“The Lion King” original motion picture soundtrack features new recordings of the original songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice, score by Oscar and GRAMMY-winning composer Hans Zimmer, plus African vocal and choir arrangements by GRAMMY-winning South African producer and composer LeboM (Rhythm of the Pride Lands). Oscar-nominated and GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams (“Hidden Figures”/producer, “Happy”), produced five songs on the soundtrack.
In revisiting the score for “The Lion King,” Zimmer realized the original themes and music were the “emotional spine of the story.” He brought back many who worked on the original film, including LeboM, orchestrator Bruce Fowler, conductor Nick Glennie-Smith, arranger Mark Mancina, plus several singers from the choir including Carmen Twillie (who performed “Circle of Life” in the 1994 movie).
Zimmer wanted to approach the score differently for the new film and enlisted the Re-Collective Orchestra (led by founders Matt Jones and Stephanie Matthews), along with the Hollywood Studio Symphony (comprised of Los Angeles-based session players), and his band. The goal was to rehearse and record the score like a live concert performance.