qvArtist of the Month: Shakira

Photos by qvMagazine
Luther Orrick-Guzman.

Special thanks to Sony Discos.

qvMagazine's May 2000
Artist of the Month

Latina Roquera Sets the Stage on Fire

After a fantastic set by opening group, Son By 4, Latina pop rock artist Shakira appeared on stage like a Goddess -- her body encapsulated in what looked like a futuristic cocoon. Her silhouette alone drove the audience crazy. The music started, the lights flashed, and our heroine stood on a platform like a virginal apparition meets rock and roll diva. She was dressed in what looked like blue snakeskin, form-fitted pants, a blue tank top, and a matching waist wrap-around to give a Middle Eastern touch to her gorgeous Latin figure. Her new blonde hair was wild and free, just like her spirit on stage when she sang with power, danced, and kicked through amazing versions of "Si Te Vas," "Ciega Sordomuda," and the mesmerizing "Ojos Asi," just to name a few. For the most part, the show covered the material from her 1998 album, "Donde Estan Los Ladrones?" and a few older favorites like "Estoy Aqui," from her 1996 disc, "Pies Descalzos." For the fans that fell in love with her MTV Unplugged renditions, she played fantastic acoustic versions of songs like "Moscas En La Casa" and the very popular raggae version of "No Creo." Words or videos really can't describe how theatrical, dramatic, innocent, humble, and commanding Shakira is on stage. This tour is not to be missed!

--by Luther Orrick Guzman

All About Shakira

Born Shakira Mebarak Ripoll in the coastal city of Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira -- who goes by her first name only -- is that blend of raw talent, brains and charisma that only rarely comes along in any field. Her name, which in Arabic means "woman full of grace," belies her ancestry.

She is the daughter of a Colombian mother and a Lebanese father -- a jeweler and writer whose Arabic background greatly influenced his daughter. Shakira's fondness for music was apparent early on, and she started winning local and national talent contests at age 10.

By 13, she had signed a record deal with Sony in Colombia, which resulted in her first album, "Magia (Magic)," a compilation of songs she wrote between the ages of 8 and 13. Shakira then recorded a second album of original material called, "Peligro (Danger)."

After that, Shakira took a break from music, graduated from high school (at age 15) and came back with a vengeance. The result was the phenomenally successful "Pies Descalzos," a hit-laden smash, which has sold close to four million copies worldwide. On this album, she insisted on recording her very own brand of music: a blend of pop and rock that was unprecedented for a Colombian musician, much less a woman.

Shakira became an international sensation touring for an almost solid two years, playing her songs to sold-out audiences throughout the world.

Such a smashing hit seemed impossible to surpass, but Shakira did it with "Donde Estan los Ladrones," a collection of hits that further explored the realms of rock 'n' roll without losing Shakira's authenticity.

"It is totally refreshing for me to work with an artist who knows exactly what she wants, both at a musical and a personal level," said Emilio Estefan. "Her music is Shakira. It's real music."

No wonder, then, that it was Shakira who was chosen among dozens of female Latin singers to grace the cover of Time Magazine in an article titled "Era of the Rockera".

In 1998, the Colombian government designated Shakira as an official goodwill ambassador, the Pope granted her an audience in the Vatican, and she was named Latin Female Artist of the Year at the World Music Awards.

The next logical step is crossover to the English market, a goal that is now closer than ever. In the meantime Shakira offers her fans a special "MTV Unplugged" album in which she performs her biggest hits in a live, intimate format.

Shakira is quite possibily the most exciting singer/songwriter to come out of Latin America in years. For the millions that already buy her albums, she is already the voice of a new generation.

Bio courtesy Sony Music Latin America

For more about Shakira, visit:
Sony Record's Shakira Website

Albums Available From Shakira

Pies Descalzos

Pies Descalzos (1996)

The Remixes

 The Remixes (1997)

Donde Estan Los Ladrones?

Donde Están Los Ladrones? (1998)

 MTV Unplugged

MTV Unplugged (2000)

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