Official World Cup song grates on fans

Official World Cup song grates on fans
We Are One (Ole Ola) by Pitbull, featuring Lopez, has received only more than 50 million views on YouTube.

It is the official song for this year's World Cup, but it has been criticised by many football fans for not reflecting the true spirit of the tournament.

Instead, it is another song about the World Cup that is scoring many more hits online.

Probably because its star is Shakira, and the Colombian singer and songwriter has managed to rope in world-class footballers such as her husband, Spain's Gerard Pique, for the music video.

Brazil 2014 kicks off in just 10 days and its official song is We Are One (Ole Ola) by Pitbull, featuring Jennifer Lopez.

It has received more than 50 million views on YouTube.

On the other hand, La La La (Brazil 2014) by Shakira and Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown has garnered more than 60 million hits.

Some of the many derogatory remarks about Pitbull's song on YouTube include "Droppings in toilets sound better than this mess" and "This sucks, times a hundred".

Why such vitriol?

After all, We Are One is catchy, has a good beat and seems to bring out the mood of the World Cup.

But if you live in the host country, the answer is glaringly obvious. For a World Cup hosted by Brazil, the prevailing sentiment among its people is that one would expect the song to show them more respect.

Indeed, an article in The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that disgruntled fans said that the song had too many cultural stereotypes.

In addition, only the last - and a brief one at that - part of the song was sung in Portuguese by Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte.

Lastly, lead singers Pitbull and Lopez lack true blue South American blood. Pitbull has Cuban origins, while Lopez is American.

This is why many people are more receptive to Shakira's World Cup hit.

Defender Illyas Lee of Prime League club Singapore Cubs is one of them.

"Pitbull's song doesn't feel right. It's almost all in English, except for the last part. Shakira's version is more South American and fits better," the 19-year-old said.

Local singer, actor and host Muhammad Fauzielaily, 29, agreed, although the reasons for his choice were different.

For him, the make-or-break factor for World Cup songs is how catchy they were and Pitbull's song was just not groovy enough to make the cut.

He said: "In terms of music, Ole Ola is a bit of a downer compared to La La La. Both still feel very Latin to me, though."

La La La was also more appealing to him because football stars such as Argentinian forward Lionel Messi and Brazilian attacker Neymar were in it.

So what about those who did not like both songs? Some netizens have called for the return of the 2010 South Africa World Cup's official song, Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), also by Shakira, featuring Freshlyground.

With more than 671 million views, it is the eighth-most-viewed video on YouTube as of last month.

According to an online news portal, The Week, there is even a campaign on Twitter to adopt Waka Waka as an unofficial tournament anthem.

This article by The New Paper was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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