“When I did that session, people on my team were saying, ‘Please change this. Don’t even think about coming out with those lyrics.’ And I said, ‘Why not?’ I’m not a diplomat in the United Nations. I’m an artist, and I have the right to work on my emotions through my music,’” Shakira, 46, told Billboard in a profile published on Thursday, September 21. “It’s my catharsis and my therapy, but it’s also the therapy of many people. I know I’m the voice of many people, and I’m not being pretentious, just realistic.”
She continued: “I lend my voice to many women, who maybe also wanted to say the same things I said and perhaps haven’t had the validation to do so. I think songs like the Bizarrap session or like the one I did with Karol [G] have given many women strength, self-empowerment, self-confidence and also the backing to express and say what they need to say.”
Shakira dropped “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” a collaboration with DJ Bizarrap, in January. The lyrics immediately reminded many fans about Shakira’s split from Gerard Piqué and his new romance with Clara Chia Marti.
“I’m not coming back here, I don’t want another disappointment / So much that you pretend to be a champion / And when I needed you, you gave your worst version,” she sings in Spanish. “Sorry, baby, it’s been a while / I should have thrown that cat away / A she-wolf like me ain’t for a rookie.”
Shakira — who announced her split from the retired soccer star, 36, in 2022— did not immediately address the lyric speculation. Two months later, she revealed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that writing the “anthem” was crucial in helping her move on from the “very rough year after [the] separation.”
Shakira and Piqué were together for 12 years, during which they welcomed sons Milan, 10, and Sasha, 8. The duo confirmed in June 2022 that they called it quits but that their kids’ well-being remained their primary focus.
“My priority was my home, my family. I believed in ‘till death do us part.’ I believed that dream, and I had that dream for myself, for my children,” Shakira confessed to Billboard about the demise of her decades-long relationship. “My parents have been together, I don’t know, 50 years, and they love each other like the first day, with a love that’s unique and unrepeatable. … And it has always been my example. It’s what I wanted for myself and my children, but it didn’t happen. If life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade. That’s what I’m doing: making lemonade.”
She continued: “I think that nothing can compensate for the pain of destroying a family. Of course, I have to keep going for my children’s sake; that’s my greatest motivation. But my biggest dream, more than collecting platinum albums and Grammys, was to raise my sons with their father. Overcome obstacles and grow old together. I know I’m not getting that now.”
While Shakira’s music allowed her to productively cope with her new normal, she was never trying to create hit songs. “I was trying to work out and understand my emotions in search of a catharsis,” she explained to the outlet.
Shakira has since moved on with basketball player Jimmy Butler. “They’re growing closer every day,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month, noting the singer is not rushing to settle down. “Shakira has a lot on her plate. Her main priority is her kids and career. But she’s definitely optimistic about finding love again.”