For me, music is more than the art of arranging sounds; it is the study of one's self. Every time you write a song and every time you make a record you are reflecting a period of your life -everything that is on your mind, everything that is affecting you, everything that is making you happy. It forces you to explore yourself, to question your beliefs, and to honestly develop your own identity apart from popular culture or fashion trends.
My solo album Andrea Echeverri was inspired by my personal experiences as a mother and lover. Motherhood was such a powerful experience both physically and emotionally, that I could not write about anything else. The transition from edgy political rock to songs of motherhood felt natural. The inspiration was everywhere. The album speaks to the bond shared between a mother and child - a love that cannot be articulated through words, but only through music. My mother described it as a love you cannot imagine. You only feel it, and when it happens, you understand. When I was pregnant, I was no longer concerned with my needs and wishes, but those of my daughter. When I felt life growing inside me, I was ready to feel pain and sacrifice myself to someone else. I was shocked at this innate generosity.
The song "Lactochampeta" is a play on words; lacto refers to lactation, while champeta refers to a Columbian genre of music. The song celebrates lactation while satirizing the hyper sexualization of women in Champeta music. Champeta is very sexual, straight to the point and lacks poetry. Breastfeeding was the sexiest thing I have ever done. The song is ironic and funny.
Throughout my musical career, my gender has never carried any sexual implications. My dress and movements are not the focal point. I let the music speak for itself. In Aterciopelados, we treat each other with respect - as individuals who collaborate and enjoy making music. Many years ago, I decided I did not want popular culture to dictate how I lead my life. I decided not to diet or go to the gym. When I was pregnant and huge, I felt beautiful, important, and incredibly feminine. It was a wonderful revelation. I fell in love with the woman I truly was and realized the women plastered on billboards do not embody womanhood at all.
Being a mother continues to shape my lyrics and my life. A number of songs were written for my daughter in Aterciopelados newest album "Oye." The song talks about money as one of the biggest problems in the world. It is the root of ecological problems and sexual objectification. I want her to understand, that money is important and necessary, but it has a place and shouldn't be bigger than what it is. I also want her to understand that women are not pieces of meat. Women are loving and autonomous.
My daughter has made me reflect on my relationship with my own mother. My mother had a beautiful voice, but in Colombia, it wasn't socially acceptable for a woman to pursue a career outside the home. At a young age I decided not to share her fate. I chose to focus on my artistic career instead of being a housewife and a mother. But after I accomplished everything I wanted in my career other forces took hold. I drank Ayahuasca, a medicinal healing and cleansing tea with psychoactive powers used for Shamanic purposes. On one particular occasion, amidst bouts of vomiting from the tea, a vision of an angel told me I should have baby. Perhaps it was my biological clock; but something told me I was ready for a new beautiful adventure.