It is not just the Brazil and Croatia players who are feeling the pressure and the weight of expectation ahead of day one of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Before the action gets under way, the Arena de Sao Paulo will also host the tournament’s Opening Ceremony where pop stars Pitbull and Claudia Leitte will be performing.
Twenty-four hours before the duo step onto the stage, they took time out from their busy schedules to chat to FIFA.com and the site’s users, who were invited to put questions to them on Twitter. Happy to sit back and relax for a few minutes, Pitbull and Claudia proved the perfect interviewees. Here is what they had to say:
FIFA.com: This comes from @pitbullgirl115: “Are you nervous at all to perform in the World Cup”?
I think that anybody that is an entertaine, or a performer, we always get nervous. To be in such a platform here in Sao Paulo, in Brazil, for the opening ceremony... Well, am I nervous? Of course. I am going like Litlle Johnstons: “Yeah, yo!” (laughs).
@pitbullgirl115 also asks: ‘What’s your favorite song of the official World Cup album?’
My favorite one? Man, it will have to be, coincidentally, “We Are One”.
A little bit suspicious, no?
That’s what it’s all about, man, that’s the message to tell.
Well, actually the user didn’t mention that you wouldn’t be able to say your own record, anyway.
But it’s Claudia’s and Jennifer’s record as well. So, it's their record.
Next one, totally different subject, from @pitbullfans13: ‘Have you ever played football?”
Yeah, when I was younger I played. The sport that I loved growing up was basketball, but football was always part of the community. The neighbourhoods that I lived on were all into football. But was I any good on it? No, absolutely not (laughs).
In sports in general, do you have any favorite team?
Oh, man, the Miami Heat right now, and they are fighting for the championship. Gotta go with the Heat.
But they lost yesterday, right?
That’s alright. It’s a series. We gotta make it interesting, you know?
In another subject change @PitILoveU asked: “What would be the advice that you would give to anybody who dreams about going to the music business?”
One of my slogans is patience, passion, and perseverance. You need that to be involved with this, or with anything in life that you want to be. As far as dreams, I tell people all the time: “Wake up, and live it”. Number three is: only do it if you love it. If you think you are just going to be famous, rich, and make this money, then don’t do it.
You do it because you love it. If you have a passion for it, and no matter what happens, then everything is going to work out.
@cphamo asked a similar question, looking for more detail: "what motivated you to become a professional singer?"
I just look to music as therapy. What motivated me... Well, I remember my mother telling me that the pen is mightier than the sword, and you can see how words can touch the world. That’s exactly what we are doing here with the record ‘We Are One’ in an Opening Ceremony. Also, when I was young, my father used to take me to bars in this famous street of Miami called Calle Ocho, and he would put me in the top of the bar to recite poems from a Cuban, a guy called José Martí. He’s very powerful for us, and when I saw how powerful the words were, that young, that’s what motivated me to be able to make records, and touch the world in one way or another.
Now coming back to football, to wrap it up: from @yasiryoona, is there a favorite national team for you in this tournament? And, of course, people like @Letti4U are asking who will win the trophy?
I think we all kind of know who is the big favourite...
(Claudia tells him: “Come on, the right answer.”)
You see? I got to be careful around here. But it’s an amazing tournament of the world, I would say. I don’t really have a favourite team. I just love to watch people out there, doing what they love, with passion.
(Claudia sings: “Brazil, Brazil!”)
There you go. I am here with Claudia, so Brazil it is (laughs). But I feel blessed to be here, and just can’t wait to get this started.
Claudia: “This is the reason that I love this guy”.
Then it’s her time to talk: #FalaClaudiaLeitte
FIFA.com: The first question is a big one and a lot of people want to know the answer, such as @aninhafms, @Renan49 and @ingrids_mg: How do you feel about taking part in an event like this and being the first Brazilian to sing the Official World Cup Song?
Claudia Leitte: It’s funny but I didn’t know that I was the first Brazilian to sing the Official World Cup Song. I just found out. Honestly. But I’ve always said that I feel very honoured, thanks in the main to God and Pitbull. It all happened very quickly. He called me one day and said that FIFA already had the music and then he told me it had got the go-ahead. It was a gradual process and I had time to take it all in and enjoy every moment. It’s a very special day for me, like the day you get married, you know? That’s how it feels to me, that feeling of butterflies in your stomach. I always feel like that before shows, but this one feels just like your wedding day. That’s a good analogy, isn’t it?
Yes, it is, though you’ll be singing to thousands of people in the stadium and millions upon millions around the world on TV. On your wedding day, you’re just with your family and friends.
Yes, but there’s so much love involved in both occasions that I think it’s a valid comparison. I love singing. I was born for it and it makes me happy.
And when did you start?
When I was three, though I’ve been doing it professionally since I was 17. I started at the end of high school and here I am singing at the Opening Ceremony for billions of people. The most people I’ve sung for before was two million or so the New Year’s Eve before last, so you can imagine how it feels now that we’re talking about a billion, and a lot of people never experience something like that. But it’s better not to think about it. I’m just thankful for it.
Our next question comes from @ViannaSidney: “What was like to take part in the recordings with two worldwide stars like Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez?”
They’re both very down-to-earth people. They’re both very musical and talented. We really got on because our music is immersed in Latino culture, and obviously that makes it easier to form a bond. They’re both straightforward people, even though they’re world famous. I think that’s what makes them behave like normal people, all of which helps, obviously. We had a lot of fun. We wrote the music together, wrote emails to each other, I spoke to Pitbull a lot on the phone and we shot the video. And everything has been so straightforward and we’re very happy to be taking part in this celebration.
People like @fcridias and @gabrielaup really want to know what the Opening Ceremony is going to be like and they want to know if you can tell us anything about it.
You know what’s going to happen, don’t you?
It is better to keep people guessing, isn’t it?
OK, so I’m not going to say much then. We’re going to stage a very special Opening Ceremony, with the official song, and there’s one moment in particular that’s going to be magical. With it being in Brazil, I’m the hostess, which makes it a very special occasion for me.
We know just how creative the Brazilian players can be when it comes to their goal celebration routines. @SandrinhaBlond wants to know if you’ve taught Neymar a move or two.
Neymar dances what we call the Largadinho when he scores a goal, and now we have We Are One. I think the players are going to be very focused on the game. If I know Neymar, he’ll be doing something new. In fact, I know he’ll be doing something new, though everything’s just going to depend on how he feels. If he feels like doing it, he’ll do it, and if he doesn’t, then he’s under no obligation to do anything. I know what he’s like and I can see him really getting into the spirit, and I’m sure they’re going to score lots of goals. But no, I didn’t teach him anything.
@SandrinhaBlond also wants to know if you have a prediction for the Opening Match.
Brazil and Croatia? I’m going for 3-1, and that’s only because I like the Croatians! (Laughs).
One last question from @GerlaneF11: “Is it going to be easy for A Seleção to win the World Cup or are they going to have to fight to win their sixth world title?”
It’s ours, no doubt about it. We have a great team. I sound like a coach, don’t I? (laughs) We have a great team. We have a lot of young players, but they’ve been well coached and mentally they’re ready. We need to look to the coach too. Felipão is amazing. He’s very relaxed and he can see everything that’s happening on the pitch. I have a lot of faith in him. The Trophy is ours.