The Girl Who Rose From Level 0 – Shakira! – By Nidhi Verma

Reviewed By – Akash Goel

Shakira once said, “In this life, to earn your place you have to fight for it”. Born as Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll in Barranquilla Colombia, the youngest of eight siblings was fascinated by her father writing stories on a typewriter and wished to do the same. When she was seven, her father’s jewelry business went bankrupt and it gave the singer a firsthand view of life which she’d never known. She was going through the ugliest phase of her life, the phase which shaped her as a person at such a young age.

Inspired by her father, at a tender age of eight Shakira wrote her first song “Tus gafas oscuras” (your dark glasses), this song had all the emotions which she felt for her father seeing him go through his worst phase. She won many local and national talent contests by the age of 10, and her first album “Magia” (Magic) composed of songs she wrote as a child and was released when she was 13.

As she pursued her dreams she was constantly challenged to make decisions that would define who she was and who she would become. She released her album Pies Descalzos (Barefeet) which was a huge success. This was the time her career was budding, she performed to audiences worldwide.

Shakira wrote her own music that was influenced by her roots, her culture, her past life and the phases she went through. But as they say, criticism is a part of success, she was criticized to have the same kind of base in her work. Shakira refused to abandon her cultural influences and launched her own brand of music album. She was praised for invention, and within no time she gained a lot of popularity. Laundry Service, her first English album was a huge success in no time and her Latin American sensibility was translated into new languages. She went on to become a cultural ambassador, incorporating her heritage into her public life. She once said, “I plan to keep on being the same artist, with the same musical language, just in a different language.”

Her songs are usually of her experience, feelings and what she actually went through in her life. And by weaving her cultural heritage into the fabric of her music, Shakira introduced her audience to a new world, the one which defines her.

Today Shakira like her name, which means “a woman full of grace” needs no introduction, she has successfully grown as a performer. Boldly facing all the challenges that came her way and rose from level zero to the place where she is today.


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