncé would be executive producing the official soundtrack album for Disney’s live action remake of The Lion King, fans knew another cultural moment was in the making.
Described by the global superstar as her “love letter to Africa,” she brought together a collective of artists for The Lion King: The Gift. Once the track list was unveiled, fans were excited to see that Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and Tierra Whack had been tapped for the project. Additionally, top African musicians such as Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi and Burna Boy were spotlighted on tracks.
However, Tiwa Savage, who was featured on “Keys to the Kingdom,” revealed that she narrowly missed out on the opportunity. The Afrobeat star appeared on HOT 97 on Tuesday (Aug. 25) and host Ebro Darden wanted to know Tiwa’s reaction when she first learned she would be working with Beyoncé.
The singer shared that she found out via email, explaining, “When my manager called and she was like ‘They're doing this project.’ I was like ‘Yeah, no.’ We literally ignored it for a couple of days.”
Tiwa thought it was a scam, reasoning, “I mean, who gets an email to say Beyoncé wants to put you on a project? I was like ‘of course I'm not gonna fall for that.’”
By that time, Beyoncé had started laying the groundwork for the project. Tiwa and her team started hearing whispers that other African artists got the same email.
“I was like, ‘Yo, we need to call Motown [Records] to make sure this is real and they called us back and they're like, ‘Yo it’s real,’” Tiwa recollected.
She swiftly booked a 22-hour flight from Nigeria to Cali and was laying down vocals in a Los Angeles studio.
Listen to her hilarious description of the event below.
(Photo from left: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic and Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)