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OOTB charity single gets Shakira seal of approval

Oxford University a cappella group Out of the Blue’s take on ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira has been endorsed by the Columbian musician after it was released earlier this week.

The single, released on Tuesday in aid of Oxford children’s hospice Helen and Douglas House, also includes excerpts from the Shakira songs ‘Waka Waka’ and ‘Whenever, Wherever’. The single has so far received over 1.4 million views on YouTube.

Shakira Tweeted her approval at the single on Wednesday, after Gay Times ran a piece on it.

Out of the Blue member Marco Alessi told Cherwell, “The staff at Gay Times really kicked it all off for us, so we’re incredibly grateful to them, and Shakira’s tweet is crazy. Unfortunately it’s not so simple, but if 0.5% of her followers donated fifty pence we would make £65,000 for the charity!”

Alessi continued, “We chose to make a video for ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ because it’s one of the sillier, more upbeat songs from our set, and has always been a hit at Helen and Douglas House when we’ve performed it there.”

He remarked, “Although we wish children had no reason to be at Helen and Douglas House, unfortunately this is not the case and so it’s great that the prevailing atmosphere is immensely optimistic and the staff there are tireless and wonderful. Our Shakira medley definitely reflects that best.

“We chose Helen and Douglas House because the work they do is absolutely incredible. They offer free respite and end-of-life care to children and young adults with severely life-limiting illnesses, and bereavement support for their families. We visit regularly so we’ve got to know the staff and we’ve spent time with some of the families staying there and we’re constantly overwhelmed with how positive and high-spirited they all are. The work the hospice does is really extraordinary.” 

Likewise, Out of the Blue singer Ollie Nicholls commented, “We tried to be quite unexpected. You wouldn’t expect a load of Oxford boys to start becoming Latina dancers. We tried juxtaposing the location of Oxford and dress with the song.”

Ollie Nicholls added, “All the hype feels weird. When it gets so widely shared, it’s quite nerve racking, but we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. I think people are more forgiving when it’s for charity; they can overlook the fact we can’t dance. That’s something I’ve not stressed enough actually. I don’t want the fact that it’s for charity to be lost in all the hype about Shakira. The charity is Helen and Douglas house, who we’ve been supporting for over eight years.”

Out of the Blue have raised £35,000 for Helen and Douglas House since they began supporting the charity in 2006.

The single is available to download from Bandcamp.

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