Berklee's Visiting Artist Series Welcomes Juanes
At a recent virtual event with Juanes, the Latin rock superstar talked to students about his creative process, music's power to change the world, and more. Moderated by Rodney Alejandro, an associate professor in the Songwriting Department, the discussion explored everything from Juanes’s distinctive fusion of rock, pop, and Latin American styles to the beliefs and convictions that inspire his deeply personal songwriting.
Students' questions ranged from advice for emerging artists and music's role as a vehicle for social justice to what Juanes looks for in collaborators and sound engineers. Juanes talked about staying true to one’s roots and advised young artists to be vigilant about their rights in the early stages of their career. “You have all this information for free on the internet, and I think it is important to know everything about the business of music. But it is hard, because I can’t see myself as a product. I see myself as an artist that makes songs,” Juanes said.
Juanes highlighted the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation's Juanes Scholarship, a four-year scholarship towards a bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music. The scholarship, which holds a maximum value of $200,000, is available for exceptionally talented students with financial needs interested in pursuing careers in Latin music.
"It really means a great deal to me that I can contribute to helping a young musician fulfill their dream of pursuing a serious music education. When I was young, I often dreamed of studying music in a world-class program, but like many young people with that dream in their heart, I did not have the resources at the time," said Juanes.
"I've been a strong advocate ever since for music education opportunities at all levels, and it brings me a lot of joy to now know that my years of hard work and long relationship with the Latin Recording Academy will help the talents of a next-generation artist grow at one of the best music schools in the world: Berklee." Applications for the scholarship are available now.
Juanes’s manager, Berklee alumnus Rafael Restrepo B.M. ’10, also made an appearance at the session. “Ten years ago, I was in your position. I was a student at Berklee with very big dreams and aspirations. Now I have the pleasure of working with an artist who I deeply admire.... This opportunity to collaborate so closely with Juanes is my dream come true,” Restrepo said.
The session was part of Berklee's Visiting Artist Series, a live, interactive forum featuring some of today's most innovative professional performers and creators. Previous guests have included T-Pain, Julia Michaels, Tank and the Bangas, Adrianne Lenker, Michael Franti, and others.
A global ambassador for Latin culture and champion for social change, Juanes was featured on Time's list of the “100 most influential people in the world” and hailed by the New York Times as “Latin America’s hottest singer-songwriter…a soulful poet with electric guitar.” Across his landmark career, Juanes has broken many barriers for Spanish-language artists, earning 12 no. 1 U.S. singles, 25 combined Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, and the 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year award for his artistry, support for rising artists, and philanthropic contributions to the global community. Juanes’s upcoming ninth studio album was named one of Rolling Stone's most anticipated albums of 2021.