Rock ‘n’ Rumba

Before heading off to practise for her upcoming summer tour, Shakira took time out to talk rock with FLARE.

Rock ’n’ Rumba
Crossover rocker Shakira

You won’t catch Shakira sappily crooning over lonely nights or old beaus any time soon. Often called Colombia’s answer to Alanis Morissette, her latest two Billboard-scaling albums, Fijación Oral Volumen 1 (which just won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album) and Oral Fixation Volume 2, are filled with guitar-driven odes to unabashed self-discovery (not in the Oprah kinda way, either!). And it’s precisely her rockin’ raw sound that makes Shakira a Diva O-riginal in our books. Her gutsy Janis Joplin-meets-Celia Cruz range has managed to stand the test of time, outliving yesterday’s ghetto-fabulist hop and outshining today’s run-of-the-mill teen-queen tunes (especially on grown-up tracks such as “Don’t Bother” and “Animal City”). Before heading off to practise for her upcoming summer tour, Shakira took time out to talk rock with FLARE.

You’ve released two albums back-to-back. How does it feel to get both albums finally released?
It was like giving birth—with all the contractions and the pain that are involved in the process of delivering, but also [all the] excitement. And instead of having one kid, I had twins!

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Your music exudes sensuality. What do you think makes you most desirable?
I think self-confidence is the best makeup you can wear. Maybe the videos I’ve done lately have more of a sensual charge, but that’s a reflection of the way I feel today. As I approach my 30s, I am starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. When I was 23, I used to wear tons of makeup and layers and layers of foundation. Now, I don’t wear foundation, not even for my shows.

When it comes to putting together an outfit, who do you turn to for the most honest advice?
My boyfriend [Antonio de la Rúa, son of the former president of Argentina], he has a good eye. He’s not a stylist, but I wish I listened to him more in the past when he told me “Don’t wear that.” When I see pictures of myself in [some] outfits, I think, “Oh my God, he was right.” He would be the happiest man on earth if I was in sneakers and a rock ’n’ roll T-shirt. He doesn’t like when I get made up.

Critics often compare you to Alanis Morissette. Is that a compliment?
She’s one of the best female singer-songwriters of this decade. I have a great admiration for her. If I ever met her, I know that we would have a lot to talk about. She’s one of those people who I feel I have things in common with.

—Elio Iannacci

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