After establishing himself as a popular soap opera actor in his native Colombia, Carlos Vives began his career as a singer in 1994 with the album Classicos de la Provincia. A handsome young man with long hair, Vives is a natural performer whose charisma is obvious, especially to young women. He began by playing a style of music called vallenato, which is similar to Cumbia but was thought of as an uncool music for country folk. His modern version bumped up the bass and drums a notch but maintained a traditional accordion and indigenous flute. Working with top-notch producers such as Emilio Estefan, his voice became a constant presence on Latin radio and in discos throughout Latin America. Obviously influenced by the tropical sounds of Juan Luis Guerra, he also acknowledges a debt to the sophisticated Latin Rock that developed in Argentina. His looks may have launched his career, but it's his talent that sustains it.