Pop music has Shakira. Urban music has the likes of Karol G. On the other hand, rock music in Spanish has Andrea Echeverri. The Colombian trailblazer has continuously imprinted her unique voice and artistry on everything she does. This is her story.
Andrea Echeverri in a nutshell
Born in 1965, Echeverri has stood out among Bogotá women since she was young due to her interests and perspectives on life. As a young girl, she wanted to be a singer. She says it probably stemmed from watching her mother singing and playing the guitar at family gatherings (DW, 2021).
Performing remained a hobby for years, as she enrolled in a top private university in Bogotá to pursue an arts degree. Echeverri credits her time there as pivotal in her identity as an artist. She grew closer to peculiar aesthetics, developed her creative voice, fell in love with ceramics as an art form, and found books and stances that resonated with her feelings regarding womanhood (Echeverri, n.d.).
By the early 90s, she met her musical partner, Héctor Buitrago, and began playing at a local downtown alternative bar as Delia y los Aminoácidos. By 1993, they became Aterciopelados –a band that would be a staple name in the Colombian and Latin American rock music scene (ColombiaCo, n.d.).
However, Echeverri is always more than one single thing. She is a singer, an artist, and a creative. She is also a woman and a mother of two children.
Her music career
During a time when many rock bands in Latin America were sticking to mainstream success formulas, Echeverri and Buitrago dared to tackle heavier subject matters. Their songs talked about critical issues in Colombian society, like social inequality, political corruption, war, and sexism (López, 2020).
Aterciopelados debuted in 1993 with ‘Con el corazón en la mano’. It did well, but their sophomore album put them in the Latin American rock map. ‘El Dorado’, from 1995, spawned renowned hits ‘Bolero falaz’, ‘Florecita rockera’, and ‘La estaca’ (Jaramillo, 2019).
The album also helped them reach new heights of popularity, like selling over 120 thousand copies in the region. Or opening for superstar Argentinian band Soda Stereo or Spain’s Héroes del Silencio (Fuentes, 2020).
Echeverri and Buitrago garnered further international recognition with their third album, 1996’s ‘La pipa de la paz’ (Jaramillo, 2019).
Their following work over the years earned them Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations, as well as triumphs at the latter awards. Additionally, they put out independent albums exploring their individual interests (Jaramillo, 2019).
The voice of an artist
Andrea Echeverri pinpoints Ella Fitzgerald and Gustavo Cerati as her major artistic influences (Martello, 1997). She says her voice is who she is. Not only the instrument itself but also what she states and represents (DW, 2021).
Nevertheless, she believes music to be more of a celebration than an occupation (Martello, 1997). Maybe that perspective supports her aversion of show business and her criticism of society’s cult of youth (DW, 2021).
She has carved her place among renowned Colombian females with her solo work, which dives into ancestral, environmental, feminist, and pacifist themes (ColombiaCo, n.d.).
Andrea Echeverri, the ceramist
Echeverri considers ceramics as one of the loves of her life (Echeverri, n.d.). Her talent and dedication allowed her to show her work at national and international venues over the years (Jaramillo, 2019).
She says her pieces are an act of freedom and resistance. With them, she looks to stand against consumerism and to highlight women’s rights and dignity (Rey, 2019).
As shown here, Andrea Echeverri knows what she wants to say. She is also not afraid to say it using different art forms as vehicles for her vision.
ColombiaCo. (n.d.). Andrea Echeverri, la voz del rock colombiano. https://www.colombia.co/pais-colombia/talento-de-colombia/cantantes-colombianos/andrea-echeverri/
DW. (2021). Andrea Echeverri: La creatividad me salva. https://www.dw.com/es/andrea-echeverri-la-creatividad-me-salva/av-53277851
Echeverri, A. (n.d.). “El lugar donde forjé mi identidad” Andrea Echeverri sobre Los Andes. Universidad de los Andes. Facultad de Arte y Humanidades. https://facartes.uniandes.edu.co/egresados/andrea-echeverri-uniandes/
Fuentes, J. (2020). ¿Qué fue de Andrea Echeverri, la cantante del grupo Aterciopelados? Así está hoy la intérprete de “Bolero falaz”. Guioteca. https://www.guioteca.com/los-90/que-fue-de-andrea-echeverri-la-cantante-del-grupo-aterciopelados-asi-esta-hoy-la-interprete-de-bolero-falaz/
Jaramillo, A. (2019). Andrea Echeverri. Banrecultural. https://enciclopedia.banrepcultural.org/index.php/Andrea_Echeverri
López, A. (2020). Andrea Echeverri. Una rockera de Flower Power cuyas raíces se abrieron paso. Women’s Media Center. https://womensmediacenter.com/idare/andrea-echeverri-a-flower-power-rocker-whose-roots-broke-ground/espanol
Martello, F. (1997). Andrea Echeverri en 20 preguntas. Revista Diners. https://revistadiners.com.co/cultura/71758_lo-que-siempre-ha-querido-saber-de-andrea-echeverri-en-20-preguntas/
Rey, A. L. (2019). Andrea Echeverri y su resistencia a través del ceramismo. Canal Trece. https://canaltrece.com.co/noticias/andrea-echeverri-ceramicas/