The Aterciopelados singer chats with us about fashion's role in the music industry and her band's Latin GRAMMY win

Credit: Cortesía de Nacional Records

Andrea Echeverri, lead singer of Spanish rock band Aterciopelados, is worried about the way society treats women as sex symbols. But if critics want to bash her clothing selections, she's not going to let it get to her.

With 17 years of experience and two Latin GRAMMYs under their belt, Aterciopelados has become one of the greatest alternative bands in the Latin world. Known for their unique sound and profound lyrics, Echeverri and Héctor Buitrago, both 42, are as down-to-earth today as when they first started.

Echeverri talked exclusively to about how fashion is affecting the music world and the success of their Latin GRAMMY-winning album, Oye.

Were you expecting to win the GRAMMY for Best Alternative Album?
We've been nominated a bunch of times, but we only won once. You're happy to be nominated but you're not convinced you'll win, mostly because the GRAMMYs is such a massive event…We won in the end, but our stomachs hurt for awhile.

Tell us why you dressed like that on the green carpet…
First, there was a reason. Sometimes the GRAMMYs turns into a fashion show, and we wanted to let everyone know that we're not playing that game, and that that part of the music world doesn't interest us. Second, the Monday before the GRAMMYs there was a rock festival in a park, which is an important event in Bogotá, and those were the outfits we made to wear there. On our latest disc there's a song called “Al parque,” and it's a tribute to the festival. [The outfits] symbolized an important thing for us for the music movement in our country.

Does it bother you if you get criticized and put on the worst-dressed list?
No. I think it's cool that they don't like it. I don't like how they dress either. I think that when it comes to taste, there is no bad taste, and all taste is valid. The problem is when someone says, “I'm the one who looks good, and you look bad!”…Everyone's got his or her own style.

Talk to us about your song “Oye Mujer,” a controversial song about women…
Society today continues to become more and more visual, about the body, beauty and objects. We're forgetting about the soul and the spirit, which are really what satisfy us and makes us peaceful. The song talks about the fact that our bodies and sexuality are used all the time to sell shoes or sell a drink. They create a stereotype of beauty and make women feel bad for not looking like that, and we forget how powerful we are. Our best trait as women is that we're loving, it's our treasure, and they've got us in the gym and on diets. It's a very sad situation.

Tell us about your plans for the future…
We've got a concert in Barranquilla, and I have a ceramics exposition, which is something not many people know about me, I make ceramics. There's a movie coming out soon called Juana tenía el pelo de oro, and we did the main song for it. We're going to Puerto Rico, then Guadalajara, and to Mexico to play.