Ojos Así

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"Ojos Así"
Single by Shakira
from the album Dónde Están los Ladrones?
Released July 23, 1999 (1999-07-23)
Format CD single
Recorded 1998; Crescent Moon Studios, Miami, Florida
Genre
Length 3:57
Label Sony Latin
Writer(s)
  • Shakira Mebarak
  • Pablo Flores
  • Javier Garza
Producer(s) Emilio Estefan
Shakira singles chronology
  • "Ojos Así"
  • (1999)

"Ojos Así" ("Eyes Like Those") is a song by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira for her fourth studio album ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998). It was released on 23 July 1999 by Sony Latin as the fourth single from the record. The song was written by Shakira, Pablo Flores, and Javier Garza, while production was handled by Emilio Estefan. Musically, "Ojos Así" incorporates elements of middle eastern and world music. An English-language translation titled "Eyes Like Yours" was included on Shakira's fifth studio album and first English-language record Laundry Service (2001).

The track reached numbers 9 and 22 on the U.S. Billboard Latin Pop Songs and Latin Songs component charts. It reached the peak position on the Romanian Singles Chart, and performed moderately in other European territories. The song has additionally been performed during six of the seven concert tours Shakira has held to date.

Background and composition[edit]

A sample of "Ojos Así" by Shakira, which incorporates prominent elements of middle eastern and world music.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Ojos Así" contains interludes of Arabic chants. It is based in the Phrygian dominant scale to help lend to the song's famous Arabian feel. Shakira herself sings in Arabic in the album version, single version, and various remixes of the song.

"Ojos Así" became extremely popular in Latin American countries and is one of Shakira's biggest hits in Spanish. It was also one of Shakira's smash hits in Romania.[1]

Ojos Así's "Single Version", used for a version of the song's music video and promotional singles, contains a somewhat different introduction from the album version, replacing the three notes of accordion with one note on the violin in the song's introduction. The Single Version also has a slightly altered, more electronic arrangement. There are several other official remixes of the song, including the lengthy "Thunder Mix" and extra-Arabian "Mirage Mix". Other official remixes include the popular Meme remixes and the Desert Dub. Various other unofficial remixes also exist.

Shakira's 2001 English language debut album, Laundry Service, features an English version of the song titled "Eyes Like Yours", which is believed to have been recorded around the same time as "Ojos Así" when Shakira was considering translating her Spanish material. "Eyes Like Yours" contains no differences from "Ojos Así" besides each song's respective language (both still feature the Arabic). The rough, yet literal (in most places) translation of Ojos Así was written by Shakira and Gloria Estefan, and was most likely recorded as far back as in 1998. "Eyes Like Yours" has an unreleased music video that was filmed around the same time as "Ojos Así"'s (as Shakira looks the same in both videos). A clip of this unseen video was released on a promotional CD for "Laundry Service", only a minute in length, and containing very few shots of Shakira singing in English.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Ojos Así" features Shakira performing the song for a crowd. In the background is a giant neon eye, which shoots out sparks and catches fire toward the end of the video. There are also clips of Shakira belly dancing in front of a dark purple background, standing in water. In these clips, there are snakes painted down her arms and red lines painted on her head. The video uses the "Single Mix" version of the song (though versions of the video with the album mix also exist). Featured instruments in the video include an Arabic string instrument with a bowl under the head, and a Danelectro Longhorn electric bass guitar. Shakira's long-time musical partner and band manager Tim Mitchell can be seen playing guitar in the video. The video won the International Viewer's Choice Award (North) at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, while it was also nominated for the same award in the South category and for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.[2]

On 24 April 2012, an alternate version of the video surfaced online. Uploaded by the video's director, Mark Kohr, on video sharing site Vimeo, this new version was in widescreen, revealing more of the original picture, and also contained several short, but noticeable, different scenes from the original full-screen, 4:3 version.

Live performances[edit]

Shakira performing "Ojos Así" during Rock in Rio, 2008.

After multiple promotional TV performances for Dónde Están los Ladrones? on Spanish talk shows, in which Shakira simply lip-synced to the album version of Ojos Así (playback was common for such shows then), Shakira completely re-worked the song for her MTV Unplugged in 1999. This new, fully live version of the song, the finale of the concert, was much quieter than the original version and its remixes, and it included an extended introduction after the main Middle Eastern beginning, and even a dance break with Middle Eastern drums, eliminating Shakira singing in Arabic at the same time. This version of the song set the basic structural standard for future versions.

The Tour Anfibio version of "Ojos Así" was not very different from Unplugged's. The main differences between the two were Anfibio's brief, mysterious violin solo before the main intro, and the presence of an electric guitar or two since Unplugged's acoustic restrictions were obviously not in place.

The Tour of the Mongoose's version took the Unplugged/Anfibio version of the song, and built upon it dramatically. The pre-song introduction (which was also the introduction to the concert itself, as "Ojos Así" was the opening number), was fast instrumental rock that would quiet down to a somewhat long violin solo, which then would lead into "Ojos Así" itself after an immense instrumental build-up. The song's second intro (after the main Middle Eastern one) featured new choreography and a more defined beat, and the overall instrumentation was much fuller and rich-sounding, breaking more away from Unplugged's acoustic sound. However, the version still stayed true to the song's Middle Eastern flair (including an original Middle Eastern melody being played along with the drums of the dance break, which also had slightly altered choreography), though interestingly, the accordion in the middle of the verses was absent. Shakira would wear tight black leather pants, a black belly dancing scarf, and a black bra.

The Oral Fixation Tour's version (an encore after the main setlist) also had a pre-song intro, using popular the Arabic tune "Enta Omri" by famous Egyptian singer Om Kalthoum. Shakira danced to "Enta Omri" with a purple veil (this intro is thus known as the "Veil Dance") with her hair tied up in a bun. "Enta Omri" would then become Ojos Asi with a bang as Shakira would throw the veil up into the air and spin off-stage as "Ojos Así"'s first intro played. After letting her hair down, what followed wasn't very different from the Tour of the Mongoose's version of the song, beyond the accordion in the middle of the verses being restored. Shakira would wear purple pants, a golden/purple hip scarf, and a silver or rainbow bra.

Shakira's The Sun Comes Out World Tour featured a dramatically reworked version of the song. Although the structure was quite similar to the song's live versions since MTV Unplugged, the instrumentation was quite different. After a solo by violinist Una Palliser, the song would begin, the first main intro was quite similar to previous tours. However, as the beat kicked in, the drums would be much heavier, and as the song progressed, the instrumentation would become much more electronic. Gone were the ouds, Middle Eastern drums, and accordions, and halfway through the tour, the entire second verse and chorus of the song were removed. The tour's version also featured a new dance break, using excerpts from the piece "Move" by Middle Eastern DJ Said Mrad. Finally, Shakira would sing the chorus twice at the end of the song, instead of just once. Before its removal, the tour's signature prop, a giant head behind the stage, would feature mystical eyes and patterns during the song. Shakira would wear a black skirt, an animal-print skirt over that, a silver belly dancing scarf, and a skin-colored bra.

Notable performances of "Ojos Así" include Shakira's performance of the song at the Latin Grammy Awards of 2000, in which she performed a slightly shortened, yet showstopping, rendition similar to the Tour Anfibio version. Also to be noted is the version at the Rock in Rio music festival in 2008, which featured a reworked, more Middle Eastern instrumentation, and a featured Middle Eastern vocalist (a similar version was also performed at a New Year's Eve celebration in Abu Dhabi later that year). At the two 2010 Rock in Rio festivals in Lisbon and Madrid, and also at the legendary Glastonbury Festival (also in 2010), the song opened the concerts with a new Middle Eastern intro. At Glastonbury, the song was shortened similar to how it would eventually be during The Sun Comes Out World Tour.

Track listings[edit]

CD single[3]
  1. "Ojos Así" (Album Version) – 3:57
  2. "Ojos Así" (Thunder Mix Radio Edit) – 3:52
  3. "Ojos Así" (Thunder Mix) – 10:15
  4. "Ojos Así" (Desert Mix) – 9:31
  5. "Ojos Así" (Mirage Mix) – 5:34
Colombia Maxi-single[4]
  1. "Ojos Así" (Thunder Mix) – 10:15
  2. "Ojos Así" (Thunder Mix Radio Edit) – 3:52
  3. "Ojos Así" (Desert Dub) – 9:31
  4. "Ojos Así" (Mirage Mix) – 5:34

Awards[edit]

Shakira won a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance with "Ojos Así" in 2000.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1999–2000) Peak
position
US Hot Latin Songs (Billboard)[5] 22
US Latin Pop Songs (Billboard)[6] 9
Chart (2003) Peak
position
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[7] 45
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[9] 16
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 27
France (SNEP)[11] 15
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 33

References[edit]

External links[edit]