Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno performs the theme song for Disney’s new Latina princess series Elena of Avalor, set to premiere July 22 on Disney Channel.
Craig Gerber, the creator and executive producer of Elena and its Disney predecessor Sofia the First, noted that previous recordings by the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter from Guatemala — known for her soulful indie pop and jazz-influenced stylings — provided inspiration for him as he created the show.
— Craig Gerber (@_CraigGerber) June 9, 2016
Dominican-American actress Aimee Carrero voices Latina princess Elena and also sings several songs in the series, which, along with the theme song, will be included on a seven-track EP to be released on the day of the series premiere. The first single, “My Time,” performed by Carrero, will be out on iTunes on June 24.
Each episode of the series will feature original songs in different Latin music styles, including “mariachi, Latin pop, salsa, banda and Chilean hip-hop,” according to an announcement from Disney about the Elena’s upcoming premiere. Emmy Award-nominated Tony Morales (Hatfields & McCoys) is the show’s composer, and John Kavanaugh, who won an Emmy for the Sofia the First theme, is the songwriter and music director for Elena.
An amalgamation of influences from Latin American and Spanish culture, including architecture, food, “magic, mythology and folklore” made their way into the story, “set in the enchanted fairytale land of Avalor.” In the first episode, Elena rescues her sister, Isabel, from “elf-like shapeshifting creatures based on a Chilean peuchen myth.” Elena also meets her spirit guide in the animal world, a character who has origins in Mayan beliefs. There is a charming prince from the Argentine-inspired Kingdom of Cordoba and a king from the Caribbean-inspired Cariza.
Lou Diamond Phillips, Danny Trejo and Hector Elizondo are among the well-known Latino actors voicing characters with recurring roles in the series.
Moreno will also give voice to a character on one of the show’s episodes. Meanwhile, she is currently preparing a new studio album for fall release and will perform June 20 at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at a concert honoring World Refugee Day.