Juanes on Why Returning to Colombia for 'La Plata' Was an Emotional Journey (Exclusive)

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From Colombia to the world. 

Juanes returns to his roots for "La Plata."

Only ET was on the set of the Latin icon’s new music video, shot entirely in Medellín, Colombia. The new song, the name of which translates to “the money,” features newcomer Lalo Ebratt.

“When I come to Medellín, I just breathe the air and it makes me travel through [time],” Juanes told ET’s Denny Directo. “Medellín is always surrounded by those memories about music, [being] with my friends -- rehearsing and doing shows, [going to] school, so I just love to come back and see my mother, my brothers, my sister and my friends.”

The music video, premiering Thursday at 9 p.m. PT on YouTube, was directed by Juan Pablo Valencia and follows Juanes as he comically tries to mend his broken heart after spending all his money on one special girl. 

“The vibe of this video is [dictated by] the song. It’s a very happy song, inspired by vallenato music, one of our most important rhythms in Colombia, and also guasca, which is another genre from this area,” he explained. 

Proving that the song and video are a nod to his native land, Juanes requested that the entire crew for the vibrant and colorful production, in front and behind the camera, all be from Colombia. 

“It's such a special thing to come to Colombia and shoot the video in my hometown with an all-Colombian crew,” said the 46-year-old singer, who grew up in Medellín during the height of Pablo Escobar's reign. “Fifteen years ago it was not possible to do this, so it's incredible [to see how] Colombia [is changing]. I feel so happy, it's especially emotional for me.”

Juanes, who received a Premio Lo Nuestro nomination for Artist of the Year on Tuesday, says that working with young talent is the key to helping music evolve. 

“I'm so proud of this collaboration with Lalo,” he said. “Lalo is from Santa Marta and he's super talented. He's like the future of music in Colombia.”

“The reason why I choose to work with young artists and new artists is because they inspire me so much and give me, like, a new energy,” he continued. “It is very important, we all learn from each other, not just from the older legends, but also from young artists because they have a different point of view.”

The four-time GRAMMY winner and 24-time Latin GRAMMY winner also took time to acknowledge Colombian artists, like J Balvin, who are at the height of their career.

“Aww, I'm so proud of him,” Juanes said of the "Reggaeton" singer. “His success is also our success. You know, as a citizen of Medellín we feel proud of him and he's part of 'la cadena' [the chain] that everybody has been working on since times ago. I'm so happy for him and for his team and also for Maluma and Karol G, and many others that are doing incredible things.”

Juanes began his career in 1988 as part of the rock band Ekhymosis and went solo in 2000. He’s released a total of seven albums and says that his work will never be over.

When asked what he would say to his younger self, he quipped, “I would say to him, I feel proud of him because he was fighting and I'm here and I'm still fighting. I will be fighting until the day I die, fighting for my dreams.”

“I think that's the message, everything is possible if you have the strength in your mind to make things happen,” he added. “I feel happy and proud of what I have done, it’s so much more than I was expecting.”

Get more Latinx news on ET MÁS, ETonline's new section featuring the latest celeb, film, TV, music and style news.

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