HomeMeet Your CASA Ambassador: Javier Diez [Argentina]

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Javier Diez
https://www.casa.org/users/javidiez


When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?

I eased into it over the years rather than jumping straight in. I was born in Argentina, but spent most of my childhood in England. It was there that I joined the Sevenoaks School Choir (with my then-soprano voice). By 14, my family and I moved back to Argentina, and I soon became fascinated with a cappella, performing regularly at school, this time as a baritone. I got into musical comedy and flirted with vocal groups until being called to take part in Voxpop, my current group, back in 2002.

When did you first become involved with CASA?

2002. We were looking for arrangements and inspiration, and among other things, we were trying to do Rockapella’s Hound Dog but just couldn’t make out some of the background lyrics. I found Deke Sharon, and he in turn put me in touch with Sean Altman, and in a matter of hours, Sean replied back with the lyrics (which are hysterical, in case you’re not familiar with that version).

What geographical area do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

Argentina

What role do you play as a CASA ambassador and/or what role would you like to play?

I am obsessed with communication, with establishing rapport and empathy. And all things a cappella, obviously. Though being fairly new as an ambassador, I would like to be closely involved in connecting people in my home country with international a cappella. Contemporary a cappella in Argentina is relatively new, though we have a huge heritage of vocal and choral music. My wish is to bring the world of modern a cappella to Argentina, and help take the best of Argentina’s vocal music to the world.

What do you do for work and play?

I’m a weird mix of entrepreneur and a cappella singer. Though studying film direction in college, I ended up dedicating most of my initial “day” time to starting up and growing tech companies. In 1999 I started an ISP called Netizen, which grew to be a major Latin American player in telecommunications. Then came Activica (a software and e-learning company I still lead), Cartoon Experts (an animation studio) and Prestario.com, a peer- to-peer money lending social network. Meanwhile, I am part of Voxpop, one of the most well-known a cappella groups in Argentina. 10 years ago my day job was the office and my night hobby was Voxpop, but as time elapsed, and we started doing more and more gigs (averaging 120 gigs per year for the last 2 years), Voxpop started becoming my "other" day job, which I love. For play I like wine collecting and tasting (no snobbery, mind, I just really, really like wine), cooking for friends and watching animated movies with my 4 year old.

Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn

I proposed to my wife the day after meeting her for the first time.

Favorite a cappella group?

The Swingle Singers (current formation)

Favorite type of music?

Chanson, Rock, musicals, film scores, Britpop.

Favorite a cappella concert?

The King’s Singers live at The Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks, UK, in 1988. My first a cappella concert.

Anything you'd like the CASA readership to know about your area?

Besides being the home of tango (you are probably familiar with the dance, but take it from me that vocal tango is even better!), ridiculously good beef, Malbec, and Maradona, there is an extremely rich vocal music scene, which you will hopefully discover soon.