Long live Juantxi

Not even a week ago Ariel Santamaria (Reus, 1967) closed the musical cycle with a statement very much in his style, Juantxi, a geek for the rest of the mortals who do not live in Reus during their day to day life. 30 years of career are extinguished, with four studio albums and a million anecdotes. Santamaria has not gone unnoticed, his peculiar humor, the ability he has shown to provoke and that transgressive watered down style, have led him to have a certain popularity in the region.

The man from Reus leaves him because of family situations that take up his time. «I have to take care of my mother and I have no room to continue in this. Music steals many hours and now I don't have them », he reflects with the cheerful tone that he has always displayed.

Ariel began her artistic career at the age of 25, although without much luck. «I wanted to form a rock band and I couldn't. So, since I also liked Llach or Albert Pla, I decided to start solo». The first two years he created more serious content, although he realized that this ecosystem did not fit his way of being. "It was then that I started with more groundbreaking, provocative material and that fulfilled me more," he says.

Four albums have completed this musical work; they are all juanxi, Life and miracles of the vicious man, Politically Juantxi and Cançons RTV. All of them have enjoyed the collaboration of the Banda del Doctor Juantxi, formerly Banda del Pere Mata. “We were forced to change its name because Pere Mata filed a lawsuit against us. They didn't want us to use his name », recalls Ariel.

What has distinguished the musician most has to do with his presence, the outfitclosely linked to Elvis Presley. «I was born on January 10, two days after Elvis (January 8). We both have in common that we are like goats. A lover of rock and roll from the 50s, 60s and 70s, the singer-songwriter acknowledges that "I liked Presley's aesthetics, but on a musical level I prefer the Rolling".

Despite the atmosphere of joke that permeates all his appearances, he has always shown a very underground in the creative process. «I like to control everything, the composition, the production, the direct and that implies a lot of work, despite the fact that I have always taken music as a Hobby. I'm already late on it."

a popular term

The word Juantxi has enjoyed a practically universal tour in Reus, in part because Ariel Santamaria has raised it to its maximum expression. "The story comes from afar. In the 90s, a man from the Canary Islands named Juantxo and who liked to be called Juantxi, sold paintings from Reus in bars». Since then, that term took an unexpected path. «Since he was a peculiar guy, in the bars of the city Juantxi began to be used as a geek term, but from Reus. This is how its meaning has remained, ”admits the musician.

One of the highlights of Ariel's artistic life is related to his live performances. She has performed in the most surreal halls of Catalonia and has offered shows that, on many occasions, have bordered on the grotesque, including full nudes from Reus.

Despite abandoning the practice related to the songs, Santamaria keeps the artistic spirit intact, with some project still to be fulfilled in his hands. “I have written some stories that I would like to publish. Like my brother, I want to exhibit at a literary level and I'm working on it right now », he emphasizes.

His followers, who still exist, will surely wait for that last poetic aspiration from a guy who, in his own way, has managed to attract attention within the ganxet cultural world. In a very Juantxi way.

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