Juan Magán, the international ELDM superstar
The king of ELDM is flying high.
New York’s Madison Square Garden. Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Lima’s Estadio Nacional. The San Antonio Spurs arena in Texas. To mention a mere handful of big capacity venues that have hosted Juan Magán (Badalona, 1978). Magán’s music is constantly featured on reality TV shows, radio playlists and sports arenas in Spain, but his genuine superstar status comes from his international traction. It’s no coincidence that Magán is one of the most popular Spanish artists abroad, according to recent Spotify data. Magán is the second most-streamed Spanish artist in the world, after Alejandro Sanz, who has a larger catalogue and has been in the business for many years. Magán has performed throughout most of Latin America and many major capitals in the US and Canada. Tracks such as “The King Of Dance” (2012) and “The King Is Back (#LatinIBIZAte)” (2015) are essential to contemporary electronic music.
Magán has played a key role in placing Latin music on the map and breathing new life into this genre. Magán has created a sound that has taken the whole world by storm and believes in the importance of respecting our musical heritage. The rhythms that some media condescendingly brand as “derivative” or “pachanga” are, in fact, deep-rooted sounds that have been making people dance for generations, namely bachata, salsa and dance hall, among others. Even reggaeton, which was initially considered a flash in the pan, is continuously mutating and growing. “Labeling everything as ‘pachanga’ ignores the wealth and diversity of our music,” he complains. Magán has earned his place in the international pop Olympus and has worked with stellar artists including Enrique Iglesias, Gente de Zona, Nelly Furtado, Don Omar and Paulina Rubio, among many others.
Humble by nature, Magán denies having invented the ELDM genre. He prefers to say he simply found the right combination of pre-existing ingredients. Like Coca-Cola, when they came up with their secret formula by mixing water, syrup and caffeine. Creating something simple but long lasting is a feat that very few people can achieve. Attitude is another key element. Magán knows that the first rule for a DJ is to keep things fun. “DJs have to listen to their crowd. We move in a limited space, but within that space the DJ should adapt to the crowd. It should never be the other way around,” he claims. He has skillfully anticipated what 21st century dance floors need.
His secret? Magán combines powerful dance tunes with disarming love stories. He proves that a song can be heartfelt and warm and still make millions of people sweat on the dance floor. Take global anthems including “Tentándome,” “Bailando por ahí,” “Si no te quisiera,” “Mal de amores” and “He llorado (como un niño),” for instance. His latest hit “Rápido, brusco, violento,” recorded alongside Cuban artists Boni & Kelly, is already playing in clubs around the world. “Lots of people still don’t understand that it’s much more complicated to make a mainstream song than an indie tune. Writing something that reaches a large, heterogeneous crowd is very hard,” he confesses. Hence the merit in having mastered that formula, inside out.
Magán is not just an artist; he’s a catalyst of new talents, both through musical collaborations and his record label, Aftercluv Dance Lab. “I love sharing. Life is better when you share it with other people. I try to listen to every up and coming artist who reaches out to me and aspire to help them as much as possible,” he says. Among other projects, he’s been changing Ibiza’s sound for three seasons, although he always says the best is yet to come. “Latin music can now be heard around the clock in car parks, pools and beaches on the island. The reason is pretty clear: “You can’t listen to techno for 24 hours straight,” he says. Juan Magán is a legend of contemporary music, beyond any shadow of a doubt.