Kevin Johansen

Kevin Johansen (born 21 June 1964) is a songwriter who mixes several rhythms and languages in his musical work.  

Kevin Johansen
Kevin Johansen
Kevin Johansen
Background information
Birth nameKevin Andrew Johansen
Born21 June 1964
Fairbanks, Alaska
Years active1992–present
LabelsSony International
Los Años Luz
K Indústria
WebsiteOfficial website


Kevin Johansen was born on June 21, 1964 in Fairbanks, Alaska, to Marta Gloria Calvet and Kent Johansen. Marta Calvet was an Argentine feminist and poliglot; she met Kent Johansen while studying at Denver, they moved to Alaska and lived there until Kevin was 5 years old.[1] In 1969, they moved to Phoenix where his sister Karina was born. His parents got divorced soon after, and the mother and children moved to San Francisco.[2]

His mother remarried a Mexican painter, but with time the relationship became abusive and she decided to leave her husband and the US in 1976.[3] Johansen spent his teenage years between Buenos Aires and Montevideo.[3]

In 1990 he married an Argentine ballerina in Buenos Aires, and the young couple moved to New York so she could continue her dance studies. Johansen worked as waiter, tourist guide and translator for a while, until he got a chance to start performing regularly at CBGB’s and got his musical career on track.[4]

He divorced his first wife and he remarried in 2006 to María Laura Franco. He currently lives in Buenos Aires with Maria and his four children: Miranda (who is also in the music business), Kim, Tom and Roy.[5][6]

Musical careerEdit

He started to play guitar and write lyrics at 14, and by the end of high school he decided to become a musician.[7] Johansen made a brief appearance in the local rock scene with the band Instrucción Cívica with Julian Benjamin in the 80s they released two albums: Obediencia Debida in 1985 and Instrucción Cívica in 1986.[3]

In 1990 he moves with his girlfriend of that time to New York. He had several jobs unrelated to music, until Hilly Kristal heard him sing and invited him to perform at his club CBGB´s. He played in the CBGB's club for several years, until he created the group The Nada, and in 2000 recorded the album with the same name, a mix of different Latin sounds with modern pop, funk and rock.[8]

In 2010 he returned to Argentina, where he currently lives. The album, released by Los Años Luz, was relatively successful and Johansen and the group went on tour as far as Spain (album edited there by K Industrias).

By the end of 2002 Johansen recorded Sur o no Sur, also released by Los Años Luz in Argentina and by Sony Music in the rest of the world.

During 2003, Johansen became successful in Argentina, playing in June at the Gran Rex Theatre, the largest Buenos Aires hall. Again in Spain, he promoted his new album with concerts in Madrid and Barcelona, this time with bigger audiences. He also performed during the MTV Latino awards, from where he continued a concerts tour to Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco prior to the release of the album in United States.

He has performed in Mexico, Chile, Belgium and again Spain, Colombia[9], among other countries with positive response from fans and the media. At the Latino Grammy Awards, Sur o no Sur was nominated for "Album of the year", "Song of the year" ("La Procesión") and "Best Music Video" ("La Procesión").[10]

For about 15 years, most the visual arts of his music was done by the Cartoonist Ricardo Siri Liniers. They went on tours together, where Liniers would draw along to Johansen music while his drawings where projected in the back of the stage. They also published a book (Oops!) together.[11][12]    

Critics reviewsEdit

Newspapers from different countries have highlighted his musical and language mixtures. He naturally switches from English to Spanish or from Cumbia to Rock. He is seen as an artists who is not afraid to experiment, since he has not settled with one specific genre he is usually calls his work as “de genre-ate”.[13][7]


  • The Nada (2000)
  • Sur o no Sur (2002)
  • City Zen (2004)
  • Logo (2007)
  • Kevin Johansen + The Nada + Liniers = Vivo en Buenos Aires (2010)
  • Bi (2012)
  • Mis Américas (2016)
  • Algo ritmos (2019)


  1. ^ "Hoy cantamos sobre otras libertades". Noticias. March 8, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "Kevin Johansen, el trashumante panamericano". Vivir en el poblado. May 13, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Amigos a contrapelo". La Nación. November 18, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  4. ^ Harris; Rothenberg (April 24, 2009). "Interview With Kevin Johansen". landingpadba. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "Kevin Johansen, papá musical". Revista Cosas. September 15, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Toledo, Gonzalo (December 14, 2018). "Kevin Johansen: "Mi hijo más chico habla todo el día de Papá Noel"". ViaCórdoba. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Lopera, Manuela (September 8, 2016). "Kevin Johansen: un cantante desgenerado". El Tiempo (Colombia). Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Kevin Johansen: Rock Star with Bilingual Twist". Morning Edition, NPR. October 16, 2003. Accessed September 11, 2010.
  9. ^ "Kevin Johansen + The Nada en Bogotá". Revista Arcadia. June 22, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "Grammys' new look: Fresh faces, voices contend for Latin music awards" by Ramiro Burr. Houston Chronicle. September 1, 2004. Accessed September 11, 2010.
  11. ^ Nimo, Ana (May 7, 2015). "El viaje sonoro de Kevin Johansen y 'Liniers'". El Mundo (Spain). Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Riaño, Peio (May 6, 2015). "Kevin Johansen y Liniers, garabatos de humor para canciones de 'hamor'". El Confidencial. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Pareles, Joh (March 28, 2014). "Traveling Man, Able to Rock Cowbells". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2019.

External linksEdit