Music and the FIFA World Cup have had a close relationship through the years. Many artists take a special interest to compose songs for this event as they are exposed to a worldwide audience of football fans. The songs not only set the mood but also encourage sportsmanship among players and fans of the sport. It’s all about unity.
Live It Up — Nicky Jam feat. Will Smith and Era Istrefi
A song that’s gone viral within minutes of its release is Live It Up by Puerto Rican singer Nicky Jam featuring American rapper-actor-producer Will Smith and Kosovar singer-songwriter Era Istrefi. Produced by Diplo, The Picard Brothers and Free School, the song was released on May 25, but its music was launched on June 8 starring the artists along with Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho.
Coming to the music, the song is meant to teach us ‘Wherever there is unity, there is victory’. Will Smith brings weight to the song with his rap, but it’s lost between fast-paced Caribbean beats. In fact, the second sequence of his rap seems quite rushed. But like every World Cup song made, the chorus tune lingers in your head long after the song is over.
United By Love — Natalia Oreiro
Talented singer and actress Natalia Oreiro’s latest single has found a spot on the official FIFA World Cup 2018 album. The bilingual song (Russian and English) looks like a carnival organised by Disney, with the artist coming to life, singing inside a snow globe and taking her enthusiasm to the streets. It is a call for everyone to come and show their spirit, put their hands up in the air and cheer for their team.
Positivo — J Balvin feat. Michael Brun
Directed by Fernando Lugo, the official video is a riot of colour. The sound is similar to Haitian DJ, record producer (and medical student) Michael Brun’s earlier work. The lyrics are Spanish, but that won’t stop you from grooving to its infectious beat. The song is about giving whatever you do, your hundred per cent. And as you can make out from the title of the song, you have to stay positive in victory or defeat.
Colours — Jason Derulo
It starts with Jason Derulo sitting in his car, minding his own business, when he gets a video call from Jeremy to come over to the other side of town to play some football. If you’re a fan of the artist, you’ve probably gone gaga over his dance skills too. So suave! Thinking of his accurate and quick legwork, you’d want to see the man play football for fun. You see him with various flags singing ‘look how far we’ve come’. He sings about how we’re created equal — no matter the race, nationality and colour. So what are you waiting for, hands up for your colours!
One World — RedOne featuring Adelina and Now United
Directed by Daniel Zlotin, the music video was shot across Moscow, Russia and Agadir, Morocco. After the success of their debut partnership during the last FIFA World Cup, when premium sport network IN SPORTS collaborated with renowned music producer RedOne to come up with Time of Our Lives, the two decided to come together again to create another track this time around.
Apart from RedOne, One World features Adelina and Now United. Adelina is a songwriter-producer whose sound is a combination of global pop, Afro beats and ethnic sounds. Now United is an ensemble featuring a total of 14 artists, each from a different country. This super-group was created by Simon Fuller, who is the founder of American Idol.
— Compiled by Anjali Jhangiani