Somali singer K’Naan strikes a chord with Indians

Mumbai, July 5 (Calcutta Tube) Somali composer K’Naan’s World Cup song ‘Wavin’ Flag’ has arguably become the most downloaded international song in India and the rapper hopes his creation captures the feeling of ‘unity and celebration’ that the footballing extravaganza has come to epitomise.

‘My anthem is the official World Cup song for Coca Cola. It’s great to have a hit song in all four corners of the world. ‘Wavin’ Flag’ is a beautiful, uplifting song and I hope it captures the feeling of unity and celebration the FIFA World Cup brings to people all across the planet,’ K’Naan told IANS in an e-mail interview.

The song was released by Universal Music and the label says ‘Wavin’ Flag’ has set a record of sorts with over 150,000 downloads in India. Football enthusiasts are setting it as their caller tunes and it is repeatedly played several times over on TV and radio, as also in clubs and other places.

‘I am really glad that Coca Cola and Universal Music made this happen,’ said the rapper, who now lives in Canada.

The track is a remix of ‘Wavin Flag’, which originally appeared on K’Naan’s 2009 album ‘Troubadour’. The singer reworked the song for the Coca-Cola campaign which invited football fans to express their optimism and passion for the game through dance celebrations in the run-up to the World Cup in South Africa.

‘The single has been released in more than 150 markets around the world and is used as the anthem for all elements of the global Coca-Cola campaign in support of its FIFA World Cup sponsorship in more than 160 countries,’ said K’Naan.

Even Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan tweeted about the song, saying: ‘My kids love Wavin’ Flag.’

Mohit Chauhan said: ‘K’Naan’s ‘Wavin’ Flag’ has got the right spirit and drives home the exact message that be it life or soccer – It’s a beautiful game! Apart from the tune being immensely catchy, the beats of the track really caught my attention. Long live Soccer!’

Deepika Padukone too praised it saying: ‘The best thing about this song is that it makes me want to sing along every time I listen to it and that is the mark of a great track. Wavin’ Flag sure is making waves all over.’

While Indians are going gaga over ‘Wavin’ Flag’, the rapper has returned the compliment, saying he loves Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman’s compositions.

‘I have heard and liked Indian music, but cannot recall many names. One person I remember is A.R. Rahman. I like his music a lot and he is very good,’ he said.

When asked whether he would like to collaborate with Rahman, the 32-year-old said: ‘I am always open to explore new things.’

Being originally from a strife torn area, K’Naan was asked if his songs reflect the pain he went through. He replied: ‘Storytelling has been a part of the culture I have been brought up in. I love songs that take you back into a place you are not in. I was born in Somalia and spent my first 14 years there.’

‘At the age of 11 the civil war broke out. It was a very difficult and emotional time, time for survival. All my songs are personal and have been influenced by my life.’

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