By Marisa Arbona-Ruiz
Latin pop rock superstar Juanes has a new message for the world: “Be happy, even after a heartbreak.”
After his critically acclaimed 2017 visual album “Mis Planes Son Amarte” (My Plans are to Love You) that touched on universal love, the first single of his yet untitled next album turns to humor, and features emerging Colombian trap artist Lalo Ebratt of the collective Trapical Minds.
“La Plata” blends Juanes’s Colombian folkloric vallenato roots and dreamy tenor voice with Ebratt’s pop-reggateon trap stylings in a catchy dance melody with a comical spin. It’s a story of a guy getting over heartbreak without losing his heart. And the video – the journey from a serenade gone bad, blowing his money, getting “limpias” (spiritual cleansings) and finally getting arrested for being raucous at night – is creatively laid out in backward sequence. Juanes tells NBC Latino that “it’s very light and happy… I’m very excited because it has to do with Colombia, with my roots and who I am.”
The release also comes fresh off of his latest of 20 Latin GRAMMY wins, this time for the Short Form Music Video of his global hit “Pa Dentro”, which tied him again for the all-time GRAMMY lead. And most recently off his 2019 Premio LoNuestro nomination for Artist of the Year just this week, a Univision awards show honoring the best Latin music.
“La Plata” is as much as tribute to old vallenato (without accordion) as it is a celebration of the culture and booming artistry that has been flowing out of Colombia. In addition to featuring Ebratt, the video is directed by Juan Pablo Valencia and features an all-Colombian cast and typically iconic Colombian elements, like images from Medellín, carrying a carriel (man-purse) and riding around on the chiva bus.
“I’ve wanted to sing vallenatos since I was a kid in Medellin… and some of my best memories from childhood are going from one town to another [riding the chivas] with all my brothers and sisters, just having the best time singing.” He says nowadays in Medellín you can see people cruising in rented chivas by night having parties with musicians and the chiva has become icon of Colombian culture.
He’s so proud of Colombia that he added a sing-along hook #DeColombiaParaElMundo (from Colombia to the world) in the song while reminding us that in the end you own your own heart. “As the lyrics say, my heart is not yours – that can I can give you my heart for a moment. I really wanted to be with you but I’m in a good place.”