Juanes during his talk at the Hay Festival in Cartagena. Ricardo Maldonado Rozo (EFE)
Diego Londoño received a message from Juanes three and a half years ago.
"Do you dare to write my biography?" asked the Colombian singer.
Londoño immediately accepted the proposal of his idol, whose real name is Juan Esteban Aristizábal, and the result was presented this Saturday at the Hay Festival in Cartagena, in an event sponsored by EL PAÍS AMERICA.
In a talk moderated by the editor-in-chief of EL PAÍS in Colombia, Juan Esteban Lewin, the singer and the journalist explained Juanes' creative process
: 1,577,836,800 seconds
That is the exact number of seconds of someone who lives half a century, just the age that the author of The Black Shirt
turned last year
Juanes is the youngest of seven brothers in a family from Medellín.
“From a very young age, music was the way to relate to the universe.
At home it sounded like everything: Gardel, Los Panchos.
He had a very strong connection.
That was the beginning.
Then I had an epiphany at eight, nine years old, ”explained the singer, who from the first minute put the public who attended the talk in his pocket.
A university professor told him that he was a student who attended in body, but not in soul.
His soul was in the guitar: "That's where I projected myself."
It soon became clear that he was going to be an artist and not an academic.
Londoño has interviewed 50 people, one for each year of the life of the artist who has shared the stage with the Rolling Stones.
Juanes lived on Argentina street.
His father, Javier Aristizábal, would get up early and hum a tune in the shower that would wake up the whole family.
"He was a chubby little boy," joked the biographer.
From a very young age, that child was anxious to grab one of the three guitars that he had at home, but they were so big that he could not tame them.
"I was fat," Juanes grabbed the glove.
“I ate arepas and fries.
Then I started exercising to lose weight.
That discipline helped me a lot.
Since then I like to get up very early, read and exercise.
This job helps me a lot."
In 1997 he went to live in Miami in search of an opportunity. "I was in a horrible depression," he recalled.
She then went to New York and later came to Los Angeles.
She connected with high-level music producers.
“It was the most difficult time of my life.
He didn't know how to speak English.
All day waiting for something to happen.
How did you get over it? Lewin asked.
Juanes said that for him it was a “very difficult” learning process.
“When I was about to throw in the towel without knowing what to do, my mom told me to stay.
I will always thank him for that."
He resisted, and won.
Juanes triumphed in music.
Londono got romantic.
"Love is very important to Juanes."
And he recounted the moment the singer and Karen Martínez, with whom he has three children, fell in love.
Juanes was getting out of a van to record a video clip and when he got out he realized that he had not applied deodorant.
He made the gesture and she saw it and was moved.
Juanes was wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt and had a
Londoño has the scene engraved in his memory, which he has captured in the book.
The author, for a while, needed a break.
He returned convinced that his music should bear his indelible mark: "I don't want to make the music that is in fashion, but the one that interests me," Juanes explained.
“This year an album comes out, there is no date yet, and there are lyrics in which I have managed to be more mature and profound.
It has a dark and melancholic side and a more Caribbean, happier side.
You are always navigating between those feelings ”, he finished.
to the EL PAÍS newsletter on Colombia and receive all the latest information on the country.