Toronto hip-hop artist K'Naan says World Cup anthem is a 'huge thing'

K'naan has released his new video for the remixed version "Wavin' Flag" that will serve as the official song of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho

LOS ANGELES - Toronto-raised hip-hop artist K'Naan says it's a "huge thing" that his new version of "Wavin' Flag" will be played repeatedly at the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

"Right now, it's the people's official anthem," he said during an appearance at a party ahead of Sunday's Grammy Awards.

The performer is careful to point out that "Wavin' Flag" is not the "official" song of the global soccer extravaganza. Still, he has a sense that it will ultimately be the tune that everyone associates with the event.

"There are a few World Cup songs. What I did is in fact the Coca-Cola anthem for the World Cup, so we can't really call it THE World Cup song," he explained.

"But I have a feeling mine is becoming the World Cup anthem with or without anybody's consent, and it's great."

"Wavin' Flag" was originally featured on K'Naan's second studio album "Troubadour," which came out earlier this year. A remixed version of the track will be used in television commercials and online to promote the World Cup, which will take place in South Africa in the summer.

K'Naan's new take on the song features revised lyrics with a focus on soccer, with lines such as: "See the champions take the field now/ Unify us, make us feel proud."

He said his previous version of the song might not have been appropriate for frenzied soccer stadiums.

"The (original) is more melancholy and sweet and emotional," explained K'Naan, a bright blue fedora pulled down over his forehead.

"The (new) one is more something you could hear in a stadium without downing the mood of the entire crowd. Everyone's kind of just enjoying themselves. It's a celebration vibe."

The Somalian-born artist will be watching as much as he can. He says he's been a big soccer fan since he was a boy.

So, who is he supporting?

"An African team," he said.

"It could be Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, maybe. (One) of the great African teams. It'd be nice to see the cup stay in Africa."