October 21, 2008
Will.I.Am Collaborates With Oscar-Winning Composer Hans Zimmer on 4 New Songs and Instrumental Score for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Soundtrack
NEW YORK, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- will.i.am, frontman and producer of the multi-platinum three-time Grammy Award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas, takes a giant step forward teaming with famed Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer for DreamWorks Animation's new Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. In addition to completing his first full-length motion picture soundtrack album collaboration, penning four brand new original songs (and the instrumental score), will.i.am will also be doing double-duty as the voice of a new character, Moto Moto.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, the album, is set for Election Day, November 4th release in the physical and digital marketplace on the will.i.am Music Group/Interscope label. The movie, a Paramount Pictures release, opens nationwide on Friday, November 7th.
The original motion picture soundtrack album for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will contain 17 tracks, including the four new songs co-written by will.i.am and Zimmer, and performed by will.i.am: "The Traveling Song,""Big and Chunky,""She Loves Me," and "Best Friends." will.i.am. also performs his own new version of Reel 2 Real's 1993 dance classic "I Like To Move It" (which Sacha Baron Cohen originally performed on the first Madagascar soundtrack in 2005).
The new Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa soundtrack album will also include a number of instrumental themes written by Zimmer and will.i.am for the movie: "Once Upon A Time In Africa,""Party! Party! Party!,""Volcano,""Rescue Me,""Foofie," and "Monochromatic Friends." The album is rounded out by a pair of Top 40 gems, Barry Manilow's "Copacabana (At The Copa)" and Boston's "More Than A Feeling," as well as "Chums" performed by Heitor Pereira (who contributed a track to the 2005 album).
Escape 2 Africa is the highly-anticipated sequel to DreamWorks' wildly successful Madagascar of 2005, which has earned more than $500 million in worldwide box office revenues to date. will.i.am brings his distinct musical flavor to the ongoing saga of the Central Park Zoo animals who find themselves marooned on the distant shores of Madagascar. This time, they repair an old crashed plane (sort of), which stays aloft just long enough to transport them to the wilds of Africa, where new adventures await them.
Escape 2 Africa marks the return of the Madagascar crew: Alex the Lion (the voice of Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the hypochondriac giraffe (David Schwimmer), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) who is romanced by the ultra-masculine hippo Moto Moto (will.i.am), the ring-tailed lemurs' King Julien XIII (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his assistant Maurice the Aye-aye (Cedric the Entertainer), and Mort the lemur (Andy Richter). Along with will.i.am, other new voices include Alec Baldwin, The View's Sherri Shepherd, and the late Bernie Mac.
DreamWorks SKG's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, who helmed the original Madagascar. The screenplay is written by Etan Cohen, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath. It is produced by Mireille Soria (Madagascar) and Mark Swift (Bee Movie). This film has not yet been rated.
This marks the 11th animated film for versatile Oscar winner Hans Zimmer. He won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony Award for The Lion King and has received 6 other Oscar nominations for Rain Man, Gladiator, As Good As It Gets, The Preacher's Wife, Thin Red Line, and The Prince Of Egypt. Known as a pioneer in the use of technology in film music, Zimmer has scored over 100 films, most recently the summer blockbusters The Dark Knight and Kung Fu Panda. Other notable up-coming scores for Zimmer include Frost/Nixon (directed by Ron Howard, to be released by Universal on December 5th) and he is already at work on Angels and Demons, the highly anticipated prequel to The Da Vinci Code.
Along with original members apl.de.ap and Taboo, will.i.am has led Los Angeles-based Black Eyed Peas for their decade together, starting with their first album in 1998, Behind The Front (though will and apl were rapping together for ten years before that). Bridging The Gap, the second Black Eyed Peas album, arrived in 2000. With 2003's breakthrough album Elephunk, and Fergie's entry into the lineup, the Peas became international superstars. The album spun off hit after hit, starting with the worldwide #1 "Where Is the Love" featuring Justin Timberlake, then "Shut Up,""Hey Mama," and "Let's Get It Started," which won the group its first of two Rap Grammy Awards.
The second Grammy came their way for "Don't Phunk With My Heart," the lead single from their fourth and most recent studio album, 2005's Monkey Business. The album also included the all-time classic "My Humps" which broke the Pop Grammy barrier for the group, winning them their third Grammy. Together with the Renegotiations: The Remixes 8-track EP (March 2006) and the full-length live performance DVD Live From Sydney To Vegas (December 2006), the total global sales of Black Eyed Peas records and videos exceed 20 million units. Adding to that was the success of Fergie's world wide 5 million-selling debut solo album The Dutchess, released January 2007.
Black Eyed Peas aficionados know that will.i.am released two solo albums of beats and extra songs on the British label BBE Records (Lost Change in 2001, and Must B 21 in 2003). He followed with Songs About Girls (will.i.am Music Group/A&M, September 2007), his first effort outside the group to really harness all his creative energies.