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Showbiz Sessions

Juanes performs 'Fijate Bien'

Juanes' first solo album "Fijate Bien" has earned the singer seven Latin Grammy nominations.  

NEW YORK (CNN) -- After the Latin rock band Ekhymosis disbanded in 1998, Colombian Singer-songwriter-guitarist Juanes went out on his own. His first solo album "Fijate Bien" (Surco/Universal) was released last year and has earned the singer seven Latin Grammy nominations, including one for best new artist.

Juanes -- born Juan Esteban Aristizabal in Medellin, Colombia -- has been playing music since he was 7, when his brothers taught him to play guitar. By age 15 he had started Ekhymosis, a heavy metal band that recorded five albums over an 11-year career.

It wasn't easy playing heavy metal in South America, Juanes says -- or being a musician in general.

"If you want to do music in Columbia or Argentina or Mexico, you have to work very hard and you have to fight against a lot of things," he told "Showbiz Today Reports" correspondent Bill Tush.

Singer Juanes performs his song 'Fijate Bien' for CNN's Showbiz (September 5)

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When Ekhymosis broke up, Juanes relocated to Los Angeles, California. There, he was fortunate enough to be put in touch with producer Gustavo Santaolalla, he said.

Together, the two created "Fijate Bien," but musically, the album is pretty much all Juanes: He wrote all the songs, he plays guitar, he sings. Many of the songs, including the hit "Look Closely," have sociopolitical overtones.

But Juanes said he simply writes from the heart. "I speak about social things, not political, but about reality. So I speak about love, but I speak also about war, about peace, about God, about values, about everything," he said.

Juanes will be performing at the Latin Grammys in Los Angeles on September 11, but had time to stop by our CNN studio in New York to perform "Fijate Bien," off of his album of the same name, as a part of this week's "Showbiz Sessions."

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