10 Questions for Shakira

The Colombian pop star's latest album, She Wolf, is out in November. Shakira will now take your questions

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Your new album has a more electronic and dance feel to it than previous albums. Why did you want to move in that direction?

Julie Mills Wilson


From the beginning, I wanted an album that was dancy and fun. I wanted to have fun with this, and I want people to have fun with it as well, to forget about the economic crisis at least for 10 seconds on the dance floor.

I hear that you are a foreign-language buff. How many languages do you speak?


I speak English, Spanish, Portuguese and some Italian. In my family, there are a few people who speak seven languages.

Which do you enjoy more, singing in English or in Spanish?

Jennifer Manriquez


They both have different resources for a songwriter to play with. In English, for example, there are many words that have only one syllable and that express a lot. In Spanish, you probably require more words to build a sentence. When I started to write in English, I could barely speak the language, so I had to do it with the help of a dictionary. And now, in the case of "She Wolf," I wrote it first in English, and then I had to adapt it into Spanish.

Has crossing over from Spanish to English changed the type of songs you write?

Jane Torres, NEW YORK CITY

Not necessarily. But I have noticed that when I started singing in Spanish, I was more of a rock chick. I was always a huge fan of the Cure, Led Zeppelin and Depeche Mode. And when I crossed over, I instinctively started grabbing on to my Latin roots and trying to incorporate some of that into my music.

How did you get involved in the effort to combat childhood poverty?

Haydn Hsin, TAIPEI

When I was 8 years old, my dad went bankrupt and lost his business. I remember entering our apartment, and all the furniture was gone, our two cars were sold, there was no air-conditioning. Our whole life changed. My parents took me to the park where all the orphans sniffed glue to deal with the tragedies of their own lives. That made such an impression. When I had my first big international success when I was 18, I decided to establish a foundation for children, and since then we've been focusing on providing high-quality education and nutrition.

Many musicians feel the need to try their hand at movies. Is that something you've ever considered?

Arturo Granados


No. I'm sure about my musical talents--sort of--but I'm not really sure about acting. I wouldn't like to commit to something and not do a good job. I think I would be a terrible actress.

You seem to be a confident performer. What is something that makes you nervous?

Nicholas Freter


Going on American TV. People are used to excellence, and you can't give anything less than that. But, you know, I always feel like every project carries its own challenges. There's no difference [between] the way I feel now and the way I felt when I was 13 and releasing my first album.

Do you ever miss not being famous?

Armando Salcido


I haven't had a chance to not be famous yet.

Have you ever injured yourself by dancing too vigorously?

Ryo Sekiya

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