This issue’s  cover artist, Shakira, returns to the top of the Latin and Club charts with “Loca”, the first single from her ninth studio album, Sale El Sol/The Sun Comes Out.

Sale El Sol, which has already topped the Billboard Latin Album chart and debuted at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, marks a return to the eclectic approach that defined Shakira’s music and established her unique sound and style. “This album has three directions,” she explains. “There’s the romantic direction, which I hadn’t tapped into for the past three years, but it suddenly came to me and I couldn’t hold it back. So it’s got songs that are very intense, very romantic. Then there are songs that are very rock and roll. I started my career as a rock artist and then I kind of crossed over into pop, so it’s been fun to re-encounter that side of my artistic personality”.

“And then there’s the Latino, tropical side of the album,” she continues. “I grew up listening to merengue—that was a big part of my life, and I was missing it. I went to the Dominican Republic, the source of merengue, and I started working with El Cata and producing songs like ‘Loca’ and ‘Rabiosa’ in this tiny studio in the middle of nowhere. It wasn’t planned, I was just following my instincts. So this album is very genuine, and very personal as well.”   A similar spontaneity led to the video for Shakira’s new single “Loca,” which features UK star Dizzee Rascal and Dominican artist El Cata (on the English and Spanish versions, respectively).

At the last minute, she scrapped plans for a studio shoot and took to the streets of Barcelona with a handheld camera. “The spirit of the song is all about freedom, being yourself and not holding back,” she says.

“Loca” which has had a host of remixes, led by the very popular UK production team, the Freemasons, has achieved the #1 position on the Latin Music Club Report Top 20, Billboard Dance Club Songs, Billboard Latin Pop Airplay, Billboard Hot Latin Songs.

For Shakira, the title of the new album provides the key to her current outlook. “I was a little bit down at the end of last year, but as soon as this year started, the sun started shining for me,” she says. “I find myself smiling more often, I feel more free and liberated.  She continues by saying, “You go through difficult moments, everybody does, but there’s always the sun inside of us that never extinguishes, and it has come out for me. And, hopefully, it will be a long day in the sun.”

Shakira recently received her first American Music Award for Best Latin Artist.  She is already on the road supporting this album, shaking things up worldwide.  The followup single, “Sale el sol/The sun comes out”, will be released shortly to showcase the current tour, which is produced by Live Nation. Please check out the Live Nation website for upcoming dates on the tour.

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