FIFA World Cup special: Pitbull flavour, soccer fever

Armando Pérez aka Pitbull is always in the news with his smash hits. Currently, the world is dancing to his FIFA World Cup 2014 anthem, We Are One (Ole Ola) that features Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte. A day before World Cup action begins, Mr Worldwide (his popular moniker) talks sport and music in an email interview

Q. Tell us about your experience of working on a World Cup anthem for the first time.
A. Working on We Are One with JLo (Jennifer Lopez) and Claudia (Leitte) gave a very united feeling. It was like creating music to bring the world together. It was a delight to work with such amazing artistes to create an anthem for FIFA World Cup 2014.

Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte
Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte perform on stage for the FIFA World Cup anthem We Are One,
in Las Vegas, recently. PIC/ Getty Images/AFP

Q. You have collaborated with Jennifer Lopez for several songs. Everyone knows about her as a great singer, what is it that we don’t know about the superstar?
A. JLo is a walking empire. She is hardworking, very professional and extremely gorgeous. Whenever I am around her, I watch, learn, study. It’s a natural combination — like a student and teacher. I’m a student all day. I think it would be an honour for Jennifer to watch me grow and say, “That kid did learn”.

Pitbull in a still from We Are One (Ole Ola)

Q. You have always supported and endorsed the power of sport (with your backing of the SLAM charter sports school in Miami); do you believe that sports can change the way people live?
A. Kids love sport. Sport is one of the first things that teaches you to believe in yourself, gives you discipline, shows you that the more you practice, and the harder you work, the better you get. It’s all about leadership and management.

One World One Rhythm
One World One Rhythm, The 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album, Sony Music, R499. Available at leading music stores.

Q. You are known for your collaborations. Is there any interesting work in the pipeline? Is there any artiste that you wish to work with, whom you haven’t collaborated as yet?
A. Among women, it would have to be the former Queen of Cuba (Cuban music), Celia Cruz — she’s not here anymore but I would have loved to have been in the studio with her. May she rest in peace. I’m really looking forward to doing a collaboration with Jay-Z; I think that should be a lot of fun.

Q. You have also worked with Priyanka Chopra. What was the experience like?
A. Priyanka is extremely talented and hardworking. She has got a wonderful voice. Working with her on Exotic was an enjoyable experience.

Q. You have toured India before. Will we see you here soon?
A. The IPL was an amazing experience! Shaking a leg with Shah Rukh (Khan), and watching the entire stadium come alive with your performance, was astonishing. I got to learn a few Bollywood steps too!

Q. Which team will you be rooting for this World Cup?
I have always supported my country, USA!

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