In an exclusive interview with this Diario Juanes tells what the Nightingale of America meant for his life.
Juanes’ recent record delivery is not only a journey to his origins, it is also a journey through the various genres that he can very easily master. On his disk origins He is a sabinero, a classic rocker, a tango player and even a rocker; but in all these versions its stamp and its essence is present. All with a purpose, to pay tribute to artists and songs that influenced him before his solo career, including Julio Jaramillo.
In an interview with this newspaper, Juanes tells what hel Nightingale of America meant for his life.
Juanes pays tribute to Julio Jaramillo on his new album ‘Origen’
The disc includes Our oath popularized by the Ecuadorian Julio Jaramillo, in what way did this theme and interpretation of the Nightingale of America?
I tell you that it has a lot to do with the origin of my family, of my house. My father and mother come from a town called Carolina del Principe, but we always live in the center of Medellín. Living in the center of Medellín meant not going out because there were always many people and cars passing by. My house was very musical and my dad was always there singing, and Julio Jaramillo, Carlos Gardel, Lucho Gatica, Los Visconti were part, let’s say, of the soundtrack diary of my house.
I loved the music of Julio Jaramillo, whenever we went to this town that I mention, because it played in all the canteens and everywhere when we went to play billiards; I was about 12 or 13 years old and I played billiards with my brothers and we always played those songs.
Before starting the source project I obviously did a playlist super long and every time I played songs and listened to the first chord, it took me immediately to that place. This song of Our oathBesides being beautiful lyrics, very visceral, sung like a nightingale as this man (Julio Jaramillo) sang, beautiful, honestly part of my life.
When I was little I thought that Julio Jaramillo was Colombian because I had no idea that there was something beyond my city, but then I obviously realized.
On May 28 his album was released Source and the exclusive special of Amazon Prime Video in collaboration with Amazon Music, why was it necessary for you, as an artist, to make the audiovisual in which you share the journey of your creation process from the beginning?
In the pandemic we began to conceptualize the entire process, it is directed by Kacho López, a Puerto Rican director who is a friend of ours, and José Quillán is also in that part of the conceptualization of the visual. Basically from the last few years to here, personally, I love making the visual part of music because nowadays most of us consume music on platforms and having a visual part that supports music is something very very good; And we wanted to go to a much more creative place, even quite risky, which was this whole concept of leaving in different eras of music on television.
That’s why we dressed like the Beatles for the first time they went to America to play in the United States at the show Ed Sullivan, you recreate it. The same with the 70s, the music, the hippie fashion, everything that was aesthetic at that time, the sound, everything. The 80s were very important for glam, rock, which began to come out as in that time. We wanted to give it that contrast and invite composer friends and legends: Juan Luis Guerra, Joaquín Sabina, Fito Páez and Ziggy Marley (Bob Marley’s son).
For you, as an artist, what added value does it have to be able to capture these songs that marked you in childhood?
It is super important because it is as if you put on the dress of another composer, another song, another artist to suit you; that’s a very crazy, very incredible thing. I saw, for example, how Metallica did it in the 80’s in the Garage Days that was pure covers and that I did not know what they were covers until later. Or when Gun’s n Roses pulled out Knockin’ on heaven’s door, I thought it was theirs, but it really was Bob Dylan’s. In the end it is part of the process of musical influence and how those songs have influenced you so much to the point that you end up becoming a musician; that is why this process is important to me. Also because it helped me make that journey towards childhood, maturing, remembering the essence, remembering why I decided to dedicate myself to this.
When you sing a song with friends on a party it is a very different thing than taking the song apart, getting into the structure, understanding the melody, the harmonic structure and reinterpreting it from the inside, it is as if it came back from you. It is a very cool exercise that I recommend for any musician, seriously.
I was lucky to have finished this album last year, in March, which was the initial plan, but in March (2020) COVID-19 just broke out, we all stayed locked up and since that time, already a year two months, I have composing new music, my new songs coming out next year.
It was very crazy to have finished that album all fresh, and getting to compose the new music was a privilege, I would never have imagined it that way, so it has been very special.
What have you been able to rediscover about yourself as a musician?
More than rediscovering, I have learned. I have started to study. When you are on tour, in normal life, it is too busy, you are always traveling or in a hotel, so there is no time to sit an entire afternoon with music, and I have had time for that and to study musical harmony, singing, poetry. I have had the calm to make new music, but that it sounds different and that it conserves the essence; not to mention the time with the family, with the wife, the children. It is very crazy because our life is not to spend at home.
When was the last time you were able to take time to spend with your family?
This year of COVID-19 obviously and hence it may be that in 2013 it had a time, the rest has been intermittent; I go, I come, I go, I come. I have never had (time) … since I was 15 years old, my whole life has been traveling. Having this moment has been rare, but positive.
How have you rediscovered your followers through digital platforms?
All technology if one handles it wisely can be positive. I think it’s cool to be able to know who your fans are, what they like, where they live, because all of that is easy to see. Above all, you have your own voice and can connect directly with them to tell them what you are doing. (E)