Juambe, a Caribbean and Colombian “Bocelli”


[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Robin Nelson Muñoz (Las 2 Orillas) writes about Juan Bernardo, a singer familiarly known as Juambe. Muñoz says, “With the lyricism and the emotionality of his songs, this artist patiently and calmly seeks to enter the hearts of Colombians.”

Juan Bernardo was born in San Juan de Urabá in Antioquia on almost a January 20; perhaps one of the reasons for his joy and musicality. Anyone who sees it this way—without further thought, expect that because he is from the coast and has particular airs in his clothing and artist’s bearing—would say that it belongs to the new vallenato wave or is dedicated to this type of music; however, Juan, without denying its influences and his tastes for vallenato, says he opts for pop ballad. He studied Communication at the University of Antioquia and complemented it with a second study in dubbing and voiceover; which he is passionate about. And it’s just that Juambe is a coastal paisa who lives the world in an atypical way; a life that is much more harmonious, fruitful, and passionate than usual. His vision crosses the borders of the conditions that we set up in our minds.

Juambe has dedicated a large part of his life to his musical project, aiming to flood hearts with his voice and his songs, which are full of a special corporeal phenomenology. His lyrics are metaphysical, and lead us to a somatization of feelings. This Caribbean Bocelli makes us feel—through the lyricism and emotionality of his songs—emotions, tranquility, hope, love, among other beautiful experiences through this art, in songs like “Corazón sincero (carta de un niño a papá)” [Sincere Heart (letter from a child to dad)] which reminds me a lot of Kafka’s “Letter to His Father,” keeping Juambe’s warm expressiveness, or “Return to my Land,” fruit of his Urabeño flavor.

Juan Bernardo lost his sight completely at age 20, and in his words, he “saw what he had to see,” as he says confidently, with his wording and Caribbean flavor when speaking.

Juambe is our Caribbean Bocelli. Not only for the talent he has developed and for the sweetness of his voice, but also because his songs speak directly to us of our Colombian loves, our motherly loves; as he does in the song “Les hablo de mamá” [I speak to you about mom]. He talks about topics like the coronavirus, for which he motivates Colombians to stay home. His songs are the embodiment of sincere and passionate Colombian loves.

Juambe is one of those special people, one of those who always think of others. His world view is not “me-ist” [yoica], but rather, a view in relation to others. He is excited by scientific topics and passionate about making audio descriptions, imitations, and dubbings in order to help and to bring joy to people in his condition. In an interview for Revista CMI he says “There is no time, there is no respite to relax … you have to enjoy what you do without giving yourself a break to waste time.” This artist is not only a magnificent singer, but also a sensitive composer of Colombian realities.

Translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in Spanish), see https://www.las2orillas.co/juambe-un-bocelli-caribeno-y-colombiano

Also see https://www.facebook.com/juambe and

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