Juanes and other artists who have changed the musical genre radically

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Juanes has been the center o attention because of his new single, which claims to be 'vallenato'. Here are other artists who have changed their sounds throughout their career

"La Plata" by Juanes and other artists who have changed the musical genre radically

Juanes, in another attempt to return to fame, has released his most recent single "La Plata". This song defines itself as 'vallenato' from beginning to end. At the beginning of the video, recorded entirety in Medellín, Juanes clarifies that it is a 'vallenato' song and every two verses, an 'ay ombe' is released. The song is homonymous to the already classic theme "La Plata" by Diomedes Diaz.

Many have criticized the 'paisa' artist for wanting to equate to the great Diomedes and for calling this song a 'vallenato' because it is more a 'tropipop' and does not have the characteristic sound of the original genre of the Colombian Caribbean. The song tells of a man who has lost all his money in his attempts to forget his beloved, which does seem a typical vallenato theme.

The truth is that the traditional vallenato's sound of the box, the 'guacharaca' and the accordion are not noticed in the song and the explanatory verses seem desperate attempts to recognize the subject as this genre.

But Juanes was not always a 'vallenatero' or a 'tropipopero' (nor a reggaeton player, something he also boasts in his song "Pa dentro"). The beginnings of this artist were in the metal band Ekhymosis, which he founded in 1988 with his friend Andrés García and which played in Medellin and then throughout Colombia during the nineties.

In it, Juanes was the vocalist and was known for making gutturals typical of heavy metal. After 30 years, the band is still active without one of its founders and has also mutated itself into Latin pop.

Many other artists have also mutated either for commercial or creative musical genre reasons throughout their careers. Here we show you other examples.

Gwen Stefani

The artist started in the Californian ska band No Doubt in the eighties with a style that Rolling Stone magazine describes as a combination of a sound derived from punk, some outfits of 'riot grrrl' and poppy dance steps that projected together a Feminine empowerment image.

Then, during a break that the band took in the 2000s, Gwen Stefani released two albums as a soloist. In this two-season era, the artist showed more pop influences like Madonna and left behind her skater look for one more 'bling bling', for her music videos in which, although she became more pop, she still saw the influence of her punkier times in No Doubt, but with a totally different sound.

She returned to the band in 2012 with the album Push and Shove. No Doubt, on the other hand, also changed its sound, as it made a transition - slower than Gwen Stefani's solo career - from ska to New Wave. This is seen in that last album, in which he collaborates with Diplo and Major Lazer.

The Barranquilla singer started with a nineties rock style that was seen a lot in the nineties in Colombia.
The look leather pants and the harmonica between verses were characteristics of the singer. Then she mutated to a style full of Arab influences with the dance steps that made her famous. The truth is that from one album to another, this versatile singer went through several genres from soft rock, Latin pop, romantic songs, and even tango.

The most notorious change of Shakira, however, was with her internationalization: she completely mutated to pop and began to sing in English for a wider audience outside of its country of origin. In the album 'She Wolf', it is seen a great influence of the North American pop, although in her more recent album 'El Dorado' it is seen her return to the Latin pop and a little way in to reggaeton.

Snoop Dogg / Snoop Lion

The Californian rapper is known for his sound of gangster rap of the West Coast that had its peak in the nineties. Snoop Dogg also has his own record label called DoggyStyle Records. He reached the greater fame of the hand of Death Row Record with its album G-Funk Doggystyle, in which it rapped on its judicial processes, on being arrested, its gangster life and on, clear, the dispute West Coast vs. East Coast.

In 2012 Snoop Dogg released his album Reincarnated, recorded entirely in Jamaica, under the name of Snoop Lion. The rapper claimed to want to get away from gangster life and that this would be reflected in his music, which would now be closer to reggae than to hip-hop. He also speaks in the letters of the change in his life.

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Taylor Swift

The singer lived in Nashville since she was 14, and since the beginning of her career, she was looking for a path in country music. The look and sound of the singer at the beginning of her career was country and country-pop, a girl in cowboy boots, pink dress, and acoustic guitar.

Although the singer continues to write songs about her boyfriends and their breakups, very typical of country music, now she does it from a totally different sound to the pop guitar from before. Now her dance steps are closer to other figures of American female pop than to country singers.

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón

Translated from "'La Plata' de Juanes y otros artistas que han cambiado de género musical radicalmente"