I’m settling in this week so things are a bit mad. But, seeing as I am in Colombia, I thought it appropriate to share a classic from one of Colombia’s greatest.
I had just turned nine when “Ciega, Sordomuda” was released. I was in the middle of the boy band craze, US pop radio dominated my life, surrounded by imagery of Britneys, Mandys, and Christinas–basically, everything that was as far from my real world as possible. A year later, Shakira’s performance on MTV Unplugged aired and I somehow managed to see it (somehow because my parents wouldn’t get cable for another two years), and there she was: scarlet hair, wearing a simple dark shirt and trousers, uninhibited and direct, just radiating talent and soul every which way. As other-worldly beautiful as Shakira was (is), she seemed familiar to me, more so because she was singing in a language that, up to that point, I had only ever associated with home and family, with KLVE 107.5 and Univision, yet there she was on MTV. And so began my slow transition away from those bubblegum pop dreams to music and artists that seemed to acknowledge the realness of the life I was beginning to face (I was a pretty dramatic ten year old).
Not gonna lie, it broke my heart a little when she made her English crossover and she emerged with a head of bleach-blonde hair, transforming into the pop fantasy the US market loves. Though I guess we should be glad because this transition also brought us these collaborations (and, no, not the one you’re thinking of…please miss me with that one):
We’ll always have MTV Unplugged