The Latin music star known as Juannes has seen first hand the hardships suffered by his native people first hand. Born Juan Esteban Aristizala Vasquez in Medelin, Columbia Juannes saw a friend die at the hands of gunmen and a cousin was executed after being kidnapped. As a result the Columbian musician has become a social activist much like Bono. His music expresses his thoughts and feelings on the subject, but has in no way dampened the lust of fans for his music. The singer songwriter began playing guitar at age seven.
Juannes currently makes his home in Los Angeles, California in the United States, along with his wife and two children.
Juannes who has amassed quite a list of accomplishments, both musically and otherwise, prefers to sing in Spanish; but this in no way takes away from the music itself. The young performer has been the Youth AIDS Ambassador, referred to as Columbia’s greatest ambassador, given the Knight of The Order des Arts et des Lettres by France, been honoured by Sir Pual McCartney, performed before the European Union, performed at the World Cup Draw, and performed at the Nobel Peace Prize concert.
His musical accomplishments are just as impressive if not more so. The list of awards rivals that of any musician who has been in the business much long than Juanes. Beised winning one Grammy Award, 12 Latin Grammy Awards, nine MTV Awards, eight Premio Lo Nuestra Awards, seven awards from BMI awards for songwriting, and has topped the music charts all over the world. Juannes has broken records in Columbia previously held by fellow countryman Shakira.
Back in his home of Columbia Juannes was a member in a hard rock band called Ekynosis. The band had some success releasing seven albums in 10 years. Since becoming a solo artist Juannes has seen each of his albums top music charts in the Spanish speaking countries around the world selling millions of copies. But his success is not limited to countries who speak his native Spanish, Juannes has also seen chart success in the United States topping Billboard charts and gracing the cover of Billboard’s “The Year in Music” magazine. Three Juannes singles occupied the top spot of the Billboard Hot Latin charts for six months. And Juannes has seen his music occupy the top spot of the Latin Top 10 for 92 weeks the longest in history.
The young Columbian musician known as Juannes has made an impact on the Spanish speaking countries of the world with his music and his activist activities; and now he is touching the remainder of the world with his music as well. In a rare moment Juannes performed a duet with crooner superstar Tony Bennett in English and Spanish on Bennett’s album “Duets: An American Classic”.