Meet Javier Manik – A voice from the streets

He spent his childhood and youth in the ghettos of Buenos Aires with a mother who was only 15 years old when Javier was born not knowing who is father was. “It was a tough life but I was a happy boy”, the 42-year-old looks back on this time. In those days music was already a very important part of his life: “I always loved to sing to express myself. I never went to a music school and I didn’t know much about technique, but I felt the music and I played with all my heart.”

Javiers musical influences spread from the Latin American rhythms of Cumbia, to Rock, Reggae and the Ethno-punk of bands like Mano Negra. From 1996 to 1998 he was a member of the sucessful pop band Grupo Miel, who were breaking through in Argentina and Chile. They made numerous TV appearances and were part of the very popular Cumbia Pop movement. But Javier didn’t want to be part of a movement or an industry, didn’t want to be told what clothes to wear and what music to play – so he left the band and started travelling around Argentina, Uruguay and Brasil.

Returning to Buenos Aires he decided to work on the streets, playing guitar and selling jewellery to make a living. Amongst the many people he met during this time was a girl who invited him to Europe, he travelled to France, Norway and Spain – and in 2006 he visited Sweden for the first time, where he is still based today in the city of Malmö.

Javier’s outlook on life is greatly influenced by the culture of the ancient Mayans and he feels that our consumerist approach to life makes us lose respect for the simple things, for other people and for nature itself. But these are the important things if we want to survive and that’s the message in Javier’s songs. As much as life is about earning enough to pay for rent and food, it shouldn’t just be about growing richer and richer. It is about cherishing the moment – in a glance, a conversation, a poem or a song.

Whilst striving to take his music to a next level – from the streets into the studio, onto the radio and into peoples hearts and homes, Javiers philosophy remains the same: “I want my songs to be the voice of the people on the street.” Javier’s message is one of hope and optimism – offering an alternative to our life of global consumerism. No matter where in the world you live “the people on the streets don’t worry about tomorrow, because their life today is hard enough.” Source:


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