Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Thing About Juanes

He’s a Colombian Rocker with a dark streak, a heart of gold and an unwavering style.

But how did Juanes get so big?

Born Juan Esteban Aristizabal in Medellin, Colombia, this reserved, unassuming young man seemed genuinely overwhelmed at the amount of attention and recognition he has been receiving lately. While he made a name for himself years ago in his native country as lead singer of the band Ekhymosis, his popularity has skyrocketed as of late with his first solo album reaching out to the Latino youth and music critics alike. This new phenomenon is known as Juanes, and this is his story.

By the time you read this, the Latin Grammys will have come and gone, in Los Angeles no less, and you will have undoubtedly seen and heard the musical blend of rhythm and soul that is Juanes. With seven nominations, the most of any other artist in 2001, Fijate Bien marks a breakthrough in a career that began with a seven-year old boy learning about music from his five brothers and his father.

Starting out as a youth playing guitar at local parties, Juanes had a great love for music as diverse as the music he plays today. He was hooked on everyone from Metallica and Led Zeppelin to Silvio Rodríguez and Los Visconti. At age 15, Juanes met bassist Andrés García, vocalist Alex Oquendo and drummer Esteban Mora. The four teens combined their love for rock and heavy metal with their musical savvy and formed the group Ekhymosis. The guys discovered that through music not only could they have a great time, but they could also tap into their spirituality and make social commentary about their lives in Colombia and youth in general. (LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE)

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