Andrea Echeverri: “I didn’t want to be like Madonna or Shakira”

Andrea Echeverri crosses a curtain of ceramic hearts and appears light in the exhibition hall of the Claustro de San Agustín, in Bogotá, where she presents her original facet, before the world heard her sing in Aterciopelados, that of a ceramic artist. A catchy chorus is repeated at one end of the room and she hums it.

is not violated

is not violated

You will not put your pee in the brava

every vagina will be a guillotine

It is impossible not to dance despite the harshness of the song and at the same time experience a feeling of guilt.

Echeverri, who carries in her body and voice the story of a generation of Colombians, is surrounded by vaginas. Ceramic vaginas that she shaped, vaginas that denounce the sexual abuse of indigenous girls, the crime of Rosa Elvira Cely and Yuliana Samboní, a humble lady and girl, murdered in Bogotá; the one suffered by the journalist Jineth Bedoya; that of a police patrol car, that of a protester during the strike that the country experienced in 2021. And also huge tears and drops of milk that fall from ceramic figures. Because what is there is to cry, she says later.

Andrea does not feel like a feminist in the “structured theoretical” sense; but she does recognize in her lyrics, in her music, a way of fighting for women’s rights. Anti-war, anti-diva, ceramist by profession, “in two words, I am the South American rocker”. From Serious little thingpassing by the case, nightingaleuntil ovaries either mourner, the latter that resonate in this exhibition hall, Echeverri has made a career that, without intending to, puts her on the map as a forerunner of a musical feminist movement. An interview through her songs with this Latin American rock icon

Look at the essence, not the appearances

It is not a commandment to be the diva of the moment.

wow. The body is just a case and the eyes are the window

In 2004, she was already singing about the imposition of a perfect and sculptural body, a struggle that many women face today. With 10 studio albums with Aterciopelados, three Grammy Awards, and a solo career, Echeverri considers herself a rebel from the music establishment. In 2010 she produced Twoan album that pays homage to motherhood and was recorded entirely at home, on which she played all the instruments.

Ask: You set the tone for many women. How do you see the place you occupy today in the music industry?

Response: “There are people doing very nice things and others that I definitely say, no! I’m in my fifties, so now there are things in the music industry that leave me cold. I can’t go around being trendy (laughs). I grew up with Mira the essence, not the appearances, really. I got into this show business, but he was an artist (ceramist), he had already read Simone de Beuavoir, and suddenly it was that I met Héctor (Buitrago) and he told me let’s sing, and I, well, that’s it! But I started big, because that’s another thing that’s happening: the singers start at 12 years old and they brainwash them with truths: I mean, ‘if I submercé it’s good and it shakes, it’s going to sell more’?

Q: And music?

A: Well, they even make good music, but it’s like being an accomplice of the same patriarchal system. I don’t like them to get all dressed up, I understand it perhaps as a natural step to doing what men have been doing all the time. But my hope is that they go later to another place that is one of dignity, respect and spirituality, even if one is not Catholic or anything.

Q: Did you want to position yourself from another place?

A: I am from another era. I grew up thinking ‘I don’t want to be like Madonna or like Shakira’, but it’s part of my structure.

Little thing, little thing, little thing… it would be

It came out in the newspaper

That this happened to a man

For throwing dirty compliments they cut off his cocoon

and although a little exaggerated I think he had asked for it

and I’m a serious thing

Andrea Echeverri Arias is a cheeky, outspoken woman, also known as La Ruiseñora (2012), as the album is titled, which delves into feminist ideals “that try to motivate Latin American women to own their own history.”

Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist?

A: I’m music. It’s not that I’m reading about feminism, but then I see the things I’ve written as a female musician and there are many things that are feminist. Not a structured theoretical feminism, but pure experiences, like those of Serious little thing.

Q:Have you suffered that harassment that the song talks about?

A: One feels the aggressive compliments. That song came out of a newspaper article The space, which was yellow press, in which a man had his pee cut off. So it also has its playfulness and its exaggeration, it’s like when we sing “every vagina is a guillotine”. I think that kind of aesthetic is cool because it’s funny and exaggerated, but somehow threatening. It is a message of “do not mess with one”.

Q: And when did feminism come to you?

A: A very cool moment came to my Simon de Beuavoir because, like me, he was more of a boy than a girl. I grew up on farms, catching bugs, riding horses, going to rivers. And when Beuavoir said that the long nail, the corset, the heel, what they do is that one has to go more slowly, to breathe less, that was ugh, it hit me really well, because I have never liked all that vibe. So I think it’s not like that, I want to be comfortable and practical, not to be ugly for that.

i love my legs

And even if you have cellulite,

I love my legs

Although it looks bad in underwear with a reggaeton player

I love my legs

Andrea Echeverri has made a message of her body. Her heart-shaped glasses, her colorful outfits, and recently a gramophone as a dress became a way of inhabiting the stage as a woman. In 2018, i love my legs pays homage to her legs, her belly, her boobs and her entire body and sends a message of self-recognition.

Q: Did you feel pressure for a type of aesthetic in the ‘show business’?

A: I studied art and I approached the body from another point of view, the first time I went on stage the search was different and not seduction, of a rich mommy. But you have the aesthetics of him and his femininity, the clothes and the colors. After reading Beauvoir I said this is mine. And that’s when I start to get up on stage and feel that pressure. I mean, if you’re not going to be like Madonna and you’re not going to dress up and do everything, what are you going to do? Then one begins to invent ways to get up there and to play and make costumes with symbolic things and funny things.

Q: Do you like the woman and music she built?

A: Rebellions also have a price, but yes. I don’t know if you realize it, but the girls look at me in a really cute way and I’m like, ‘well, I won’t have my account in the Cayman Islands like all of them (other famous singers) but I have this.’ (A group of teenagers enter the room and ask for photos of her and tell her that they admire her)

ovaries calvaries

I’m not interested in selling illusions

But tell stories, amplify pains

Never more outraged any woman

Their intact vulvas, owners of their pleasure

Never again by force, forced to do anything

Just for mutual pleasure, being penetrated

Together with the Mexican musician ViVir Quintana, Echeverri sings to the vulvas in ovaries. But he has also joined other Colombian singers such as La Niña Isabel or Las Añez, with whom she did is not violated Y mourner, respectively. The spirit of these songs, says Andrea, is to make a song “of sisterhood for the victims of sexual violence in Colombia.

Q: He says that this exhibition is to process a collective trauma…

A: What he wants is for all of us to scream. I also shed a lot of tears. Beyond tusas (spite), what do I know. I have several tons of salty goths in my pieces. All this began with two songs Plañideras and Ovarios. I wrote them after a meeting with the Truth Commission in Cartagena and there were some of the women victims of sexual violence who participated in the work of art, Fragments. One of them told me why don’t you make a song about this.

Q: And how did ceramics appear?

A: I said how do I move this, because it’s all silver. I was making pieces and I met the curator Belén Sáenz (the same one who chose El Testigo, with photographs of Jesús Abad, the most viewed exhibition in Colombia) and it materialized. The last of the songs is is not violatedalong with La Niña Isabel, who also made ceramics in my oven.

Q: It’s a front message…

A: It is that there is no woman who does not have at least one ‘tarreo’ in her history. I know that I am in a super favored place, because they put their hand in me like that (under my skirt) when I passed by. But that was devastating, I remember that I was paralyzed, I was a school girl with a gardener and the man and tran passed, she touched me. That is unforgettable. So, from that very privileged place I wanted to put at the center the Emberá girl, the Yuliana Sambony girl, all the victims of sexual violence who according to calculations are millions in Colombia. Victims have come who tell me why only raped women, why only cucas, but my idea was to hold a meeting of vaginas that scream against violence.

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