On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, American singer, songwriter and actress, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter released the tracklist of her much-talked-about “Lion King: The Gift” album and to the surprise of Ghanaians, one of the top Reggae/Dancehall musicians in the country, Charles Nii Armah Mensah Junior popularly known as Shatta Wale was featured on the album.
Undoubtedly, Beyoncé featuring Shatta Wale on her “Lion King: The Gift” album which was released on Friday, July 19, 2019, became the biggest news in the history of the Ghanaian music industry.
Shatta Wale after announcing it on his official Instagram page went viral and started trending on various Ghanaian entertainment blogs and news websites as well as on social media. Shatta Wale also trended at number 8 worldwide on Twitter, number 11 in the United Kingdom, number 5 in Nigeria and number 1 in Ghana Twitter trends.
Beyoncé featured Shatta Wale on the song “Already” on her “Lion King: The Gift” album and Nigerian top musicians such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade and Tekno on other songs.
In South Africa, Beyoncé featured two musicians namely, Salatiel and Busiswa and in Cameroon, she featured Moonchild Sanelly.
Below is the full tracklist of Beyoncé’s “Lion King: The Gift” album.
Bigger ─ Beyoncé
Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life) ─ Beyoncé
Don’t Jealous Me ─ Tekno, Yemi Alade and Mr Eazi
Ja Ara E ─ Burna Boy
The Nile ─ Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar
Mood 4 Eva ─ Beyoncé, Jay Z and Childish Gambino
Water ─ Salatiel, Pharrell and Beyoncé
Brown Skin Girl ─ Blue Ivy Carter, St Jhn, Wizkid and Beyoncé
Keys to the Kingdom ─ Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi
Otherside ─ Beyoncé
Already ─ Beyoncé, Shatta Wale and Major Lazer
My Power ─ Tierra Whack, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Yemi Alade and Moonchild Sanelly
Scar ─ 070 Shake and Jessie Reyez
Spirit (written by Ilya Salmanzadeh, Labrinth and Beyoncé) ─ Beyoncé
Ghanaian musicians such Obrafour, Samini, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Kwaw Kese, M.anifest and others took to their official Twitter handles and congratulated Shatta Wale for being the only Ghanaian musician to be featured on Beyoncé’s “Lion King: The Gift” album.
Shatta Wale appreciating Beyoncé for featuring him on her much anticipated “Lion King: The Gift” album tweeted that God should bless her for such a historic collaboration and also dedicated the honour to the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Another Ghanaian who deserves to be celebrated is multiple-award-winning music producer, Guiltybeatz who produced three out of the fourteen songs on Beyoncé’s curated album “Lion King: The Gift”.
Guiltybeatz produced “Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)” by Beyoncé, “Already” by Shatta Wale, Major Laser and Beyoncé; and “Keys to the Kingdom” by Mr Eazi and Tiwa Savage.
Shatta Wale has granted several interviews and revealed how his historic collaboration with Beyoncé happened.
There is one man who made this historic collaboration between Shatta Wale and Beyoncé happen and he is Mr Leslie Quaynor, the Chief Executive Officer of Fantasy Entertainment.
According to Mr Leslie Quaynor, he was contacted by Beyoncé’s Agent for a Ghanaian musician to be on Beyoncé’s album and after scrolling through the tall list of top musicians in Ghana, Leslie Quaynor chose Shatta Wale as the best musician for the collaboration.
Mr Leslie Quaynor then communicated the good news to the Management of Shatta Wale and that gave birth to this historic collaboration between Beyoncé and Shatta Wale on her “Lion King: The Gift” album.
Shatta Wale also disclosed in an interview on Zylofon TV that his former boss, Nana Appiah Mensah of Menzgold and Zylofon Media played a vital role in this remarkable achievement.
According to Shatta Wale, he discussed with Nana Appiah Mensah after he was signed onto Zylofon Music Record Label to help him with international features of which Nana Appiah Mensah assured him of his full support.
Unfortunately, they had to put things on hold after Bank of Ghana, Securities Exchange Commission and Menzgold issues came up in December 2018.
Even though things became difficult for Nana Appiah Mensah but he was one of the few people who made his collaboration with Beyoncé see the light of the day according to Shatta Wale.
Shatta Wale also revealed in an interview with Sammy Flex on Zylofon FM that he has been informed that his team will be on the album tour with Beyoncé when the time is due and he’s preparing towards the Beyoncé “Lion King: The Gift” album tour.
Beyoncé on why she chose top musicians in Africa to feature on her “Lion King: The Gift” album in an interview on ABC News said; “I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa and not just use some of the sounds and did my own interpretation of it. I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa”.
Shatta Wale for years has been tagged as a ‘local champion’ artiste for the simple reason that he isn’t recognised on the international music scene unlike Stonebwoy, Sarkodie and others who have won the prestigious Black Entertainment Awards (BET) in the category ‘Best International Act’.
Shatta Wale explaining how the collaboration happened in one of his interviews expressed shock that he never expected such a historic collaboration to happen in his music career on the back of the fact that he hasn’t won any prestigious international award unlike some of his colleagues.
According to Shatta Wale, he was surprised when he sent his lyrics on the “Already” song on Beyoncé’s “Lion King: The Gift” to her management and got approved by Beyoncé and her management after listening to it in their studio in the United States of America.
The much-talked-about song “Already” by Beyoncé featuring Shatta Wale and Major Laser has been released and it’s currently the topic of discussion on the Ghanaian social media space.
Some Ghanaians after listening to the song have hailed Shatta Wale for his verses on the “Already” song on Beyoncé’s album.
Shatta Wale is trying his best to shoot the official video of “Already” with Beyoncé either in Ghana or the United States of America.
The song can be purchased on Apple Music and all authorised music streaming platforms.