Songs from The Lion King: Alex Boyé and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The 2017 Pioneer Day concert, featuring Alex Boyé, brought an amazing variety of music, which included Disney songs, hymns, African-American Spirituals, classical, jazz (in the form of a Nat King Cole Medley), and Broadway musicals.
The final two numbers of the night were from Disney’s The Lion King, in which Boyé returned to the stage wearing feathers and a white stripe painted across his face, to add an African flavor to the performance. The set began with “He Lives In You,” which is sung by Rafiki in the Broadway musical as a reprise to “They Live In You,” which is sung by Simba’s father Mufasa in the first act. “He Lives In You” also appears on the album Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends, with the solo vocals performed by Santino Fontana.
Before performing “Circle of Life,” Boyé said, “When I moved to Utah, which has been the most amazing experience of my life, by the way, I began performing, and I’d send my mom recordings home, you know, to London, and telling her the things that I was doing. Every time she’d call me back and say ‘Tunde, That’s my Nigerian name, you need to put some more of your African roots, our Africa roots, into the music.’ And I’d say ‘Mom, I live in Utah! Nobody wants to listen to African music.’ Down the road, Boyé got a call from former Choir director Craig Jessop to do “Circle of Life” from The Lion King, which led him to join the Choir. Years later, when his solo career started to take off, particularly after recording “Peponi,” an African style cover of Coldplay’s “Paradise” with The Piano Guys, Boyé said “I remember calling my mother excited about this new direction and how much people were loving it, and you know what she said; she said to me, ‘You stupid boy! I’ve been telling you for twenty years to put that [African] music in [your music]. Twenty years!’ So the moral of the story is…. listen to your mother."
Watch Boyé and the Choir and Orchestra perform “He Lives In You,” and “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.”