The Fresh Prince just scored a major gooooooaaaal! Will Smith joined Nicky Jam, Era Istrefi and Diplo for ‘Live It Up,’ the official anthem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it slaps!
Though, since this song is about soccer, would it be a banger or a “screamer?” Whatever anyone wants to call it, soccer fans will be blasting Will Smith’s “Live It Up” this summer when the world’s greatest athletes meet in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The track, produced by Diplo, 39, sees Will, 49, teaming up with Colombian-based reggaeton singer Nicky Jam, 37, and Era Istrefi, 23, a Albanian pop singer according to The Guardian. Its safe to say this is our new summer jam!
“To record the Official Song for the FIFA World Cup is a lifetime achievement,” Nicky Jam, one of Latin Music’s most iconic names, according to FIFA’s official site. “Not many artists have the privilege of being able to say they’ve been part of this. I’m so proud and happy, I can say to my grandkids ‘I’ve made it.’ ” Diplo also was amazed at this opportunity to play a song for the whole world. “I’ve never made a song this international, so many stars have come together to make a strong vibe.”
While there are plenty of musical acts and tracks associated with every World Cup, the official theme is the biggest. It’s usually performed at either the opening or closing ceremony. Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez performed “We Are One (Ole Ola)” at the 2014 ceremony while Shakira closed out the 2010 cup with “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa).” In addition to a World Cup official song, there will be an official “anthem.” For the 2018 tournament, it will be “Colors” by Jason Derulo and Maluma.
The inclusion of Era on the song is quite an interesting move, considering the location of the 2018 world cup. Era, who burst onto the international music scene in 2016 with her song “Bon Bon,” has been a consistent ally to the LGBTQ community. She performed at New York Pride for the past two years, but she also partnered with SinfulColors to launch the #Pride and Punk Yourself nail polish collections. She even performed at Bushwig, the legendary Brooklyn-based drag festival. “I really like drag queens,” she told Billboard in 2017. “They’re always a little extra than the rest. Their performances are crazy, fun and creative — so fun to watch!”
“The world would be boring without the colors that LGBTQ community brings!” she also said. “And they’re not separated from us, they’re us.” It’s a shame that Russia, the 2018 World Cup’s host nation, doesn’t feel that way. Though same-sex activity was decriminalized in 1993, it was still classified as a mental illness until 1999. There are currently no laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Russia passed a 2013 law banning “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, and since then, hate crimes against LGBTQ people have doubled, per Reuters. It will be interesting to see what she wears or what she does if/when she performs this song at the opening or closing of the World Cup.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 14 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Russia meets Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the Group Stage.