MK is one of the rare producers who has made it big while staying in touch with the underground. Reaching this level of success, however, can afford an artist some special privileges. Pairing with David Luiz, Thibaut Courtois, and Antonio Rüdiger of England’s Chelsea Football Club, MK has put out a behind-the-scenes video of the creation of “Beat Ball,” a track sampling the sounds of the game of football.
Just in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the video shows MK discussing the ins and outs of music production with the footballers, as well as brainstorming the best ways to incorporate the sounds of the game into a forthcoming house track. From aiming shots at Courtois, the goalkeeper, to kicking the ball at a drum, MK’s creative sampling is shaping up to be a bouncy, beat-heavy house tune that sits at the perfect intersection of music and sport.
Teamwork makes the dream work, and in the EDM arena, there’s no better all-star captain than the venerable Diplo. The “Get Lit” Will Smith has slowly been making his way into a musical comeback, and now, he’s on the starting lineup with Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi for Diplo’s FIFA 2018 World Cup anthem, “Live It Up.”
In previous years, World Cup anthems have beared some resemblance to their host countries — see Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” as just one notable example — but Diplo’s Latin-flavored EDM jam, on the other hand, oozes the pop troupes and preferences he’s come to align his production work with. “Live It Up” doesn’t even vaguely align itself with Mother Russia. Instead, it dabbles in the high-energy, horn-heavy, layered tendency of popular music that’s taken the world by storm on tracks from artists like J Balvin.
Though Smith has just two verses on the track, “One life/ One dream/ One moment/ One team/ One you” and another where he almost sings, “You wanted it/ You got it/ The whole world is watching/ So let’s get this popping,” he sounds fatigued. His singular points of reference echo the singular approach to this worldwide arena primer. And while the track’s general appeal lies in it’s relatively formulaic approach, “Live It Up” contains all the classic elements of a summertime highlight and will inevitably morph into a hit given the World Cup’s status as the most-watched television event in the world.