With the FIFA World Cup set to kick off on June 14 in Moscow, the release of this year’s anthem has earned mixed reviews from soccer fans.
The Diplo-produced track, “Live It Up”, features a multi-national trio of performers: Puerto Rico-born Nicky Jam, American Will Smith and Albanian singer-songwriter Era Istrefi — none of whom, soccer aficionados have pointed out, hail from countries competing in this year’s World Cup.
Meanwhile, others took to social media wondering how the high-energy, Latin-inflected track relates to Russia, this year’s World Cup host country.
However, some fans professed their enjoyment of the new track.
Others, though, compared it unfavourably to “Waka Waka”, Shakira’s 2010 World Cup song:
It remains to be seen what kind of reception the trio receive when they perform the song live in Moscow on June 15 ahead of the World Cup final.
“It’s an honour to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” Smith said in a statement.
“Collaborating with Nicky, Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavours and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance.”