Columbian pop singer Shakira wants to devote an entire album to the language and culture that has played a consistent role in her career. According to the Associated Press she grew up listening to top selling Arab singers of the 20th century, as well as Egyptian Umm Kalthum and Lebanese Fairuz.
She confessed to a crowd of mostly Moroccan journalists at the 10th-annual Mawazine festival of world music that right now she only knows a few words of Arabic, namely “ateeni boosa” or give me a kiss, but she is totally open to the experience of learning the language.
Spanish is her first language but she also has global hits in English. “Beautiful Liar” (a duet with Beyonce) was nominated for “Video of the Year” at the 2007 BET Awards. And “Hips Don’t Lie” featuring Grammy award winner Wyclef Jean has also been a chart topper.
The sultry songstress is known for using Eastern dance, or belly dancing, in her performances. And her current hit single “Ojos Asi” (in Spanish) has a heavy Middle Eastern melody.
Kanye West and Lionel Richie also attended the eight day Moroccan festival which ended yesterday. Bands from 60 countries performed at the event.