Colombian singer Maluma is heading to Russia this summer and fulfilling one of his childhood dreams, sort of. He tells PEOPLE CHICA, “I have always dreamt of attending the World Cup so when the request came from Coca-Cola to be a part of their official song for the World Cup. I immediately said yes. I was super-excited to premiere the song in Miami and the response was amazing!”
As part of the deal, the 24-year-old rising star recently debuted the Spanish-language version of “Colors,” the Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup 2018 anthem featuring American singer Jason Derulo. He spoke to Billboard’s Leila Cobo on the day of the show, March 14, about combining his loves of singing and soccer.
Maluma grew up playing fútbol for the junior leagues in Colombia. “I always dreamed of going to a World Cup when I played soccer. That was my most desired dream. That’s what any soccer player dreams of.” Added the “Corazón” crooner, “Due to fate, God’s plan, whatever you want to call it, I went into a music studio for the first time and started singing songs. That’s where I decided to say goodbye to soccer and start this beautiful career in music.” So when he got the call about performing at the World Cup 2018, “I had a heart attack for like four minutes, then I woke up and I jumped for joy.”
Maluma, who recently released his album F.A.M.E. and is on a world tour, added excitedly: “One way or another I’m going to the World Cup, I’m going to Russia! I feel so happy and grateful to Coca Cola and all my fans for making this possible. You have no idea how happy and proud I am to take the Colombian flag — and the flag of all of Latin America — around the world.”
Maluma understands the hard work that is involved for his gig. “I hope I get to enjoy it a little bit,” he said about traveling to Russia to be part of the world’s biggest soccer event, which begins June 14. “I know I’m going to work, I have a lot to do, but I would love to be there watching a game.”
Coca-Cola with Warner Bros. released the original English version of “Colors,” sung by Jason Derulo, in early March. While it is not the official 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia anthem, the tune is one of many promotional tracks created by Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the World Cup since 1978, throughout the years.
Maluma added that he was looking forward to working with Derulo and enjoyed adding Spanish lyrics and a little Latin flavor to the remix of the track. “I think we are going to touch many hearts with this song,” he concluded. “It’s called ‘Colors’ because it doesn’t matter where you are from, what your race, color or shape is. It’s a beautiful song because it talks about equality for all human beings, it talks about compassion.”