If you keep up to date with the Norwegian-based DJ, “Wiese”, then you’ll know full well that the he loves “The Lion King”. In 2019, Wiese wowed his fans and followers with a catchy, fun and carefree EDM cover of one of his favourite songs from the Oscar-winning animated gem. Sung by Timon and Pumbaa in both the original and recent live-action reboot, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is one of the most popular songs from the franchise.
Being a massive fan of the franchise, Wiese decided to write and produce his own EDM cover of the song, which was released in 2019 to enormous success. Here’s everything you need to know about that song and Wiese’s new version.
Little known origins
Many lovers of the song incorrectly believe that it was written for the film; however, it turns out that the original was written and performed by Solomon Linda. It was initially written in Zulu and published under the title name, “Mbube”. It was later performed by the doo-wop group, the Tokens, where it became a number 1 hit.
Wiese had always loved the original song from the film, and for him, the timing was perfect. 2019 marked both the 25th anniversary of the animated movie and the 80th anniversary since its original release, so it seemed like the timing was perfect for Wiese.
Wiese has always loved and adored the original film. When he was nine years old, the DJ superstar performed “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” on a recorder flute in front of the entire school. While he is sure it was an embarrassing experience for all involved, it goes to show just how much he loved and continues to love the film.
His thoughts on the remake
While critical reception to Jon Favreau’s live-action reboot was mixed, Wiese maintains that he was amazed by the films, as were many fans. In his words, the filmmakers ‘definitely added some new dimensions’, without compromising the integrity or nostalgia of the original. So, in his eyes, the film was a great success.
Why he chose EDM as the genre for the cover
Many would argue that choosing EDM as the genre for the cover was a massive risk. However, in Wiese’s eyes, it was the best option. Firstly, the original song has always possessed a catchy and powerful melody; however, DJs have largely forgotten about the music. As a result, Wiese believed there was a massive opportunity to tap into the nostalgia of the original film, the anticipation of the live-action reboot and give the original song a modern twist.
Maintaining respect for the original
Throughout his endeavours, the most critical thing for Wiese is upholding respect for the original song and film. The last thing he wanted to do was tarnish the original composers by appearing tacky and benefiting off the success of a commercially successful song. He always wanted to retain the goodwill and vibes of the original, while adding his own twist to his version.
The thinking behind the music video
The new music video for the song has received some incredibly positive reviews. The thinking behind it was relatively straightforward too – borrow a lion costume, some decent camera equipment and make it all up on the spot over one day in Oslo. However, it soon got a bit crazy, with the team booking a flight to Barcelona, an oversized lion head and a onesie. The end result? A great music video for a great song.