Following an explosive performance at the inaugural FIFA World Cup Kick-Off concert at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on June 10, Shakira‘s “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)” is making an impact on international charts.
The official FIFA World Cup song, recorded with South African band Freshlyground, was held to No. 2 on the new Billboard European Hot 100 by Coca-Cola’s rival World Cup song “Wavin’ Flag” by K’Naan. But Sony Music has heralded the success of the Shakira song around the world.
According to a statement by the major, the song’s music video, featuring several top-drawer football players including Argentina’s Leo Messi, Mexico’s Rafa Marquez and Cameroon’s Carlos Kameni, has been viewed around 2 million times a day since June 10, taking its total to over 15 million views on YouTube.
The label says the song has held the No. 1 spot on the Mexican chart for five weeks in succession and is No. 1 in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and host country South Africa. Sony is servicing a pop mix to U.K. radio this week and the original version is currently at number 38 in the chart.
“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” is featured on the official World Cup album “Listen Up!” and may make the tracklisting of Shakira’s next album, the follow-up to “She Wolf.”
Speaking to Billboard at her Johannesburg hotel, Shakira said the as-yet-unnamed bilingual album, due September, is a return to her roots. “I see it [the new album] as having two currents,” she says. “One is a lot about love and love experiences and emotions. And the other side of it is very joyful, and upbeat.”
Shakira also revealed that the music on her upcoming set would reflect influences from both the Dominican Republic and Colombia. “It’s a little more Latin on one side and a little more rock ‘n roll on the other side,” Shakira says. The singer plays the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury June 26 before returning to South Africa to perform “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)” with Freshlyground at the World Cup’s closing ceremony July 11.
Meanwhile, since the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on June 11, music has played a supporting role to football with multiple gigs taking place daily in the country’s major cities.
Driving this upsurge in live performances are the FIFA Fan Fests and official city public viewing areas – free public viewing areas in all nine host cities, which use music performances between screening all 64 games in the tournament.
Artists are using the platform to showcase their music to an international and local audience in South Africa for the World Cup which is estimated to total 450,000.
Kwaito (township house) outfit Tzozo N Professor and surf rock group City Bowl Mizers have performed in the coastal city of Durban, where the viewing area capacity is 25,000. Pop act MacStanley, Shakira’s “Waka Waka” collaborators Freshlyground, and R&B singer Loyiso played at the 30,000 capacity site in Cape Town. In Johannesburg, small to medium-sized music venues in the area have hosted bands like Secretly Canadian-signed art rock band BLK JKS.
Several privately run off-site match viewing areas are also using music to attract fans. One of these is the Indawo Commercial Public Viewing Area in the Jo’burg suburb of Sandton. The Parlotones and kwaito trio TKZee are among the acts performing at this venue.
Several country-themed events are also making their presence felt throughout the country. One of these is Cool Britannia, which has based itself out of the Cape Town International Convention Centre in the city. The month-long party is in association with the U.K.’s Football Supporter’s Federation and is the official base for English football fans in Cape Town. A daily lineup of music events along with the screening of matches on a big screen are on offer.
Cape Town-based rap-rave act Die Antwoord (now signed to Interscope) replaced U.K. rapper Dizzee Rascal at the event June 16, with Estelle opening the venue June 11. Others billed to play here include award-winning and 2010 BET best international act-nominated rapper HHP, as well as Fatboy Slim.