Carlos Vives and his wife Claudia Elena Vásquez are celebrating two decades of love this summer. The couple is visiting the city of Los Angeles, California, since Carlos will be performing at the legendary Hollywood Bowl this weekend. Accompanied by none other than the city’s famous Philharmonic under the direction of world renowned Latin American artist, living legend Gustavo Dudamel.
While the couple was visiting Hollywood, we had the opportunity to talk to them about their plans for this important anniversary. While they posed for the cameras in the most candid and romantic way, they revealed their unedited feelings for each other… not only what they most love about one another, but also what annoys them the most, and how they’re able to cope with unpleasant gossip that sometimes circulates in the media. This will be an open-hearted interview!
That she loved me… says it straightforwardly and without thinking twice.
An incredible sense of admiration and respect. I remember when the album “Clásicos de La Provincia” came out, I was beginning my first semester of Chemical Engineering and a schoolmate played it for me, I thought it was amazing. I’d always liked Vallenato, but to hear Carlos’ interpretation in this album, was absolutely revolutionary. To listen to our music in such a diﬀerent way, with these Rock and Roll overtones, attracted young people of my generation immediately. Carlos became a musical reference and an idol for everyone. A few years later, I’d been Miss Colombia for about a month and we were on the same flight to Miami. I’m incredibly shy but my “chaperone” at the time asked him if we could take a picture together. I saw him again about 5 years later at RCN TV station where I was working. I never imagined we would have a relationship after that meeting. A few days later he asked for my phone number and called me. We would talk every night, about his life, my life, Santa Marta, Medellín… I felt he was quite lonely and sad. I would listen to him, and that’s how the friendship evolved. Eventually we fell in love.
That same day at the RCN TV station. -answers directly.
Yes! Of course I remember! He called me 6 months after we’d met asking if I would be in the video for his song “Déjame Entrar”. It was the album’s first single. When we met to go to the shooting location, I definitely felt butterflies.
It didn’t happen right away because I was going through such a diﬃcult moment in my life, and I was certain I didn’t want to complicate such a special person’s life.
We continued to talk quite often after we filmed the video. I worked for a multinational company as manager for the perfume application laboratory, this company was located next to the Bogota airport. Carlos would land and stop by my oﬃce to see me. He would spend a lot of time there, obviously the personnel would go crazy! Every day my feelings for him kept growing and eventually I just knew it would be forever.
I knew Claudia was someone who wanted what was best for me, and in those early years of our relationship I would deny myself many things. It’s obvious that thanks to who she is as a person and her love for me, I was able to achieve improbable things, one can say almost impossible.
Yes, our relationship is incredibly special. We complement each other well, we are partners in love, life and professionally. Carlos is a marvelous human being, astonishingly creative which can make life challenging from time to time but also a lot fun. I want all of his dreams to come true, I understand his objectives 100% and want his ideas to be known and multiplied because I’m certain they can help create a better world.
As Borges would say: “We all know what it is, but somehow it’s incredibly diﬃcult to describe.”
It’s a beautiful feeling of aﬀection and attraction for a specific person, you want everything to turn out well for this person, wishing them the best always.
No! Nothing. I’d gladly relive it all again.
No, you know what? I wouldn’t. We’ve lived the happiest moments together, and incredibly diﬃcult ones as well. It’s all been a part of our growth as a couple and it’s helped us become stronger as individuals.
She always managed to make me feel what you mentioned earlier, “butterflies in my stomach” and it was always clear to me this was the reason we were together. But when I witnessed her becoming a mother, I understood it was more than that. Claudia is the essence of life, a teacher who has shown me the true meaning of a family and being a parent.
When I met him I got to see him interact with his older children, Carlos Enrique and Lucía. He was always so loving and committed to them. It’s been a wonderful process with our children Pedro and Elen. I always say that the fun starts when Carlos comes home. Those incomparable moments when we cook something delicious together, watch a movie, read something, tell each other stories… Everyday life with them is wonderful and Carlos is a devoted father to every single one of his children.
I admire many things about Claudia… her beauty of course, we are beings that materialize the spirit after all. But what I love most about her is her capacity to love our children, her work ethics and her commitment to life, to our country and the people around us.
I admire all of Carlos’ sides: he’s a romantic and caring husband, a feminist, and I love that about him. A loving father, fun, with an ample knowledge of history, he always has something to teach us. He connects us to the world and teaches us to value each place we visit as a family. Everything is history and adventure with him. He’s overwhelming as an artist, there are no limits to his creativity. My best ally is our intellectual property lawyer, I keep wanting to register every brand that he comes up with, every song, every idea. Carlos is brilliant.
Claudia is a woman of many virtues and little flaws. Not everyone has come to our lives with good intentions, and this aﬀects Claudia. Now with everything that’s going on in social media… it’s hard for her to separate herself from the gossip. To this I say: “Guess why I don’t own a bird, because I don’t want to hear it sing.” -he says this while laughing loudly- I always say to her, “We have the right to not find out what other people think.”
We debate often. There are so many work fronts and each one poses huge challenges that we never stop brainstorming, talking and debating to find solutions for so many situations. Of course we often have different points of view and it can be diﬃcult to come to an agreement, in those instances I prefer to stop and leave for a while. We try to address the issues later but sometimes it’s impossible to reach an agreement and one of us has to give in. Usually it’s me! -she cries out while laughing again.
Love. True love can conquer anything.
I admire Carlos enormously, and in those moments when we are going through something diﬃcult and argue, I take a deep breath and often talk to my sister Isa and my friends. I always come back to what keeps us together, our love for Colombia, our projects: Tras La Perla, Rio Grande, our brands Gaira Música Local, Cumbia House and his whole philosophy as an artist. And to be honest, there is no other place that makes me happier than the Vives Universe. So this is what helps me deal with those obstacles we often encounter in our relationship.
I understand it’s a flaw some people have, not ours, gossip is an industry and those people have to make a living - he says this in an understanding manner and without giving it much importance-. It’s obviously not something I value.
I feel like those comments are so removed from reality… -she pauses for a second- It’s hard for me to believe there are people that validate them. I’ve been in this family for 20 years and all I’ve done is oﬀer love, take care of everyone, look out for everyone’s best interest and try to have everyone be in good terms with each other. This is the truth and they know this. When it comes to a certain type of press, I try not to pay attention, but sometimes the wave gets so incredibly big that one has to take a deep breath and be strong in order to continue forward. Facts always manage to reveal the truth and what is really behind everything that happens to us. When facing complex situations -pauses again-, there are those who always look for someone to blame in order to avoid the consequences for their actions. This is a perverse way to play the victim and it doesn’t allow healing to occur. I always find refuge from the storm in Carlos, my children, my friends and family.
That in order to create a better word, love is about commitment and compromise… and in order to give love, it’s important to feel loved right down to your bones.
Certainly our children are forming their own idea of what a couple’s relationship should be just by seeing our daily interaction. I want to teach them to treat others with kindness and how to communicate in a healthy manner. I want them to witness manifestations of aﬀection, learn the power of words, the power of nonverbal communication as well body language. They absorb everything. I want them to know that a healthy relationship is possible. I want them to learn to identify what comes from the ego and surpass it. To look for that partner in life who will compliment and help them become better every day.
Everything I loved to do in life, sometimes we forget.
Since the very beginning I connected with Carlos’ values and principles. His love for Colombia, the way he connects us with its identity, the way he shows us what unites us as a society and and teaches to understand the diﬀerences. We vibrate with the same purpose and that makes our work a common cause for which we get up happily every morning. More than a job, it is the passion for what we do that unites us and that is indestructible.
We wish this amazing couple many more years of love and happiness together. Thank you for your valuable time! May you shine bright at the Hollywood Bowl!
Hair and Makeup: Paul Anthony
Video Edition: Daniel Niera
Look (blue) Claudia: Vestido @glaudibyjohanahernandez / Jewelry @androhmedaLook
Look (sparkly) Claudia: Vestido @glaudibyjohanahernandez / Jewelry @androhmeda
Suit (black) Carlos: Suit @regardstylehouse / Jewelry @androhmeda
Look (pink) Claudia: Vestido @glaudibyjohanahernandez / Jewelry @regardstylehouse / Carlos: Jacket @ysl / Shirt @ysl / Boots @maisonpriveepr_la