April 28, 2011


Juanes lets his music do the talking: No translation required (Jed Gottlieb,, April 8, 2011, Boston Herald)

A sort of Colombian Bruce Springsteen/Bono/John Mayer mash-up, Juanes has won a record-setting 17 Latin Grammys, sold more than 15 million albums worldwide and last month packed the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Unlike Shakira, the 38-year-old may not be shaking his hips with Wyclef Jean on “American Idol,” but he’s connected deeply with another massive demographic: America’s nearly 40 million Spanish speakers.

It’s a pretty wild accomplishment for an ex-headbanger who grew up obsessed with Metallica.

“Yes, my favorite band of all time, Metallica,” he said, laughing over the phone from his home in Miami. “‘Kill ’Em All’ changed my life. But back in the ’80s, when I was playing metal music something changed in me. I was missing something. I started listing to the Latin folk music my parents listened to when I was young. It was the start of a journey, trying to make those roots mine.” [...]

Juanes isn’t naive. He knows a good rock song can only do so much. But he’s hoping music can kick-start our humanity and solve some problems.

“It’s a complicated moment for immigrants now,” he said. “Back (when I arrived) it was a little bit different. There wasn’t this pressure on the Latin community. When I see the news, when I listen to people that come to me with immigration problems, I understand the government is worried. But I see the Latin communities as such an important engine for this economy. These are good people who just want a good life for their families (and) this is an immigrant culture, a culture where immigrants are so important.”

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Posted by at April 28, 2011 6:10 PM

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