Walt Disney's 'Queen of Katwe' made its LA premiere last night (September 20th 2016) as it prepares for a limited US release on Friday. Soundtracking this extraordinary story about a young Ugandan chess champion is Alicia Keys with her soaring new song 'Back To Life'. 

Alicia KeysAlicia Keys opens up about 'Queen of Katwe'

'Queen of Katwe' is the true story of chess extraordinaire Phiona Mutesi, who came from a modest background in Katwe, Uganda. She lived in poverty just like everyone in her community, she suffered familial losses to the AIDS virus and even schooling didn't come easy for Phiona. However, she transformed her life and her community when she learned to play chess, going on to win numerous titles and even getting to go to university.

It's an important story about following dreams, particularly as a young woman in a developing country. This is something that Alicia Keys knows only too well from her own visits to Uganda as part of her work with AIDS charity Keep a Child Alive. 'The people there are so resilient and powerful and beautiful and I thought that Mira [Nair - director] really captured that so authentically', Alicia says. 'By the end of it you're rooting for [Phiona] so much and wanting her to have a chance to believe in herself.'

Watch the trailer for 'Queen of Katwe' here:


She goes on to say that Phiona is a perfect representation of how important it is to give everyone the chance to prove themselves. 'Phiona is me. Phiona is all of us', she explains. 'Phiona is this example of how we all are looking for an opportunity and, if given, if just given an opportunity, especially young women in the world, you see what comes of it. Everything changes.'

More: See premiere photos from 'Queen of Katwe'

Alicia talks as much about opportunity and dreams in her song 'Back To Life', produced by Illangelo and Billy Walsh. 'The process was always organic, started on the piano, and we actually talked about this young girl. A young girl. A young person trying to find their way and in a lot of ways that made me think a lot about even me finding my own way', she reflects. Plus, director Mira was on hand to offer her own advice on the song.

'[Mira] was really invested in the creative process of the song', said added. 'She also had really strong ideas of really wanting to make sure that the song just kept you right in the element.'