Doha, 20 April 2022 - Qatari artist Aisha was one of the stars of the show during the Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Along with Trinidad Cardona and Davido, she performed ‘Hayya Hayya (Better Together)’ – the first single from the tournament’s Official Soundtrack. The incredibly catchy song is being played throughout Qatar and beyond as anticipation for football’s flagship event reaches fever pitch.
Aisha was proud to be part of a major milestone in Qatar’s FIFA World Cup™ journey and showcase her talent to a global audience. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter has previously made headlining performances at the UN General Assembly and the grand opening of Doha Festival City mall.
Here, we caught up with Aisha to discuss her passion for music, her role in the track and what it means to be the first Arab female to be featured on a FIFA World Cup™ song.
When did your passion for music first begin?
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a creative person and loved to sing, but it was only in 2018 that I started my music career. I started taking part in events around Qatar and focused on building a local audience on social media. The thing that I love most about music is that it is a universal language. That is exactly why I feel so honoured to be a part of this project – I truly believe that like football, music connects and unifies people. My own music draws from my personal experiences, so it’s very intimate, and yet I feel that if you listen to it, there will be something there that resonates with you. That’s my favourite part about all this, to be able to create bonds with so many people through the thing I am most passionate about.
How did you feel when you were asked to be a part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Soundtrack?
Insanely happy! It's not something that I ever thought would be possible. When I first started singing, I told myself that I wanted to make something that would be meaningful; something that would make an impact in this world. I never imagined that it would be this! I knew for a fact with the World Cup coming to Qatar, I wanted to be involved in some way, but this was far from my reality. It was a personal challenge that I had set for myself, but I didn't even know how it would be attainable. But here we are!
How did you feel performing alongside Davido and Trinidad?
It was very surreal. I would say it was a dream come true, but I like I said, I never thought I would ever be able to sing with such big stars in the industry at such an early stage of my career. As you can imagine, everything has been very fast-paced and very unexpected, but it has been a blessing. I felt very proud and excited to be able to work with distinguished artists from the industry.
Tell us about how you felt while performing during the Final Draw.
Performing in front of that many people, and this is excluding the people who were watching from around the world, is naturally scary for anyone. Leading up to the performance, I felt very nervous. What helped was the morning before the performance was the release of the song, so I was occupied with the positive reception we were getting. I was ecstatic and it made me feel calmer about the performance. It is my first song to ever be released so that made it even more meaningful for me. Before going on stage, as expected, my heart was beating fast. I was both nervous and excited. So I took a deep breath and let the adrenaline rush take over. When I got on stage, I just connected with the music and began feeling more confident. From there, it became a completely different experience. I was just enjoying every minute of it.
What do you hope audiences from around the world learned about Qatar through your work?
I hope that this song starts a new narrative about Qatar being a hub of talent and a place where people can be and are creative. I also hope it shifts any negative perspectives people might have about the region and gives them a closer look into our culture and traditions, and also highlights the great strides we are making on the global stage. Everybody on stage that day was representing Qatar to the world. I am confident that this performance has made people more excited about coming here.
What impact do you hope your involvement makes in the region and around the world?
Having a Qatari woman featured in a World Cup song is a huge step for the country as well as the whole world because it's something that hasn't been done before. An entire album for the World Cup is also something that hasn't been done before. This soundtrack is no exception to Qatar's promise to break the status quo and amaze the world. I hope that my involvement inspires girls and women in the region, or any other artist out there that might have the same aspirations as me, to reach upwards. I want girls and women around the world to look at my achievements and say: 'if it's possible for her, it can also be for me’. Additionally, I hope my contribution to the song will add a different flavour to the music industry. The song is definitely not something that the world is used to hearing, so I'm hoping that it opens up a new genre of music that includes Arabic voices and their stories.
What has the reaction to the song been like?
It’s been amazing. As I mentioned, because this is the first song I've ever been featured on, I was really curious to see how it was doing. I spent some time going through comments and I was thrilled to see how much people liked it. It was incredibly rewarding and it makes me more excited to share my own music soon. My family and friends have been also been very supportive and loving. It's funny because I couldn't disclose that I was doing this until the release, so many of my friends were very surprised to find out that I was a part of this project.