Colombian singer Shakira and Barcelona soccer player Gerard Piqué announced the end of their 12-year relationship in a brief 26-word statement in June. Now, almost five months later, the 45-year-old pop star has released her first song since the breakup, Montonía (or, Monotony), which she performs with Puerto Rican singer Ozuna.
Fans believe the new track provides clues about the reasons for the couple’s decision to split. In the song, Shakira sings of the importance of self-love, with lyrics such as “I love you, but I love myself more” and “you left me for your narcissism” – this is taken to be a reference to Piqué, who, shortly after the breakup, confirmed he was in a relationship with 23-year-old student, Clara Chía.
More hints about the separation were also dropped ahead of the song’s release. After announcing the release of the new track on October 6, Shakira steadily built expectations. On her Instagram account, which has almost 77 million followers, she shared a video of a man trampling on what appeared to be a human heart, an image of a heart being stabbed by a knife and an acoustic version of the song, in which she sings: “It wasn’t your fault, nor was it mine, monotony was to blame.”
A month before the breakup was official, Shakira also released Te Felicito (I Congratulate You), a song featuring Rauw Alejandro that speaks about infidelity and its impact on the victim.
In her first interview since breaking up with Piqué, Shakira told Elle magazine that she was in “one of her most difficult and darkest hours.” She added that music had become her “lifesaver,” and that for her, writing songs was “like going to a psychologist.” Based on these statements, it could be assumed that the new song is her way of processing the breakup, and the reasons behind it.
In the Elle interview, Shakira also said she sidelined her music career for Piqué's sake. “He would either end his contract with the Barcelona soccer team and move with me to the United States, where my career is, or I would have to do that. One of the two had to make that effort and sacrifice. And I did it. I put my career in second place and I came to Spain to support him, so he could play soccer and win championships. And it was an act of love,” she confessed.
The two are now trying to reach an agreement about the custody of their two children, Milan and Sasha. It’s a difficult task given their conflicting interests: Piqué wants to stay in Spain, and Shakira wants to move to the United States. If they don’t reach a deal, it will be up to the courts to decide what happens.