Juanes just arrived a few hours ago after a overnight bus ride from Berlin to Amsterdam where he will do a concert in the Melkweg . “I’m not a fan of air planes so we tour by bus”. He drinks a coffee while he hangs on a couch in the dressing room. “Unfortunately it’s not cafe Colombiano, because that is muy rico“, Juanes says half in English and Spanish. The whole interview will be bilingual. Me asking questions in English and he answering in Spanish or English. When it comes to singing, he will always prefer Spanish though. “Lyrics are important for me. So I have to express myself in my native language.”
Un dia normal
It’s his first European tour and his first visit to Amsterdam. The concert is sold out. “That’s amazing, my album ‘Un Dia Normal‘ has just been released here. Most people don’t know me yet. A year earlier Un Dia Normal (a normal day) was already a huge success in Latin America. Isn’t it strange to promote an ‘old’ record? Well, in some way it is, but I’m very happy of course that people in Europe have the opportunity now to listen to it.
Vagabundo por el mundo
Juanes (short for Juan Esteban) has mixed feelings about touring. I love to be on stage, be able to bring my music to audiences in different countries. But I miss my country and my family a lot when I’m far from home. When I’m on tour I feel like a vagabond .. un vagabundo por el mundo.
Before Juanes started a solo career he was the lead singer of the heavy metal band Ehkymosis . “Yeah man, that type of music was quite popular among the youth in those days. It was a way to express our anger and frustrations.
A dualistic life
Juanes came of age in a period in which Colombia suffered from violent actions by domestic terrorists, paramilitary forces and the cocaine mafia. “It’s a dualistic life”, he says. Colombia, and in particular my hometown Medellin is a really great place to party and have fun. On the other hand, when you woke up on a monday morning after a weekend of celebration, you could be pulled back into reality by the news that another terrible thing had happened. I’ve lost a cousin and a friend in those times. ”
Traditional Colombian Folk Music
“Music is always important in Columbia. I grew up in a musical family. Me and my brothers always played music together. Lots of traditional songs. On the album I pay tribute to a Joe Arroyo song La Noche I like the mix of folklore with rock music. This is the musical road I travel.”