FIFA goes ‘Aa’

Tournament’s IG page features Arif Lohar’s song

News Desk June 26, 2024
Punjabi folk singer’s latest release was used in a post wishing Lionel Messi a happy 37th birthday. Photo: File


Legendary artist Arif Lohar has immortalised Punjabi folk music through his powerful voice and soulful songs. Renowned for his ability to evolve with the times while retaining the essence of traditional music, Lohar’s repertoire includes everything from party anthems to solace for the heartbroken.

His latest release, Aa, epitomises his versatile talent. Despite its simplicity, the song quickly became a fan favourite, so much so that it even found its way into the FIFA World Cup.

Football and music fans alike were pleasantly surprised to discover that Lohar’s Aa was featured on FIFA World Cup’s official Instagram page. The song was used in a post wishing Lionel Messi a happy 37th birthday, accompanied by a video celebrating his 2022 World Cup win.

The post’s caption, written in Urdu, translated to “Messi’s magic!” This unexpected homage left fans both thrilled by the representation and bemused by the use of a Punjabi tune by FIFA. Comments ranged from amusement —“FIFA is obsessed with Pakistani songs,” to suspicion—“FIFA got hacked.” Pakistani model and actor Khaqan Shahnawaz humorously weighed in with two goat emojis, symbolising the greatness of both Messi and Lohar.

Released three months ago, the music video for Aa has amassed over 101 million views. The video showcases Lohar dancing to a hip-hop beat in London, accompanied by his signature chimta. This song is a collaboration with rappers Roach Killa and Deep Jandu, bringing a fresh twist to his traditional sound. Interestingly, the backstory of the song stems from a real-life incident.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Lohar shared how the song came to be. While rehearsing and recording in London, he casually told his children to fetch chips from a shop. When they returned, he jokingly said, Aa tenu chips khwawan (Come here, I’ll feed you chips). This spontaneous moment didn’t seem significant at the time, but two years later, his team reminded him of the catchy tune, leading to the creation of the song.

Discussing the serendipitous process, Lohar remarked, “When something like the song is about to be created, it just happens.” The singer continues to be a trailblazer in the music industry, effortlessly blending traditional sounds with modern beats, and his latest hit, Aa, is a testament to his enduring appeal and creative genius.



Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ