Practice English Speaking&Listening with: YouTube Presents: An Interview with Shakira

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>> RAGHAVAN: Hi, everyone I'm Ramya RAGHAVAN and I work on the YouTube Nonprofits Team.

Today it's my pleasure to be joined by Shakira, a world-renowned music icon, a YouTube sensation,

and a philanthropist for a very special interview that's completely powered by YouTube users.

Thanks so much for joining us. >> SHAKIRA: Thank you for having me.

>> RAGHAVAN: For the past few days, thousands of people from around the world have been

submitting questions for Shakira about topics like, education, the World Cup, and music

to a platform called Moderator on YouTube. The public voted on the questions that they

like the best and those are the questions that we'll be asking Shakira today.

>> SHAKIRA: Very well. >> RAGHAVAN: So are you ready to get started.

>> SHAKIRA: I'm ready, I'm all yours. >> RAGHAVAN: Okay, well, you have wildly enthusiastic

fans, as I'm sure you know, and a lot of them ask questions about your music. So this was

the top voted video question in the music category. And it comes from Mohit in California.

>> MOHIT: Hi, Shakira, it's Mohit from California. And my question to you is, you've been making

music for almost 20 years now, so what's your favorite song by yourself? Or if you can't

pick one, what's your top 5 songs by yourself? >> SHAKIRA: I love that he's wearing the Waka

Waka T-shirt. >> RAGHAVAN: Yes. I think he really thought

about it. >> SHAKIRA: My favorite song, wow, that's

a tough one. I have to say, I'm very excited about the new album, which is about to come

out in September because it reminds me of different eras of different stages of my career.

It's like a synthesis of all these 20 years. It's got songs that remind me of, Pies Descalzos

and Ladrones and Laundry Service and it's got a strong rock side and also romantic songs

and Latino--Latino songs, Latin sounding songs too.

>> RAGHAVAN: So a little bit of everything you do.

>> SHAKIRA: A little bit of everything. Yeah, it's like I said before, a good synthesis

of it. But one of the songs that I like--I love from my repertoire is Sombra de Ti. It's

on one of the B sides of one of my past albums. I usually like the B sides, you know, the

songs I never get to play on radio. Yeah, that's one of my favorite songs for sure.

But I could dare to say that the new material that's coming now is probably not my favorite,

it's not my favorite, yeah. I'm so thrilled about it. It's been like a re-encounter. It's

been like--it's been quite interesting to make this new album. I've been reconnecting

with myself and with my sensibility and its very introspective, but at the same time,

it's very joyful. It's got a lot of joy in it.

>> RAGHAVAN: Great. Well, the next question comes from Rons in Venezuela, and asks, "Shakira,

what has been the most difficult moment in your musical career?"

>> SHAKIRA: I suppose the beginnings when I was 13 in Colombia, which was a country--which

is a country that back then didn't have a pop scene or at-least a local pop scene, you

know. Most of the music that was playing on radio, music generated by local artists was

folkloric music, you know, tropical music, but I wanted to do rock, I wanted to do pop

songs and that didn't have an outlet at that time, so it was very difficult. I was very

young. And being a woman also in this business is not easy. Thank God, I had an amazing family

surrounding me, supporting my dreams, encouraging me, my mother, my dad. You know when I was

13? I released my first album with Sony Music, which back then was CBS. And, as soon as I

graduated from high school--I graduated very young when I was 15--I decided to move to

the Capital, to Bogota to pursue my dreams, my career. And so I told my parents, "Guys,

I'm leaving. I have to make it happen." And my mom said, "You're leaving? I'm going with

you." And so she came with me to Bogota and I remember that those beginnings were quite

hard, you know, to convince my record company to be listened...

>> RAGHAVAN: Yeah. >> SHAKIRA: know, being so young and

having already so many ideas and certain criteria too, you know. It wasn't easy to be respected,

to earn the respect. >> RAGHAVAN: Right

>> SHAKIRA: As soon as I got that, I felt that I was over the fence.

>> RAGHAVAN: Awesome, well here's another video question. Also about music and it's

from Etienne in the Netherlands. >> SHAKIRA: Etienne.

>> ETIENNE: Hello, Shakira. I am Etienne from the Netherlands.

>> SHAKIRA: Hello, Etienne. >> ETIENNE: And I would like to ask you a

question about your song Men In This Town. Are you going to perform this song during

your concerts or do you have plans for a video because that would be really awesome? And

this question is also going on so, so many of your fans' minds. And I work in a CD store.

And whenever I put your CD on and people--and the song comes up, people ask me about the

song. And I will recommend it to them and probably sing along and just want to say that

you're the best. You're my muse to everything and I love you.

>> SHAKIRA: Thank you so much. I see my poster there in the back.

>> RAGHAVAN: Yeah. He's a super fan. >> SHAKIRA: That's so sweet. Etienne, I think

you and I have the same taste because that's probably my favorite song in the whole She

Wolf album. But, it didn't get to be a single. So I don't think I want to make--I'm going

to be making any video for that song anytime soon since I'm already moving on to another

album. But if you want, you can make your own video, I'd love to receive that. Yeah,

but it's definitely one of my favorite songs in the album, if not, my favorite one.

>> RAGHAVAN: So if you like Etienne's video I think you really going to like this next

one. It comes from some of your other super fans in Argentina.

>> SHAKIRA: Wow. Aw. It's amazing. Aw. >> Shakira, Shakira.

>> RAGHAVAN: So... >> SHAKIRA: Oh my God. It's so moving.

>> RAGHAVAN: Their question is, "On the new album, will we find songs that speak of social

issues?" >> SHAKIRA: In this new album, it's very personal

this album. It's very much about my feelings and my--the thought and the times in which

I felt that my heart has broken and it gets--and the pieces get sewn in again and recovering

and surviving and going through struggles and coming out of those struggles, feeling

stronger. It's about also the joy of celebrating my own culture, you know, because I decided

to go to Dominican Republic and rescue--and kind of understand a little bit of that part

of the Caribbean, you know, and get some of those sounds and mix them in my music. So

it's very exciting from a sonic point of view. But also it's so personal and so much of a

reflection of the way I feel, or the way I felt this past two years that I didn't really

get into, you know, speaking about social issues. Not in this particular album. I guess

because I've been speaking so much publicly. >> RAGHAVAN: Right.

>> SHAKIRA: That I didn't think that or didn't feel the urgency to do it through my music,

you know. Since I've been having a lot of other outlets to explain my--the causes that

are very close to my heart. >> RAGHAVAN: Well, we did get a lot of other

questions about your educational work, your philanthropic work with 1Goal and the Barefoot

Foundation. And this is a top voted question about education, and it's from Karim in Egypt.

And he asks "What motivated you to join 1Goal? Was it an unfortunate personal experience

or just a personal conviction of the importance of education? Do you think education for all

has a bearing on world peace?" >> SHAKIRA: I'm convinced that education is

the key to world peace. And I don't say this because someone told me, or I've heard it

from the experts or I've read it. I mean, I'm a student in all of these issues related

to education. I am learning everyday more and more, and I get more and more answers

that convinced me of how urgent it is to invest on education for all. But I've also seen it

with my own eyes, you know, working in Colombia in the fields, since I was 18 years old, you

know, I decided to establish my foundation in Colombia. And since then, we've building

schools in areas where there's conflict or extreme poverty. And whenever we see that

there are children without opportunities to access education. We not only build schools

but also provide quality--high quality education accompanied with the nutritional component

which is so essential, so key for our models to succeed. And I am convinced that education

is the tool that will unlock every kid's talents and potentials. And I am convinced that education

is the best deal for everyone, for the rich countries and for poor countries. I mean when

we invest in kid's potentials and talents, we are securing a safer world. We are preventing

these kids from joining military, I'm sorry, criminal groups or gangs or terrorist groups.

We are preventing illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and so many other illnesses, especially educating

women as well which is so important. By providing education, we're boosting economy. And isn't

that what every government in the world wants, you know, that every country's economy does

well? >> RAGHAVAN: Yes.

>> SHAKIRA: Well, the answer to that is educating our children because just one year of primary

education signifies that that kid, in his adult life or her adult life, will be able

to earn 10 to 20% more in their--in salaries and wages, you know, when they grow up. So

that means that education really is a powerful tool to generate income. But beyond all that,

it's the only way we can guarantee a world in peace. A world in which everyone feels

that they have the same opportunities, you know, and the reason why I got so involved

is because, you know, I grew up in Colombia. Colombia is a developing country where a lot

of people don't have access to the most basic needs and where education is considered a

luxury. Unfortunately, because we all know that education is a birth right and I just

grew up frustrated seeing how many people weren't able to realize their own dreams,

you know. When I was eight years old, my dad underwent an economic crisis, a financial

crisis, you know. He lost his business and we struggled economically for many years.

We lost our car, we lost our furniture, and I remember vividly the day I walked in my

house and all the furniture was gone because my dad had to pay his debts. And it was quite,

well, shocking for me, you know, I was eight--seven, eight years old. And when I saw this, I was

so frustrated and my dad--I'm so upset with my parents because I couldn't understand how--they

did so poorly in business, you know? I'm like why, why--you know. I couldn't get it. And

my dad and my mom took me to the park where they showed me other kids, my age, sniffing

glue. They were orphans. They had no one to watch after them and they were barefoot and

they were abandoned to their own luck. And it probably left such an impression in my

impressionable mind at that age that I remember that day. And I remember that I made myself

a promise. I said to myself, "Shakira, you have to succeed because you have to ride in

a car again one day, you know, you have to get your own car someday." And I wanted to

vindicate my parents, socially and economically, and I also wanted to someday do something

for those kids who I saw that day in the park. So as soon as I have my first big success

with the Pies Descalzos, which was my third album, I decided to establish my own foundation

and do my own contribution to the change even if it was going to be a small one. But I want

it to be active. And that's how it all started, you know, going through my own financial struggle

and the struggle of my family and understanding that the one thing that I never lacked was

care, protection, and an education. And that's probably what made me thrive in life. And

you know, when I see kid's in Colombia and everywhere around the world, I see my own

face in them. I see my own dreams. I know that no kid in Colombia or anywhere in the

world is dreaming right now about becoming a drug trafficker or dreaming about becoming

an assassin or criminal or--kids dream about noble things. They dream about becoming teachers

or doctors or scientists or fireman, you know. And it's us, who don't provide them with those

opportunities. So they can live dignified lives, you know. As Rousseau once said "Men

are born good, but society corrupts them." And I believe in men, I believe--well, not

in men-men, but men you got to be careful about. I believe in human--in the human nature.

I believe in the kindness of it and--but I believe that if we don't provide people with

opportunities, especially at a very early stage when we have the--actually the chances

to do so, we are denying our self of a better world then.

>> RAGHAVAN: Well I would say that the seven-year old Shakira is probably very proud of the

work you're doing now to promote education through the Barefoot Foundation and 1GOAL.

And actually, the next question is more about this. So this one comes from Jay in Trinidad

and Tobago who asks "We here in Trinidad and Tobago have the opportunity for free education

from ABC to Ph.D. I support your efforts with Pies Descalzos in Colombia and 1GOAL. In the

future, will you be expanding your foundation to other countries?"

>> SHAKIRA: With Pies Descalzos or Barefoot Foundation, we are starting to build a school

in Haiti, in one of the devastated areas after the earthquake. And recently, with Mango and

UNICEF, we started this campaign by selling the Waka Waka T-shirts.

>> RAGHAVAN: Was that one of the ones that--one who was wearing?

>> SHAKIRA: Yes, that's one of the ones. Yeah. And they're being sold in all Mango stores

around the world. And with this initiative, we'll be able to--and with the money that

we can raise with the profits of this T-shirt, we will be able to start some educational

programs in South Africa. So this is--these are our first steps outside Colombia. Since

we've been working in Colombia for so long and we've gathered certain experience in working

in the field, especially with children who have been displaced by violence. Which is

a similar situation in South Africa, you know, you have many children who have been displaced

from Congo or Angola living there who also are in need of a high quality education. So

these are some of the efforts that our Barefoot Foundation is doing and in the other hand

with A-L-A-S, ALAS, it's another organization of which I'm also a part of, we are promoting

early childhood development. Early childhood education among the leaders of our region,

of Latin America, our Latin American region and we've been already in two presidential

summits. And this year, we expect and we hope that we can achieve a regional commitment

from every country to invest--in that population, that is the most vulnerable, one, that group

between zero and six years old, the children who are not receiving any kind of nutrition

or stimulation or education in their very early years. So this is another effort but

they're all correlated, you know. It's all for the objective of promoting and advocating

for this one thing which I believe so much, which is, you know, education for all as a

strategy for development, as a strategy for world peace as well.

>> RAGHAVAN: Absolutely. So one more question on the subject and it was the top voted video

question in the category from Luis in the United States.

>> LUIS: Hey, this is Luis from Nashville, Tennessee...

>>SHAKIRA: Hi Luis. >> LUIS: And I just have one question. What

are some ways that we can become more involved with some of the things you stand behind?

Is there any way that we can volunteer with either 1GOAL or the Barefoot Foundation? Thanks

a lot. Bye. >> SHAKIRA: That's so sweet, Luis. There are

many way in which you can get involved and that's what's so exciting about all this.

In 1GOAL for example, with 1GOAL, you can join--well, first of all let me give you a

little background about what 1GOAL is. 1GOAL is a movement supported by FIFA and created

by the Global Campaign of education. And through this movement, we want to make sure that the

leaders of the world are aware of how much it matters to us, to the people of the world,

to the young people in every, every country or on the face of earth, how much it matters

to give education to those 72 million children around the world who don't have any access

to it. And a lot of people are a part of this movement, Queen Rania from Jordan, secretary

of State Hillary Clinton, UN General Secretary as well, and many world leaders as well are

supporting this initiative. But we need more commitments. We need more efforts. We need

to make sure that our leaders make education for all a priority. So by you signing up,

by you joining the 1GOAL campaign, you can make a tremendous difference. You can go to and you can sign up. And your voice will count and your opinion and your petition

will be taken to the world leaders of the--to the world leaders that will be meeting this

July 11th in South Africa. I will be personally attending to this summit. It's an educational

summit... >> RAGHAVAN: Oh, good.

>> SHAKIRA: South Africa. And we're going to take all this petitions from millions

and millions of young people around the world so they know what we're talking about. So

they know that this is really a priority for us and it should be a priority for them as

well. So there you go. And with Pies Descalzos or Barefoot Foundation or UNICEF or any foundation

out there who is working really hard on behalf of children's needs, you can just go to our

website. For example in the case of Barefoot Foundation, you can go to our website and

you can sponsor a child, for example. You know, we have programs to sponsor children,

children's food in school, children's school tags and school uniforms, and you can provide

a whole year of education to one kid in Colombia. But there are so many other ways to volunteer.

You know, you can volunteer your time, you can volunteer your energy, your ideas as well,

and that's what it is all about. You know, to create a big movement to make this happen

because that's how democracy works, you know. Leaders actually commit to do the things that

people are interested in. So if we show the interest, they will want to look good, you

know. That's how politicians work. So in order to look good, don't say anything about this,

they don't know. But they will deliver. They will deliver what people expect. And if we

expect that every child in the world, those 32 million children in Africa or those 72

million children around the world who don't have any access to primary education, if we

expected that this changes and we demand our leaders for a change, they will have to deliver

eventually so hopefully sooner that later. >> RAGHAVAN: So everyone should go to

to find out more and to volunteer. As I'm sure that Luis is doing right now on his keyboard,

he's signing up. So switching gears a little bit, you mentioned that you've been in South

Africa helping 1GOAL but also for the World Cup so...

>> SHAKIRA: Yay. >> RAGHAVAN: The next cup...Yay, World Cup...

>> SHAKIRA: I'm so obsessed with football now. That's all I want to talk about. I just

want to talk about football and read the sports section. I never in my life imagined that

I could see my self opening up the newspapers and going straight to the sports section.

>> RAGHAVAN: I'm the same way. I'm hooked. >> SHAKIRA: You are? Really? Wow.

>> RAGHAVAN: And apparently, so is Charan from Canada and he has this question for you.

"Hey Shakira, which team do you support and why? And who is your favorite player in the

World Cup?" This could be the most controversial question you'll answer today.

>> SHAKIRA: I know, I know, I know. I have to be very careful with the way I answer.

You know, of course if Colombia were in the World Cup, I would be supporting my country.

But since the guys are back home, I have to be very democratic about it. I am very glad

though, that--well to know that our Latin teams, our Hispanic teams have played a really

good role in this World Cup. It's been the most unpredictable World Cup ever...

>> RAGHAVAN: Absolutely. >> SHAKIRA: And that's why I think it's so

exciting as well. Right? Because nobody knows what's going to happen. Well that's football,

you know. You never know. You can't guarantee who's going to win.

>> RAGHAVAN: Right. Lots of upsets. >> SHAKIRA: Yeah.

>> RAGHAVAN: Here's another question about your involvement in the World Cup and it comes

from Steven in Los Angeles. "What is your opinion on FIFA putting your song as the FIFA

World Cup 2010 official song instead of choosing an African artist?"

>> SHAKIRA: I think that World Cup is about integration. It's about a lot of cultures

coming together, people from all over the world sharing this one passion, this sentiment

that is football and this, this experience, this celebration, you know. Football has something

that other sports--not every sport has. And it is the fact that it's so global, so universal.

>> RAGHAVAN: Absolutely. >> SHAKIRA: All, all social classes share

it. You see people from different status and spheres of society having a conversation and

passionately about their favorite team or different plays, you know. And I think that's

what's so beautiful about it, you know. So--there are other sports that are more elitists but

football is the sports of the people. Everyone likes it. And, and women are liking it more

and more and more and more, including me. So--but my point, to answer your question

because I was already detouring, is that I believe that the World Cup is about this melting

pot, you know, that--in which so many cultures come together. So when Sony, and my record

label, asked me to write a song for the World Cup, I decided to bring a little bit of my

culture too, which is attached to Africa to a umbilical chord, you know. I mean I was

raised listening to music that was heavily influenced by African music. My--the part

of Colombia from which I--from where I come from is very African, you know. And there

are even cities in Colombia, small towns in Colombia where they only speak African dialect.

That's how close Colombians are to African culture. So I decided to, you know, use a

little bit of Africa--Colombian and Afro-Caribbean elements and this chant from Cameroon, which

is another African country of very, very colorful and rich culture, and invite a South African

artist to also bring their own flavor to this song that--and I thought that in that way,

we could create a song that would be more emblematic of what the World Cup spirit is,

you know. That spirit of tolerance and integration and, yeah, that melting pot that South Africa

is right now. >> RAGHAVAN: Absolutely. I've been listening

to Waka Waka all week. And actually, it's crossed over 50 million views on YouTube.

So... >> SHAKIRA: Wow. The official video, yeah.

>> RAGHAVAN: The official video. >> SHAKIRA: It's incredible. They gave me

a... >> RAGHAVAN: People are loving it.

>>SHAKIRA: ...yesterday. I was screaming. I was like "Wow. Yeah." I can't believe it.

It's just a--I mean it's a crazy number 50 million people. And you know, I have to confess,

this month, I've been so happy. I wake up every morning with a huge smile on my face

because--I don't know if it's the World Cup or what. But I'm excited every day. I just

want to watch the matches and I don't know, knowing that this World Cup is also taking

place in Africa makes it extra special. It puts me in a good mood. I don't want it to

end. I don't want the World Cup to end. >> RAGHAVAN: [INDISTINCT]

>> SHAKIRA: Can you guys delay a little bit? Yeah, I don't know. It's really amazing the

moment that I'm going through right now with this song and getting all this amazing news

and knowing that so many people are sharing these experiences well as passionately as

I am, you know. That's what this song is about. It's about accompanying this moment of celebration,

you know, and so I'm just happy to be a part of it.

>> RAGHAVAN: Well, I think we're almost out of time but we have time for one last question

and it comes from Steph in New Zealand. So, it is "What is the question you never get

asked but want to answer?" >> SHAKIRA: Steph, I think I've everything

you can possibly think of. I can't think of any question that I haven't answered.

>> RAGHAVAN: Is there anything you haven't said in this, this interview that you want

to... >> SHAKIRA: I've talked so much. I've talked

like someone who's been lost for a while and has been found. Thank you so much for submitting

your questions. I know you sent a lot of questions from many different countries. I wished that

we had more time. >> RAGHAVAN: Yeah. Well thank you so much.

I know that everyone watching right now is probably so excited because you have such

an enormous YouTube fan base. >> SHAKIRA: Oh, well, thank you so much and

enjoy the rest of the World Cup and keep supporting your teams and those who were already eliminated.

Sorry about that, but, you know, it's just a game. So don't get too sad either. And big

kiss. See you soon.

The Description of YouTube Presents: An Interview with Shakira