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Colombian Singer Carlos Vives Gifts Shakira the song “Currambera” On Her Birthday.

Colombian Singer Carlos Vives Gifts Shakira the song “Currambera” On Her Birthday.

  • "Currambera" is a tribute to Barranquilla's women.
  • The song tells the story of a girl from Bazrranquilla with big dreams.
  • Shakira cried when she saw the music video.

For Shakira’s 45th birthday, Colombian singer Carlos Vives wanted to do something special; a gift that symbolized the celebration of who she is and where she comes from.

On February 2 the music video for “Currambera,” was released, and in a series of images you can see Shakira’s story and the Colombian city where she was born and raised.

“‘Currambera’ is a tribute to Shakira, and it’s also a tribute to Barranquilla’s woman, which we call Curramberas,” said vives during a video call from his studio in Bogotá.

“It’s a video and a song that we want to release on a very important date, and it’s a very personal song of mine for Shaki,” he explained while stating that though she was aware that Vives was looking to do a song for her, she didn’t know it was ready to be released nor the theme. “She doesn’t know the song is ready nor that there is a video that will tell an amazing story [about her].”

The video takes place in the port of Barranquilla, a city located on the north Atlantic coast of Colombia – about 40 minutes away from the historic and highly touristic city of Cartagena. Then Vives appears with an array of musicians singing and playing a song filled with impactful lyrics accompanied by images of some of Shakira’s most iconic moments on stage, as well as her life as a little girl growing up in the city.

“For the video, we have done all the crazy things that allow us to show the iconography of the city, of who she is, and when you hear the lyrics you’re going to understand many things, and when you see the images you’re going to recognize certain things and point them out,” said Vives about the project which includes various highlights of some of Shakira’s most emblematic work.

From the outfits that the dancers wore, to their hairstyles, their dance moves and some of their facial features screamed Shakira. Vives features dozens of women and girls from Barranquilla throughout the video dancing and reenacting some of Shakira’s most important points in her life.

Featuring various nods to Pies Descalzos, her 3rd album – the one which skyrocketed her into fame accross Latin America, before her 2001 crossover album titled Laundry Service – and her iconic dance moves and music video from her smash hit “Hips Don’t Lie,” which launched her into global fame, “Currambera” is full of light, joy and Barranquilla’s colors and culture sift through the images.

“We were filming it a month ago in Barranquilla. There is a very special post-production process, but there is a lot of psychology behind it,” said Vives, referring to the nostalgia that the video was meant to spark.

Credit: Laura Hernández Mendoza

“Of course, Shaki is a complete inspiration, but what she also represents and what she represents in her city as well as the music in her city – the meaning of dancing for the woman of Barranquilla – and representing all of that is what we have wanted to do with Currambera,” said Vives.

This project is Vives’s second single that is part of an upcoming album.

‘Currambera’ is the second single that will be part of Cumbiana II. The first single was “Besos en Cualquier Horario” where he features his oldest daughter Lucia, along with pop duo Mau y Ricky.

“We look forward to having the full album and presenting it. But yes, it’s Cumbiana 2, and it comes with a lot of artists covering different topics according to their origins,” said Vives whose 2020 album Cumbiana was also an homage to the unexplored territories that are inhabited by the indigenous tribes of Colombia.

When asked why a follow-up album to Cumbiana was happening, Vives confessed that he wanted to dedicate the rest of his musical career to drawing attention to the importance of nature and Colombia’s most cherished territories and people.

“I don’t want to work for any other things. A long time ago, I left music for vanity, and I want to work on the territory and do music that spotlights the territory and that tells its story, and that we are thankful for the “Tierra del Olvido” which needs it. Colombia’s Sierra Nevada, The Delta River, El Rio Grande de la Magdalena, now more than ever they need our dedication because it’s no longer about us but about the planet,” he added.

“In many corners of Colombia, there is a need for us to work for our country and in many aspects, and the territories and their people are what’s fundamental,” said Vives, while teasing with exciting collaborations on the album. “I’m very happy because there are collaborations that are just different.”

Cumbiana II, Vives’s 15th studio album, is set to come out in May.

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