Disney Philippines has announced that “Gabay” by Filipino singer KZ Tandingan will be the first song sung in Filipino to be used in the soundtrack of a Disney movie.
It will be used in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest epic animated adventure Raya and the Last Dragon, which is inspired by the cultures of Southeast Asia.
The film’s story is set in the fantasy world of Kumandra, where long ago humans and dragons lived together in harmony. Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) goes on a new adventure to track down the legendary last dragon, Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina) to restore the fractured land and unite its divided people. During the journey, Raya will learn that it will take more than a dragon to save the world.
“Raya and the Last Dragon is inspired by various Southeast Asian cultures and, as such, we found it fitting to launch ‘Gabay’ as a way for us to celebrate the film and connect with our Filipino fans,” said Allie Benedicto, Studio Marketing Head of Disney Philippines, in a press release. The song “demonstrates our commitment to work with local creative talents to tell our stories in a locally relevant manner.”
“I am very grateful and I feel very proud to be singing in my language, and show off its beauty to the rest of the world. I am proud to be part of history,” said Ms. Tandingan in a statement. “I grew up watching Disney movies. Finally, there is a Disney Princess who I can feel a very strong connection to, and that is Raya as the first one inspired by Southeast Asia.”
“Gabay” will be available to stream on Spotify on March 5.
Raya and the Last Dragon will premiere in theaters and on Disney+ in the United States this month. A Philippine cinema release will soon follow. — MAPS