Wednesday, May 13, 2009

K'naan - "Wavin' Flag" (2009)

In the past five years, K'naan has risen in popularity around the world. The Somali-Canadian rapper/singer is fast becoming known for his inspirational, unifying and vivid material. Growing up in Mogadishu amid the still-ongoing Somali civil war was no doubt formative in making K'naan into the artist he is today. The hip-hop music his father sent him from America was probably similarly influential.

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, K'naan made a new version with about 50 other Canadian artists, credited as Young Artists for Haiti, which went straight to #1 on the Canadian charts. A remix featuring French music producer David Guetta and American rapper/producer was made for an international release.

The song was chosen as Coca-Cola's promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa. The song also appears on the soundtrack for the video games NBA 2K10 and 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

The English version was released as "Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix)" by K'naan and many other bilingual and country-specific versions have been released. After the release of the Celebration Mix prior to the World Cup, "Wavin' Flag" reached number one in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and number two in Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

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