For Somali Canadian Hip-Hop artist K’naan, World Cup is pinnacle of steady rise to stardom

For me it started with the Korea/Japan World Cup in 2002. Which is to say that I didn’t watch (and to be honest, care) much about European football prior to watching Brazil’s prolific run toward claiming their fifth World Cup title 8 years ago. But since then, I’ve been bit by the footy bug. You certainly don’t need to be a lad from London to follow footy anymore. This year marked the first time I watched every Arsenal game. Thanks to a pot pourri of specialty channels, PVR, online video streaming, blogs, and 24/7 news feeds – no fan is left behind or left out in a media-everywhere-anytime world. Great days for sports fans to be sure, and very, very profitable days for sports teams who are cashing in big on extending their product to new markets.
Exactly one month from today on June 11th, the World Cup thriller starts anew and while Canada’s national team will be absent, there will be a major Canadian contribution to the festivities. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard some of K’naan’s work. Multiple Juno Awards, plenty of global music awards and recognition, and sold out live shows at big venues are now the norm for this creative powerhouse musician. But it wasn’t always like this for K’naan who grew up in war-torn Somalia before immigrating to Canada. K’naan didn’t even speak English when he moved to Toronto at the age of 13.
Vancouver-based new media maven Megan Cole posted this superb interview a few years ago (2007) at a time when K’naan’s star was just starting to rise.

When the 2010 World Cup begins in June from South Africa, the largest global sporting audience will be listening to K’naan and his catchy tune ‘Wavin Flag’ (original) which was chosen as the theme song for the tournament. I don’t think even K’naan himself could’ve imagined this a few short years ago…

2 Comments For Somali Canadian Hip-Hop artist K’naan, World Cup is pinnacle of steady rise to stardom

  1. James Cogan

    @KAI – Ha, ok. I use the term ‘watch’ loosely. Arsenal TV Online offers every game in full, or sliced/diced into 12-minute or 3-minute pieces. Probably a third, maybe more I watched the 12-minute version. 90+ minutes can be hard to come by. Busted 🙂

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