Colombian pop singer Shakira shook the world with her music. The versatility and exceptional quality of her songs earned her the nickname “chameleon.” But does she pen her own masterpieces?
Until 2014, Shakira wrote all of her own music. From the age of eight, the talented singer had begun to pen her own songs, and released her first album at just 13 years old. She taught herself English, and built her career from her unique dialectic and powerful voice. Some songs on her eponymous 2014 album were not self-written.
From her youth onwards, Shakira maintained creative control over her work. Find out just how much below.
Writing From A Young Age
When she was only seven years old, she was given one for her birthday. She would write poems as a child, and as she grew older, this progressed to songwriting.
At eight years old, Shakira wrote her first song titled Tus Gafas Oscuras (Your Dark Glasses). The song was inspired by her father who would often wear dark tinted glasses to hide his mental suffering after the singer’s older half-brother died in a motorcycle accident.
After impressing the record producers, Shakira was signed for three albums and released her debut album Magia at just thirteen years old.
Having been creating her own music since the age of eight, Shakira compiled her samples to create the album.
Despite only selling 1,200 copies worldwide, the album gave her good exposure in the Colombian music scene.
Shakira went on to release another album with weak sales, but Sony funded a final album in hopes that she would take off.
Her third album Pies Descalzos became a hit in Latin Music, inspiring her to branch out into international waters.
She produced much of her music herself, such as her 1996 song Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos.
In a Telegraph interview, the artist spoke about the difficulties in getting her voice heard.
“I was always very sure of what I wanted to hear,” she said. “I had to fight to be heard: ‘Don’t play that melody in this part, play the other one.’
She is now best known for hit singles, Whenever, Wherever and Hips Don’t Lie, which both reached number 1 on the Billboard Top 100, and for her song, Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) which became the number 1 best-selling World Cup anthem in history.
The talented artist speaks five languages – Spanish, Portugese, Italian, English and Arabic – so her success in both the Latin American and the English music industry is no surprise.
Only once Shakira reached the U.S did she allow other artists to co-write music with her.
The Change In “Shakira”
In 2014, over a decade since she started putting out her own music, Shakira announced the release of her self-titled album.
The eponymous album Shakira is the first time Shakira has hired others to write with her.
Still, most songs on the album were written by the artist herself. 23 was said to be inspired by the father of her child, implied by the romantic lyricism, and the album describes the joy in being a new mother.
Shakira’s impressive achievements can be attributed to the personal role she plays in her music production, from writing lyrics to deciding the album art. The musician’s heavy involvement in every stage of her work sets her apart as an artist.