On the ball, having a ball!
Kerala music group signals start of football fever with punchy Arabic-English promo track
The Malayali’s love for the beautiful game is legendary. Fans in Kerala, in fact, are often called ‘football fanatics’. And, they never fail to live up to the tag whenever football fever grips the world. With the Fifa World Cup set for kickoff in Qatar on November 20, the buzz is building. Kicking off the frenzy in Kerala, a “band of friends” has launched a punchy promo track titled ‘Ball Ball Qatar Qatar!’
Composed by Sadique Pandalloor, the song has been belted out by playback singer Akbar Khan, who has sung in films Edakkad Battalion, Margamkali, Dhamaka, and Kothu. A heady blend of Arabic and English, the track captures the global football vibe and can appeal to people across boundaries and language barriers. The video, too, is vibrant, with a mix of spunky dance moves and memorable football moments.
“Singing is my profession, and I am passionate about football as well. So I have given my best for this project,” says Akbar. “I am happy to see the positive responses.” Lyricist Gafoor Kolathur says the “band” was formed after the members -- from various parts of Kerala -- interacted on the sidelines at stage and TV shows, and eventually became friends.
“We have released tracks earlier, too. But they were low-key events,” says Gafoor. “This time, after the demo recording, we decided to go for a big bang, and our friends’ circle backed the idea. This song is an outcome of collective passion, and teamwork.”
Gafoor says he has been receiving “many calls” since the track’s release on September 19. “We are delighted with the response,” he adds. “Sheikh Falah bin Hamad al Thani of Qatar’s ruling family called and appreciated, saying he viewed the song as a gift from Malayalis.”
Gafoor notes hundreds of songs are released during Fifa World Cups. “Yet, we wanted to do something as Indians,” he says. “And this time, especially, the World Cup is happening at a place where a lot of Malayalis live. That is how the idea took off.”
Video director Sreejith Vijayan says he was impressed with the idea, as Akbar and other team members were “well-prepared with the content” when they approached him. “Moreover, my love for football led me to take this project up,” he adds “It was a thrilling experience, as I was working on an Arabic-English song for the first time. So far, I had worked only on Malayalam and Tamil songs.”
Imithiyaz Puratheel (creative head), Souganth S U, Sheffin S Hameed, Yasir Ashraf, Faris Kilinakkod, and Jobin George were the other members who worked on the project.