A new version of Aladdin’s 1992 ’A Whole New World’ OST just dropped on YouTube and for the most part, we’re happy about it!
Disney uploaded the music video Thursday featuring a duet between pop powerhouse, Zayn Malik and rising music star Zhavia Ward.
The Alan Menken-penned famous ballad comes one of many songs that would be available with the rest of the upcoming Aladdin remake’s album.
If you’ve watched Aladdin’s live-action trailer a few months back, you would also notice that another famous song from the original, A Friend Like Me also got a modern twist. Mainly, like the rest of the Twitterverse, we were surprised when Genie started to rap!
Apparently, A Friend Like Me wasn’t the only song that Disney decided to give a modern twist. In the newer version of A Whole New World, there are some things that Disney also decided to play with.
In the 1992 version, the dreamy melody was sung by voice actors Brad Kane and Lea Salonga for the original animated version of Aladdin, which peaked at No. 1 in the United States before bagging the Oscar for Best Original Song. Furthermore, the hit classic became the movie’s famous love song that was imprinted on all of its fans’ mind with Jasmine and Aladdin singing on top of a flying carpet, all the while admiring the view. Now that’s certainly a feat any other artist would both be terrified and honored to follow.
”The selection of artists, producer, and tonal direction was critical for the success of updating a classic song like this,” president of Walt Disney Studio’s Music & Soundtracks Mitchell Leib said in a statement. “Zayn’s vocals are like no other and his artistic imprint immediately brought a contemporary and diverse presence.”
Zayn Malik, the former One Direction singer, was personally chosen to sing the male voice in the modern version of A Whole New World. His vocal range easily matches the contemporary vibe of the classic all the while giving it a dynamic that would resemble with today’s pop culture.
Meanwhile, Zhavia Ward was chosen by Zayn to perform the duet with. Zhavia is an up and coming music star who grew her popularity on the famous talent show, ‘The Four’ where judges were famous singers and producers like Dj Khaled.
Zhavia’s presence in The Four was quickly embraced both by the judges and the audience because of her unique vocals. She gives her songs a more reggae-RnB feel that takes you on a drifting journey all the while having the kind of energy that remains upbeat.
We can see hints of Zhavia’s singing style in the newer version of A Whole New World that beautifully compliments Malik’s vocal range where overall revamp the ballad but not wholly that it offsets the purpose and the nostalgia the song comes with. And to complement the whole musical score, there are more lively beats and a few Arabian melodies that Disney added, which is quite tasteful even though they’re veering away from the whole dreamy and romantic vibe of the original.
In terms of the aesthetic feel in the music video, sadly there are no magic carpet rides, but we get to see the beautiful Manhattan night and Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace with Zhavia singing ”unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings…” to the night sky. It’s no classic fairytale, but it’s something we get to appreciate as a modern ballad in a place filled with city lights, which overall compliments the whole idea of updating the classic love song.
There may have been mixed reviews regarding Guy Ritchie’s live adaptation of Aladdin, starting with the black genie where it’s not because he’s black but the genie we all know and love is blue. Now, at least they nailed the famous song that sent lovers cooing each other right.
The duet will be featured in the film’s soundtrack as well as the end credits. We’ll also get to hear more from Aladdin’s soundtrack including “Friend Like Me” performed by Will Smith, who plays Genie, and DJ Khaled. You can preorder the soundtrack here.
Aladdin–starring Will Smith as Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Mena Massoud as Aladdin–opens May 24 in theaters.A
Go stream the latest music video and tell us what you think!