On the occasion of the FIFA Fan Festival 2022, the performers Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Myriam Fares composed the song „Tukoh Taka“. The song is the official anthem of the fan festival. At the festival in Doha, the artists performed the song live together for the first time on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Among other releases, the song appeared as part of the official soundtrack for the 2022 World Cup. The different anthems on the album appeared one after the other, with the first being „Haya Hayya (Better Together)“ by Trinidad Cardona, Davido and AISHA, released on April 1, 2022. The single „Tukoh Taka“ and its accompanying music video were released on November 17, 2022.
„Tukoh Taka“ (Official FIFA Fan Festival™ Anthem) by Nicki Minaj, Maluma, & Myriam Fares: content, song
The song lyrics are written in three different languages, which are English, Spanish, and Arabic. It is the first World Cup song that combines these three languages in one lyric. The performers sing in their respective mother tongues. The aim of the release was to spread a message of cultural integration to the media public by combining the languages, especially the share of Arabic.
The song title „Tukoh Taka“ has no single meaning and can be translated as „knock knock.“ The title recurs in the chorus through regular repetition by Myriam Fares. In this context, parallels were also drawn with the name „Waka Waka“ of the song by the singer Shakira for the World Cup in 2010. On the part of some critics it was insinuated here that it is merely a stylistic copy of the corresponding song.
In the verses of the song, Minaj and Maluma try to fight out competing positions in terms of physical seduction. The corresponding positions are to be presented from a female perspective, which is why the corresponding song passages are also sung by the female artists.
The male perspective on female seduction efforts is represented by Maluma as he expresses his misunderstanding of not getting a chance for physical intimacy with women. He interprets the behavior to mean that the women are actually concerned with receiving as much male attention as possible without seeking actual intimacy.
Finally, Myriam Fares tries to address the issue of integration in the final part of the text. The goal is to unite people of different cultures, to celebrate together and to speak with one voice. The different points of view presented in the lyrics aim to give the song a seductive atmosphere.
Criticism and controversy: World Cup 2022
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar was highly controversial internationally long before it began, due in particular to numerous questionable legal positions of the political system in the host country. Representatives from Qatar have contributed to the negative image of the host country through controversial statements in the media. For example, one World Cup ambassador spoke of „gayness as mental damage“ in reference to homosexuality. Corresponding statements also met with great criticism in Germany, for example from the German Justice Minister Buschmann or the German national player Goretzka.
In connection with the release of „Tukoh Taka,“ there were also critical positions in the international media towards the contributing artists. On the positive side, the linguistic diversity in particular was highlighted. On the other hand, the fact that no artists from Qatar were involved in the song was criticized in this context. Due to the negative political treatment of human rights, women’s rights and homosexuality by the government in Qatar, Minaj, Maluma and Fares were personally criticized for their involvement in the release. Maluma does not consider herself personally responsible for the legal situation in Qatar in this regard and has tried to justify her work on it. She explains her involvement in the song with her enjoyment of music and life in general. Also, in the Arab world, among other things, the mentioned stylistic parallel to Shakira’s work was criticized and the song was perceived as a copy.