Palestinian Arab idol winner Mohammad Assaf makes Fifa magic in Dubai

Dubai: 24 hours, two international sensations, and one unlikely collaboration.
On Tuesday afternoon in a crammed recording studio in Dubai, Palestinian Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf joined forces with heavyweight R’n’B producer and Michael Jackson collaborator Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. So what brought these two music stars together?
A one-day-only live-streamed project to create a song by crowd-sourcing content from fans online. The resulting tune will be sung by Assaf in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 10, at the opening ceremony of the Fifa Congress, two days before the World Cup grand opening on June 12.

“Some journalists asked me — have you really not prepared anything in advance for today? I told them, you’ll see with your own eyes — we haven’t prepared anything,” Assaf told tabloid!. “We started on the rhythm this morning … We wanna do a song that brings across the sporty spirit, the energy behind that.

In another show of trailblazing, Assaf’s performance will mark the first time Arab singer performs at the Fifa Congress event.
“I love playing football — I think boys tend to lean towards that,” he said, flashing a smile. “Even though I sing, I’ve always been interested in it and I watch all the different tournaments in Spain, Germany and England. It’s a universal language.”
A Twitter hashtag created for the recording session, #ASSAF360, was used by fans to send rhymes and lyrical suggestions over the course of two weeks. As Assaf put it, the song would be made by the people and for the people.
“I was looking [at the #ASSAF360 tag] over the past few days — some of it is really funny,” he said.
Earlier this year, Tyrese Gibson was in town to film Fast & Furious 7 and the R’n’B singer-cum-actor joined forces with Emirati musician Mehad Hamad to record a song. Now, Assaf and Jerkins, two creative planets you’d expect to orbit each other but never once meet, have defied all odds by standing side-by-side in the studio. But it isn’t all work — some of it is just fun and games, like predicting the outcome of the World Cup.
“I think it’s going to end up between Germany and Brazil,” Assaf said. “But to be honest, I’m a devoted Arab, and my heart is absolutely with the Algerian squad.