Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars are among the participants on the soundtrack to “Rio 2,” the upcoming sequel to Blue Sky Studios’ 2011 animated film, it was revealed today (March 4).
The announcement corresponds with the official single release of Monae’s musical contribution, “What is Love.” The song is currently available for digital download on iTunes and other digital retailers, and is also streaming on Spotify.
“What is Love,” in keeping with the tropical theme of the “Rio” films, is a slice of sun-drenched soul chock full of island vibes.
Monae isn’t just guesting on the soundtrack. She’ll also be voicing a character in “Rio 2”: a veterinarian.
Alongside Monae, Mars will appear on the soundtrack with “Welcome Back.” Mars also uses his voice for more than just singing, voicing Roberto, a childhood friend of main character Jewel (Anne Hathaway), in the film.
“Rio 2: Music from the Motion Picture” will also feature contributions from B.o.B. and Philip Lawrence, as well as multiple Brazilian acts: 15-member percussion group Barbatuques, Carlinhos Brown and Milton Nascimento.
The “Rio 2” soundtrack will hit stores March 25, a few weeks in advance of the film’s April 11 release. Pre-orders for the album begin today on iTunes.