Nice meeting the little big star!!!

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Miss Moon
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Postby Miss Moon » Mon May 06, 2002 5:13 pm

Nice meeting the little big star!!

Nice meeting the little big star

07.05.2002 By ELEANOR BLACK
The platform stiletto boots do nothing to disguise the fact that Shakira is tiny, so small that her hair is nearly as big as she is.

When the 25-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter burrows into a corner of the sofa in her hotel room, she is immediately swallowed by cushions.

It seems unlikely that this mouse of a woman, with chipped black nail polish and a stained T-shirt, could be responsible for the big, yodelling voice now instantly recognisable as it belts out the No 1 hit Whenever, Wherever.

Shakira seems grateful for her success, and gives credit to 'a divine hand from heaven helping me'.

When it comes to music, Shakira is huge, a Latin American treasure whose first English language album, Laundry Service, is a worldwide smash.

Her flying New Zealand publicity visit, which culminated in a frenzied CD-signing session at a Queen St music store yesterday, was just another notch in the metal-chain belt of a woman who spends so much time on aeroplanes she calls them home.

After her size - 155cm tall and delicate, except for a petite version of the J-Lo butt - the most striking thing about Shakira is how nice she is.

When the Herald arrives for a chat and photographs, to be squeezed into 20 minutes and sandwiched between two radio interviews, one of Shakira's entourage bans pictures.

A chilly standoff is ended when the singer points out that the photographer is using a digital camera, so any photos the minder doesn't like can be deleted.

She thinks carefully about each question before responding in a soft, heavily accented voice which encourages listeners to sit forward on their seats.

Twice, when it seems the interview is about to be stopped to make way for the radio hosts waiting in the next room, the singer makes it clear she wants to keep talking.

'I'll try to talk faster,' she says with a smile. 'I talk too much - it's a problem.'

So, quickly, here is what she had to say ...

On feminism: 'There might be a tendency for people to think I am a feminist. Actually I don't consider myself a feminist at all. I can be feminine but not a feminist.

'I feel that there's no reason why, belonging to a generation like mine, I should fight for women's rights or anything like that. I don't feel identified with those ideals because I never felt deprived from those rights.

'In Colombia the women really don't fight for their rights because they don't want to.'

On being an international vagabond: 'I have a place in Miami and I have a place in Barranquilla, my hometown. I live on planes basically. What I call home is not the four walls that surround me. It is my family, and they travel with me all the time.'

On writing her first English-language album: 'At the beginning it was very intimidating. I wasn't sure if I was able to really write that good, and I was full of insecurities.

'But there was like a little voice inside me, telling me strongly that was the step I had to take. I couldn't deny my responsibility. I had to embrace new challenges in my life. I thought, 'I have to go for it. I have to jump in the water without thinking too much about how deep the waters [are]'.

'Once I made a decision, things started moving faster and faster and more smoothly ... it's not really hard, it's just different.'

On the Britney Spears and Alanis Morissette comparisons: 'It's really curious and funny, because they are so different.

'In Latin America there is no such comparison. This is my seventh album in 11 years. They know me. They know every single picture of my personality as a woman and as a writer.

'There is no space for comparisons in Latin American countries. Eventually the rest of the world will be the same.'

On her favourite music: 'I am one of those who live in the past. I still worship the classic rock'n' roll bands - Zeppelin, the Cure, the Beatles, the Police - because I can listen to it today, next week, next month and I will never get exhausted. It's the kind of music that has the eternal youth property.'

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