So, as though around me know, I’ve been pretty obsessed with K’naan’s “Wavin Flag” ever since I visited friends in Michigan. Well, after some exploring today (commonly known as Wikipedia-ing)
U.S.A.: Wavin Flag – K’naan
LATIN AMERICA/SPAIN: Bandera de Libertad – K’naan and David Bisbal
CHINA: 旗开得胜 (Success in a single move) – K’naan with Jackie Cheung and Jane Zhang
BRAZIL: Comemorar – K’naan ft. Skank
ARAB WORLD: Wavin’ Flag/Shagga’ Bi Alamak – K’naan w/ Nancy Ajram
FRANCE: Wavin Flag – K’naan w/ Féfé
GREECE: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and Professional Sinnerz feat. Komis X
HAITI: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and MikaBen
HUNGARY: “Nálunk van a labda” – anchors and sport reporters of Magyar Televízió
INDIA: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and Jasim
INDONESIA: “Wavin’ Flag (Semangat Berkibar)” by K’naan and Ipang
ITALY: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan ft. Mr. Blaza and MagicEmy
JAPAN: “Wavin’ Flag” (Japanese: ウェイヴィン・フラッグ) by K’naan and Ai
MONGOLIA: “Wavin’ Flag” – P.Bayartsengel, D.Anu, E.Solongo and E.Soyombo
NIGERIA: “Wavin’ Flag (Naija Remix)” by K’naan and Banky W. & M.I.
RUSSIA: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and St1m
SRI LANKA: “Wavin’ Flag/Ekama Irak Yata” by K’naan, remixed by Pradeep
THAILAND: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and Tattoo Colour
VIETNAM: “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and Phương Vy
- Brazil for the “Oh oh oh oh oh Bra-zil!”
- the Arab World vid for the guitar on the off beats
- France for changing the “oh” chant
- Greece for super subdivision low bass
- Hungary for being made by a television network
- India for best dancing
- Italy’s Mr. Blaza for best rap
- Japan’s Ai for best duet and recording session video
- Mongolia for most humorous dance emphasis while singing at :49+
- Nigeria for best vocals
- Russia for random autotuning???
- Thailand for most impressive video and remix of song (though the tempo is a bit much)
- Germany for not having one?
In all seriousness, this production does call up some questions. I enjoyed seeing the “pop imperialism” of the English language, as almost every duet had some of K’naan’s original English, either sung by him or the new performers, regardless of the national language of the new country. Also, I’m curious how they navigated adopting the song for each country. Was instrumentation considered? What about countries with notably different scalar systems for some of the popular music (Indonesia?)? Is there something about the original that makes it particularly adaptable/powerful to become so popular, or can we blame it on world cup fever (which thankfully replaced Bieber fever for a while)?
Are there other songs out there that have been tied to world sporting events or other megaevents that have spurred remixes in different countries? Can we look forward to more of these as remix culture takes over?
I sure hope so.