Maria del Mar Dominguez |
Málaga (EFE).- It was the year 1991 when Shakira was still unknown and her uncle, who was looking for a representative in Spain, gave a promotional cassette of the Colombian singer to an entertainment agent in Barcelona: he told him that he was not interested in the artist, but he has kept this “jewel” for more than 30 years.
At that time, Jaume Estruch, now director of Barcelona Animació, had his representative office in the Guinardó district of the Catalan capital, in the same building as Shakira’s uncle.
“One day my neighbor came down to see me in the office to tell me that his niece was a singer in Colombia and was looking for a representative in Spain. I kindly told him that I was not interested, but I kept the cassette, ”he told EFE.
The tape -of the TDK brand and a cover in which the artist appears leaning against a tree- contains nine songs that correspond to the album “Magia” that Shakira released at the age of 14, and includes songs composed by her such as “Sueños”, ” Love hunter”, “Dark glasses” or “I need you”.
Although she has kept it for three decades in which the Colombian has become a world star, now she has decided to sell the cassette on the Todocoleccion.net portal from Málaga.
“I like Shakira, but I’m not a fan, and surely there is someone who may be interested,” said Estruch, who has set a price of 1,200 euros for the item -sometimes there are auctions on this portal where it can be reduced-, that collectors or followers of the singer may like.
He did not see the business clearly
This artistic representative was 31 years old when he passed up the opportunity to promote the career of a teenager Shakira in Spain. “These are things that happen, an anecdote along the way,” he assures, although he admits that at times he has thought that “he might as well be there” with her.
Estruch’s company was “known” in Barcelona, a city that was at that time “in full swing” prior to the 1992 Olympics, but he believes that the singer’s uncle visited him simply “by proximity.”
She “was very young and Colombian, I didn’t see anything clear (the business)”, indicated the businessman, who recalled that that year, taking advantage of the pull of the song “I hope it rains coffee” by Juan Luis Guerra, they did bring a Cuban orchestra, which toured Spain for six months performing songs by the Dominican, as well as Rubén Blades and Celia Cruz.
That record was not commercially successful.
Shakira’s uncle’s visit to his office occurred at “a time when Sony released the album in Colombia and when they saw that it didn’t work, their parents began to move things around.”
That debut album was “disastrous” on a commercial level and few units were sold; then she “didn’t coo” that characterizes her, but the artist kept trying and “another manager told her to change the record,” she said.
Jaume Estruch and his wife Ruth did not give “more importance” to their neighbor’s visit, which they vaguely remember, until after the years the artist began to be successful and realized that the voice recorded on that almost forgotten tape it was that of Shakira herself.
Several years after receiving the cassette, the singer from Barranquilla released her third album (“Pies descalzos”, in 1996), which performed well throughout Latin America and marked the beginning of a successful musical career that continues today.
Estruch, for his part, has continued to work as an artistic representative and organizer of events, currently has offices in Barcelona and Andorra and manages various artists, including the magician Joaquín Matas.