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Juanes Pays Tribute to Those Lost in the Colombian Conflict in New Song

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Colombian musician Juanes, a winner of 27 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards, continues to nurture his role as an activist for social and humanitarian causes. Credit: livepict.com/CC BY 3.0 

The well-known Colombian musician Juanes has released the music video for his latest work “Canción desaparecida,” which is part of his recent album “Vida cotidiana” released on May 19th.

Inspired by real events, the video illustrates a song that addresses loss under tragic circumstances and the importance of remembrance. The construction of this narrative has recently been completed based on contributions about the horrors, violence, and forced disappearances, derived from confessions of key actors in the armed conflict.

Social and Humanitarian Activism

Under the direction of Puerto Rican director Kacho López Mari, Juanes, a winner of 27 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards, continues to nurture his role as an activist for social and humanitarian causes.

This line of activism was inaugurated in his early songs such as “La tierra,” “Fíjate bien,” and “Sueños,” and has seen recent contributions equally committed in songs like “Minas piedras” and “Odio por amor.”

In this regard, Juanes has expressed that “for many years, Colombia has experienced a difficult social and political situation. The government created the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), and we began to hear what happened to people: difficult, violent stories of missing persons.”

Inspired by Juan Mosquera

Juanes revealed that he was inspired by a real case to write the song. “I was inspired by Juan Mosquera, who had an approach to the victims and helped me with the lyrics.” Mosquera is a journalist from Antioquia, the same region as Juanes, who has led various projects in support of life and human rights.

For the making of this music video, Juanes collaborated with the Afro-Colombian artist and rapper Mabiland. Originally from the Pacific region, this 27-year-old Chocoana made a strong impact with her urban rhythms.

Mabely Largacha, the artist’s real name, gained recognition in 2017 with her debut studio album, “1995.” She achieved further recognition with her second album, “Niñxs rotxs,” which she primarily created during the months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her music explores the experiences of being a broken child in a country marked by inequalities, poverty, injustices, and violence, striving to rise again through art based on what has been endured.

Acclaimed by critics

“‘Vida Cotidiana’ is Juanes’ best and most emotional album… Juanes makes music exactly as he wants… while drawing on his expert musical reflexes and narrating personal and social issues that permeate everyday life, creating freer songs than ever… with the seriousness of a live studio performance by a studious guitarist… There is darkness and depth… [but] there is also room for joy [like] the radiant ‘Cecilia’ [which is] a scorching Afrobeats… ‘Vida Cotidiana’ stands as Juanes’ most sincere effort to date. He has emerged from his dark night of the soul to offer something unique and inspiring.” – ROLLING STONE

“For the Colombian rocker known for his deep and honest lyrics about love and social commitment… his introspective journey in ‘Vida Cotidiana’ is even more mature and fascinating.” – BILLBOARD

“Honest Juanes fearlessly faced the creation of ‘Vida Cotidiana’ to give birth to songs from his soul in a liberating moment of his career… a journey in times of pandemic with experiences of pain, sadness, love, and hope… [including] a track about forced disappearances in Colombia… important to remember because ‘it’s the truth and cannot be hidden.'” – EL TIEMPO

“A deeply personal album… an element of catharsis is woven into the songs and stories that make up ‘Vida Cotidiana’ (‘Everyday Life’)… Juanes returns to his roots [while] immersive electric guitars cascade into fading choruses about his personal struggles in marriage, while other tracks exorcise frustrations of man-against-the-world about the sociopolitical battles plaguing his homeland.” – VARIETY

“Juanes returns to his roots and his guitar-driven rhythm in ‘Vida Cotidiana.’ The Colombian icon opens up about the difficulties he faced with his family during quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Gris’ reflects that dark moment in Juanes’ life. He emerges from that feeling with the tropical ‘Cecilia,’ an ode to his wife featuring Juan Luis Guerra, and examines the injustice experienced in his country in the electrifying ‘Canción Desaparecida’ with Mabiland. She brings soul and fiery hip-hop flow to the song about the many people who have disappeared in Colombia.” – Latina

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