Ojos Asi

Album: Donde Estan Los Ladrones? (1998)

Songfacts®:

  • It's love at first sight for Shakira on "Ojos Asi" (or "Eyes Like That") when she looks into the dark eyes of a mysterious man. Despite traveling the far reaches of the world, she's never seen eyes like that.
  • This worldbeat dance tune evolved out of a short Middle Eastern track by music partners DJ Pablo Flores and Javier Garza. They passed it along to Emilio Estefan, who was producing Donde Estan Los Ladrones? Flores told Remezcla: "Shakira had heard the instrumental track. She was of Lebanese descent and one of the plans she had in her life was to make a song paying tribute to that part of her. I remember she told us, 'This track in particular isn't what I'm looking for - I want something more up-tempo - but you've got the right sounds and this is the way I want to go.'"

    Flores and Garza, along with Estefan, went back to the drawing board and came up with "Ojos Asi," while their original groove ended up on Mandy Moore's 2001 song "One-Sided Love."
  • Shakira insisted on bringing in real Middle Eastern musicians to make the track as authentic as possible. "Not someone trying to sound Middle Eastern, but people who were really experts," Flores explained. "It was an amazing experience because the percussionists would come in, there would be musicians with all of these ouds and string instruments, and we would just add tracks on top of tracks. We even had this girl come in to do the tiny finger bells, and [Arab] women make these high-pitched trills with their tongues [ululations], so we had her do that, too. There's a part in the song at the beginning where you can hear the girl doing that in this really high voice."
  • Aside from singing in her native Spanish, this also features Shakira singing a verse in Arabic.
  • The music video, directed by Mark Kohr, finds Shakira showing off her trademark belly dancing skills and performing for a crowd against the backdrop of a giant neon eye that catches fire. The clip won the International Viewer's Choice Award (North) at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • An English version of this song titled "Eyes Like Yours" appeared on Shakira's first English-language album, Laundry Service.
  • The music video was the first one Shakira made in America, and because she wasn't well known there, her label, Sony, didn't have directors beating down the door to work with her. Mark Kohr asked to work with her after seeing a poster of her and thinking he had great energy and style. Kohr had done popular videos for Alanis Morissette ("Hand In My Pocket") and No Doubt ("Just A Girl") that proved to Sony he knew how to shoot female singers in a way that brings out their strength and style without objectifying them. Kohr is also of Latin American heritage.

    The video was based on Burning Man. "We do an all-night festival thing where there is a fire event at the end," Kohr told Songfacts. "There's a big eye we made and in the video, the story is that it catches fire and everyone still continues to dance. That was kind of like the Burning Man thing where it culminates in the burn."

    According to Kohr, Shakira was really nervous.
  • Shakira performed a reworked version, including an extended intro and dance break, for her 1999 MTV Unplugged segment at the Grand Ballroom in New York City.
  • This earned Shakira a Latin Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2000.
  • This peaked at #9 on the Latin Pop Songs chart.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet SprocketSongwriter Interviews

The "All I Want" singer went through a long depression, playing some shows when he didn't want to be alive.

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Pam TillisSongwriter Interviews

The country sweetheart opines about the demands of touring and talks about writing songs with her famous father.