Photo by Mohammed Dabbous/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Qatar 2022 is nearly here and has the first official soundtrack for a World Cup rather than one song. So, HITC Football has looked at every song paired to each edition since Italia 90.
FIFA first introduced an official World Cup song at the 1990 tournament in Italy. It released two versions with an English and Italian edition. Each subsequent World Cup has also used one English variation and one in the national language of the host country, except in 2018.
Songs have been associated with every World Cup since the 1962 tournament that Mexico hosted, though. Host nations, select FIFA partners and broadcast right holders have usually released accompanying music for use around the matches and with promotional materials.
Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup where FIFA has not adopted one official song but rather a soundtrack. The multi-song collection has international artists from a number of musical genres. FIFA has gradually added additional songs to the collection as the World Cup nears.
‘Light The Sky’ is the latest song that FIFA added to its Qatar World Cup collection. ‘Hayya Hayya (Better Together)’, ‘Arhbo’ and ‘The World is Yours to Take’ were the first added to the collection. ‘Light The Sky’ joined the soundtrack in October ahead of the tournament.
Emirati singer Balqees, Moroccan-Canadian Nora Fatehi, Iraqi Rahma Riad, and Moroccan singer-songwriter Manal feature on ‘Light The Sky’. The music video for the work also has a focus on the inclusion of female referees at the first World Cup held in the Middle East yet.
FIFA announced ‘Hayya Hayya’ (Better Together) as the first song to enter the Qatar World Cup soundtrack in April 2022. It features Trinidad Cardona, Davido and Aisha and was used during the draw for the group stage. Aisha is a Qatari artist, while Cardona is an American.
Ozuna and Gims are the artists behind ‘Arhbo’, the second song used for the Qatar World Cup soundtrack. The song takes its name from the local slang word for welcome in Qatar. It is also derivative of the Arabic word Marhaba, while the song was also recorded in Doha.
American rap artist Lil Baby and FIFA sponsor Budweiser created ‘The World is Yours to Take’. It will be used for promotional material, while Lil Baby will also perform it in Qatar.
FIFA first adopted an official World Cup song for the 1990 tournament held in Italy and had two versions. Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini produced an edition in Italian named ‘Un’estate Italiana’. While the Giorgio Moroder Project produced ‘To Be Number One’.
The 1994 tournament in the USA only had one official song with Daryl Hall and Sounds of Blackness’ release, ‘Gloryland’. Ricky Martin later produced the 1998 World Cup song ‘La Copa de la Vida’ in English and Spanish. The song’s name translated to ‘The Cup of Life’.
Youssou N’Dour and Axelle Red also released a French-English song called ‘La Cour des Grands’ (Do You Mind If I Play) in 1998. While FIFA used Anastacia’s ‘Boom’ and Voice of Korea/Japan’s ‘Let’s Get Together Now’ for the 2002 tournament – the first held in Asia.
Germany 2006 saw Herbert Gronemeyer release ‘Zeit dass sich was dreht’ (Celebrate The Day) with Amadou & Mariam featuring. Il Divo also released ‘The Time of Our Lives’ with Toni Braxton featuring. The former was deemed the official anthem rather than the song.
When FIFA took its World Cup to Africa for the first time in 2010, it released three official songs for the tournament in South Africa. One of which was Shakira’s chart-topping ‘Waka Waka’ featuring Freshlyground, which now has more than 3.2bn views on YouTube today.
Pitbull also worked with TKZee and Dario G on ‘Game on’ for the 2010 World Cup. While R Kelly produced ‘Sign of a Victory’ featuring the Soweto Spiritual Singers for the FIFA event.
FIFA again worked with Pitbull for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on the release of ‘We are one’ featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte. Arlindo Cruz produced ‘Tatu Bom de Bola’ in Portuguese, as well, while Carlos Santana released ‘Dar um Jeito’ (We Will Find a Way).
Russia 2018 only saw FIFA release one official World Cup song and without any editions in the national language of the host country. Nicky Jam produced ‘Live It Up’ with Will Smith, Era Istrefi and Diplo. All three bar Diplo additionally featured on the techno-reggae track.
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