Meet Dubai's Own Shakira: Fatiniza

18 Apr 2012

Rock chick Fatiniza dishes on being compared to Shakira and the UAE’s live music scene

They’re both Columbian, they’re both blonde bombshells and they’ve both sung in Spanish – so it’s really no surprise that Fatiniza has been dubbed the UAE’s Shakira! Dubai-based Fatiniza Gamarra Ponzon may be known as a lookalike but her rock music is all her own. She’s a songwriter, a mother and a performer with a reputation for fiery stage shows and has been nominated for awards in the region including the Time Out Dubai Nightlife Award for Best Artist in 2010. Her first album Confusion went straight into the Virgin Music Top 10 in Dubai and in August, Fatiniza will launch her second album with parties in Columbia and Dubai. Read on to find out more!

You’re constantly being likened to Shakira, does this ever get annoying?
Not at all. Being compared to one of the hottest, strongest and biggest figures in the entertainment world is a compliment and can be useful sometimes!

Shakira draws attention to herself by dancing and wearing skimpy outfits. How far would you go for your art
Everyone has a style that fits their genre. I like wearing hot pants, but only ‘cause I feel comfortable while moving up and down during my performance. I think seduction sells but I just hope to seduce with my music, my voice and with my strength on stage.

Was your debut album Confusion titled as a play on the Shakira/Fatiniza similarities?[laughs] Not at all! The album was named Confusion because it’s the title of the first song I wrote. I’d love to clarify that Shakira and I share lots of similarities but there are also differences. I know who I am, what I am, what I like and where I’m going.

But can you shake your hips like Shakira?
I’d be lying if I said I could!

You wrote a song called Out of Control, what was it about?
Out of Control is the English translation for confusion. It’s based on a relationship where a woman can’t get away from a man who doesn’t deserve her love. She doesn’t want to be in that relationship and things get out of control – but she can’t escape or leave because she loves him.

You’re a rock chick, but look very natural. What do you think of celebs like Taylor Momsen who try their hardest to get the look with makeup and shocking clothes?
I don’t think too much about other artists. Taylor Momsen has her style and if she thinks it fits her music – good for her. I am completely different and my style is extremely comfortable. I feel it fits my music. I don’t need crazy evil contact lenses to show I’m a tough rock chick. You will see that on stage!

Is there a lot of competition between singers in the UAE?
There are a lot of good talents in the UAE who deserve attention. The rock scene is getting bigger but I’m not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance. The industry is small here and most of the rock/alternative artists know each other quite well – we hang out sometimes and we all use the same rehearsal studios and producers. We respect each other’s creativity, so there’s no room for competition.

If you could be anyone else for a day who would you be?
I never thought about it – I love my life! It’s pretty hectic being a mother and an artist and trying to balance them both. But if I have to answer the question... if I could be someone else I’d probably be my mother in-law!

What can you tell us about your new album?
All I can say is it’s absolutely awesome in a different way from the first one. It has truly evolved and has a better sound. I thought more about the public and my fans and what they would want to hear – it’s more radio friendly too! I feel I’ve developed more as an artist and I have been really involved in the production part of it. My new album is like a menu, there are songs for different tastes with one thing in common – rock!

For Fatiniza’s upcoming gig dates check out, and for more info visit

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