By: Universal Music
With the chart-topping success of JUANES: MTV Unplugged, the world’s foremost Latin Rock artist showcased new interpretations of his most beloved songs in a more intimate and orchestral setting.
The album went on to win last year’s Latin Grammy for Album of the Year, (his genre-leading 19th), and this-year’s GRAMMY for Best Latin Pop Album” – where Juanes was also the only Latin artist to perform on the Grammy telecast. But when it came time for Juanes to take the album on tour, fan demand across the world precluded performances in such small venues one would normally play acoustically. So, Juanes responded with the presentation of his “Loud & Unplugged” tour – which saw he and his band of highly skilled musicians keep the acoustic instrument spirit of his unplugged project, but with the rock energy of his previous arena and stadium level shows.
Bringing those two world’s together in large size theater spaces, Juanes’ “Loud & Unplugged Tour” was the most extensive Latin music tour of the year and met with wide praise for its level of musicianship and energy. Following two sold-out performances at the famed Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Times declared: “the show confirms Juanes as the rare artist — in company with the likes of Bono, and Bruce Springsteen— with the power to inspire beyond the arena walls.”
Creatively charged by the tour, Juanes quickly returned to the studio with his acoustic guitar in hand, but with an additional creative partner won over by the very special tour. Famed rock producer Steve Lillywhite (who has helmed the studio boards for U2, The Killers, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Matthews Band, Peter Gabriel, Morrissey & more) flew to Colombia to see Juanes perform in his hometown of Medellin, and the two like-minded musical spirits from opposite hemispheres immediately bonded, and began working together from initial planning in the mountains of Colombia to recordings in Los Angeles. The resulting new music marks Steve Lillywhite’s first Spanish language project, and is done in collaboration with an additional expert on the intersection of boundary pushing rock and Latin culture –with the participation of producer/musician Emmanuel “Meme” del Real of Café Tacvba.
While the full results of this creative summit will not be unveiled until the Spring of 2014, a first taste arrives now with the global release of Juanes’ new single “La Luz” (The Light). While Juanes is often known as a consciously outspoken observer of challenges facing our world, he has long been equally at home – with some of his biggest hits – pairing mesmerizing Latin rhythms with lyric explorations of how attraction, lust and intimacy can take hold of us. With “La Luz” Juanes musically drives us onto a dance floor in Cartagena (just as summer weather arrives in Colombia) and wonders how far seduction in the darkness will go when the lights lose power – leaving only the electricity of two lovers entwined in the darkness.