Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” is based on the true story of 10-year-old Phiona, a young girl from Uganda with a knack for chess and dreams of becoming an international champion. It’s clearly positioned as an inspiring tale, and to underpin that message Disney brought on Alicia Keys to write and perform a new song for the soundtrack, “Back To Life.”
The cathartic track, written by Keys, Carlo Montagnese and Billy Walsh, is about pushing past the little voice of doubt in our heads so we can instead, “electrify the world,” Keys said in a press release. Starting as a piano ballad with minimal strings, “Back to Life” then morphs into a fun uptempo, electronic, head-shaking pop song. Take a listen below.
Keys has won 15 Grammy Awards, but she’s never received an Oscar nomination. This is the kind of track that might appeal to Oscar voters; the rousing lyrics would probably play well on stage at the Kodak Theater. (Also noted: the tantalizing score by Golden Globe nominee Alex Heffes, which is heard in the trailer.)
Starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, “Queen of Katwe” will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 10 and be released in theaters on September 23.
Check out a special featurette where Keys talks about her inspiration for the song below.