by Paola Piersantelli
Translated by Annette Ochoa
Time can inspire a profound reflection on any given topic, but perhaps everything is much simpler than we think and with just a blink of an eye we have the answer. Javier Cereceda, (Javi Punga, for the rest of the world), demonstrates with a handful of songs that love is everything. For this recognized singer, that is both the name of his album and his life philosophy. Punga has filled every empty space with his complex personality and by doing so, he lets us reflect on the pop rhythms of his “spacey rock” songs.
I remember his drawing my attention the first time I saw him play, opening up for Los Reyes del Falsete at the Barracas bar Plasma. Ever since, I’ve wanted to interview him because I am attracted not just to his music, but also to his mystic.
He holds a degree in Social Communication and is a professor at the University of La Plata. He owns a small business with his partner, la China, selling vegetarian sandwiches. He was born in La Plata, the capital of the Buenos Aires province, and has traveled all throughout Latin America. He rises with the sun, puts on a Victor Hugo cd, before setting off on his bicycle to tackle the day – beginning with buying groceries for the business before heading off to teach. He is truly a beautiful person who took great pleasure to sit down with me to chat. Is that enough to demonstrate his love of life?
No. Even this picture of him does not begin to paint the plurality of this happy man (“punga”, in Japanese means “happy man”) – perhaps it’s only possible to come to a slight idea of who this man is.
At 32 years old, Javi Punga has been revisiting old memories from all of the stages he has sung on. Beginning at neighborhood bars, busy spaces, bars, secret clubs, all the way to renowned local venues like Niceto Club and the Roxy.
“I am a singer of the people, I come from the people and I owe the people.” He immortalizes that songs that tell a story, whose legends speak to us from an omnipresent voice.
His life is marked by important and related dates. “They live through me, I am surrounded by historic dates that are always telling me things, that I must do something, if I make music it is to tell stories, to generate links to different ideas.”
“Love is everything,” has become one of the many components in the universe of Javi.
Record labels never interested him. He doesn’t like the spam that comes with promoting his music, he prefers the word of mouth. Not only did he give me his album, but he also gave me a fanzine that he edits, where he sums up all that we know with drawings and words. Yes, I said EVERYTHING.
“I thought that I was simple, but I am more complicated than I had originally thought,” he confessed to us. “I thought I had simple and flat lyrics, but that have a lot of different parts and elements.”
Those lyrics and elements are all pieced together in his new album “El Amor es Todo” (Love is Everything), a rock album with pop melodies and lyrics that talk about the everyday in a way that anyone can instantly relate. An album suited to the romantics and the hopefuls who believe that love really is everything.