A Q&A with music artist Juanes

Just about anywhere in the world where Spanish is spoken, you’re bound to hear reference to a Juanes song. From the blaring headphones of a skateboard-riding teenager to the soft hum of an elderly señora, the 20-time Latin Grammy winner has made his mark across seemingly every musical platform to every romance language-speaking demographic imaginable.

Which is why, after spending most of this year in Europe and Latin America touring for his sixth studio album, “Loco de Amor,” the Medellín, Colombia, native is stopping at the Hard Rock’s Joint on Thursday for only his second U.S. show of the tour.

After dropping arguably the least successful album of his career, “P.A.R.C.E.,” in 2010, Juanes, whose real name is Juan Esteban Aristizábal, waited four years before releasing “Loco de Amor” in early 2014. The album has been significantly more popular, thanks to a renewed focus on topics closest to his heart, he told the Review-Journal.

Its three singles, “Mil Pedazos,” “La Luz” and “Una Flor,” approach the “concept of love in a very different way,” he said, referring to the different stages of a romantic relationship from “happiness, emotions and dreams” at the beginning, to “understanding” and partnership as time goes on.

In exploring that dynamic, Juanes, who won his first Latin Grammy in 2001, said he’s having his “best time ever” on stage. And the world is noticing. The 42-year-old, whose resume includes performances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, was recently invited to perform for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in September.

We caught up with Juanes for a quick chat in advance of Thursday’s show, where he’ll be performing with Mexican pop artist Ximena Sariñana. He shared his thoughts on his latest album, what he loves most about Las Vegas, playing for the pope, and looking back on a storied career.

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Chris Kudialis): You made Las Vegas the second stop on your “Loco de Amor” tour in the United States, after Bakersfield, Calif. Anything special about this city and what it means to you?

Juanes: So many good memories and special moments here. My first show here was in 1996, and I’ve been coming ever since. For me, Vegas is about the shows, the venues and all the talent. It’s just amazing when you come here and see so many talented people. All the shows and all the concerts. It’s the right city to go, perform and then have a good time.

You’re playing at The Joint on Thursday, do you have any other favorite venues here in the valley?

I have a few, but I really like The Joint, just because of the Hard Rock’s vibe, and the performance environment. Everyone is pretty close and everything works (laughs).

Can you talk a little bit about your inspiration for the album and how the tour’s going so far?

The inspiration for this album came from the concept of love in a very different way. When you’re in love it’s not just about happiness. Sometimes you get upset or you get depressed or you get crazy in love. I just wanted to write songs about all these different moments in relationships. For example, when you start a relationship, everything is about happiness, emotions and dreams. And then you start to realize you have to understand the other person and you have to work with this other person and then other elements come to the relationship. You learn in many different ways.

I’m having my best time ever performing because I really love this topic and also producing with Steve Wildey. He gave me some of the elements to perform live that I really like.

Since you released your first solo album in 2000, you’ve become one of the faces of Latin pop and you’re known all across the world. When you look back, does it ever seem surreal or are you ever surprised by the amount of success you’ve had in your career?

Yes, definitely, I look back and I see all these things that are happening to me, and I just feel so thankful with life and with music. And that’s something I never expected in my biggest dreams. I always dreamt having a career in music, but never in the way it happened. So I feel so full of energy and very thankful with life for this opportunity. Because I always dreamed about being on stage performing and it’s something I enjoy every day of my life.

Can you talk a little bit about what Ximena Sariñana brings to your show?

She has a new, fresh sound that she’s building, and her energy on stage is incredible. She’s a really cool star, she’s talented and she’s unique.

You’ve performed with everybody from Ximena to Juan Luis Guerra to Nelly Furtado and even Claudia Leitte. Do you have any favorites that you’ve most enjoyed playing with over these years?

I’m very happy working with Juan Luis Guerra. Very recently, I also worked with Juan Gabriel (laughs). It was incredible. But each artist is so different from one another.

After you work in a collaboration with somebody else, you get things from the other artist that you can do yourself and try to make different. It’s very healthy.

Even though you’re still making new hits, you’re known for playing the classics at your shows, like “La Camisa Negra,” “Mala Gente” and “A Dios Le Pido,” among others. What keeps you still playing those still so often, over a decade later?

I just like to make people happy at shows, I want to think as if I were a part of the audience. I’d want to know about new songs, but also hear the old stuff too, because I really love that. When I’m performing, I want to give the audience the best that we can, showing them both the new stuff and old stuff. And just combine those throughout the show.

You’re scheduled to play for Pope Francis next month in Philadelphia. Is that your first time performing for a pope?

Yes, the first time playing for a pope and I’m really excited. More than religion itself, I really feel that what he’s doing is just incredible. And I feel very honored to be part of that event.

You’re very involved in charities and giving back with your time, perhaps more than most artists. What drives you to do that?

Getting involved in music helped me to really understand and care about social issues. Back in the day I was part of a rock band in the ’80s and ’90s, Ekhymosis, and I used to write social lyrics all of the time. Once I became a solo artist, I released “Fijate Bien,” and I began to better understand the fatalities, statistics and different aspects of conflicts in Colombia. I wanted to be part of helping people change their lives. Because in my personal experience, art transformed my life. So there’s a way to give back something like that, I want to do it.

What can people looking forward to your show expect when they go see you on Thursday night?

This is one of our best shows ever because we’ve been practicing for years, and we’re having some of the most fun of our lives on stage. It’s 100 percent about the music, and with the great sounds and great lights, we’re going to be having a party. I hope people come out and see us.

Contact Chris Kudialis at ckudialis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283. Find him on Twitter: @kudialisrj.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like