Showing posts with label Ligabue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ligabue. Show all posts

27 September 2017

Jovanotti - musician

Former rapper important figure in Italian pop culture

Jovanotti is now one of Italy's most popular performers, attracting sell-out crowds
Jovanotti is now one of Italy's most popular
performers, attracting sell-out crowds
The singer-songwriter Lorenzo Cherubini – better known as Jovanotti – was born on this day in 1966 in Rome.

Famous in his early days as Italy’s first rap star, Jovanotti has evolved into one of Italian pop music’s most significant figures, his work progressing from hip hop to funk and introducing ska and other strands of world music to Italian audiences, his increasingly sophisticated compositions even showing classical influences.

He has come to match Ligabue in terms of the ability to attract massive audiences, while his international record sales in the mid-90s were on a par with Eros Ramazzotti and Laura Pausini.  Since his recording debut in 1988 he has sold more than seven million albums.

Although born in Rome, Cherubini came from a Tuscan family and spent much of his childhood and adolescence in Cortona in the province of Arezzo, where he now has a home.

He began to work as a DJ at venues in and around Cortona, mainly playing dance music and hip hop, which at the time was scarcely known in Italy. After finishing high school he went back to Rome because he felt he had a better chance of launching a musical career via the capital’s club scene.  

Jovanotti started out as a DJ before turning to hip hop and rap
Jovanotti started out as a DJ before
turning to hip hop and rap
Jovanotti became his stage name not quite by design.  He had intended to call himself Joe Vanotti – the name meant to sound like giovanotti, the Italian word for “young people” – but the promotional poster for one of his early club bookings as a deejay incorrectly billed him as Jovanotti and the name stuck.

His success in Rome earned him bookings further afield, particularly at holiday resorts, and it was on one such gig that he met the entrepreneur record producer Claudio Ceccheto, who would give him national exposure via his radio station, Radio Deejay.

Jovanotti’s early work was raw and basic. He fashioned himself as a Paninaro – a kind of Italian version of the English mods of the 1960s, who favoured Vespa and Lambretta scooters and had signature clothes, in particular Timberland boots, Levi jeans and American military flying jackets.

Yet he became an icon for Italian youth. Songs such as Sei come la mia moto – roughly translated: “You’re like my Lambretta/Vespa” – and Gimme Five became youth anthems, the first of many that Italian teenagers, who love to memorise the lyrics of their favourite tracks and sing them together, would turn into pop classics. Fans refer to him often as simply Jova.

His 1988 debut album, Jovanotti for President, was panned by the critics, yet sold more than 400,000 copies. His second, La Mia Moto, topped 600,000.  His catalogue now stands at 13 studio albums, four live albums, six compilations, a remix album and four video albums, plus 82 singles.

Jovanotti songs became anthems for Italian youth
Jovanotti songs became anthems
for Italian youth
The last seven of his studio albums have gone to number one in the Italian music charts and songs such as A te, L’Ombelico del Mondo, Bella, Fango, Piove, Penso Positivo and Per Te – which he wrote for his newborn daughter, Teresa, in 1998 – have entered what writers have dubbed The Great Italian Songbook.

Initially loved for the fact that his songs tended not to carry any political or ideological messages, from the 1990s onwards, Jovanotti became much more political. As a committed pacifist, he frequently worked with organizations such as Make Poverty History and Amnesty International, and he has contributed to events dedicated to debt relief, forming a friendship with the similarly minded U2 front man Bono.

He declared his support for the Partito Democratico della Sinistra (the Democratic Party of the Left), which formed from a split in the Italian Communist Party, in the 1992 general election.

In September 2008, 10 years after the birth of their daughter,  Jovanotti married his long-term partner Francesca Valiani at Cortona, in the Church of Santa Maria Nuova.

The Palazzo Comune in Cortona
The Palazzo Comune in Cortona
Travel tip:

Cortona is a charming small city in the Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley, in the province of Arezzo in southern Tuscany, about 120km (75 miles) southeast of Florence. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, sits on the top of a hill about 600m (2000ft) above sea level, offering spectacular views.  It is characterised by steep, narrow streets – indeed the main street, Via Nazionale, is the only street in the city with no gradient. Among the main sights is the domed church of Santa Maria Nuova, designed by Giorgio Vasari.

The Best Company label favoured by Paninari
The Best Company label favoured by Paninari
Travel tip:

The Paninaro youth culture of the 1980s began in Milan among a group of teenagers who fashioned an identity for themselves around certain clothing brands. They tended to meet in particular cafes and fast food outlets in central Milan, in particular Al Panino in Via Agnello, a stone’s throw from the Duomo. As befits the fashion capital of Italy, they favoured expensive labels and it was not unusual to see Paninari dressed in Armani jeans, although the real must-haves in addition to Timberland boots were brightly coloured Best Company sweatshirts and Alpha Industries or Schott flying jackets.

13 March 2016

Ligabue - record-breaking rock star

Musician and writer once dubbed 'Italy's Springsteen'

Luciano Ligabue is known simply as Ligabue
Luciano Ligabue
 (Photo: Elena Torre CC BY-SA 2.0)
Unlike his contemporary, Eros Ramazzotti, the Italian rock musician Luciano Ligabue - born on this day in 1960 - has had to content himself with fame limited largely to his home country. 

Although popular in France, the singer-songwriter from Correggio, near Reggio Emilia, generally known as simply Ligabue, never managed to achieve true international recognition.

Yet such is his popularity in Italy that a Ligabue concert held on a stage erected on Reggio Emilia's airfield in 2005 attracted an audience of 180,000, a European record for a paid-for event headlined by a single artist.

The artist, who has also enjoyed success as a film director and a writer, has played before audiences of more than 110,000 at the Giuseppe Meazza football stadium in Milan -- the home of Internazionale and AC Milan -- and has twice repeated the so-called Campovolo event in Reggio Emilia.

Watch a video clip of Ligabue's popular song 'Certe Notti'

A concert there in 2011, limited for security reasons to 110,000, was a sell-out, and a third concert, staged in September last year to celebrate Ligabue's 25 years in the music business, sold 150,000 tickets, setting another record as the most lucrative single music concert in Italian history, with proceeds of around €7 million.

Although he grew up with a love of music, it was some years before Ligabue was able to make a living from his passion. As a young man, he flitted from one job to another.  At different times he worked in agriculture and the steel industry, hosted a radio show, kept a shop and was a trainee accountant, but never saw himself settling for a career in anything but music.

Ligabue on stage at the Arena di Verona in 2008
Ligabue performing at a concert at the Arena di Verona
in September 2008 (Photo: Lo Scaligero CC BY-SA 3.0)
He took his first steps when he founded the amateur band Orazero in 1987. A break came when his fellow Emilian singer-songwriter, Pierangelo Bertoli, included one of Ligabue's songs, Sogni di Rock 'n' Roll (Rock 'n' Roll Dreams), in a new album.   The following year, Bertoli introduced him to producer Angelo Carrara, and he completed an album of his own, entitled Ligabue, which was released in May 1990.

The most recent album, Giro del Mondo, was released in 2015, bringing his total so far to 18.  His most famous songs include Balliamo sul mondo (Let's Dance on the World), Ho Perso le Parole (I've Lost the Words) and the most successful of all, Certe Notti (Certain Nights), which was voted as "Italian song of the 1990s" by the readers of a popular music magazine.

He displayed his versatility as an artist by venturing into cinema in 1998. His first movie, Radiofreccia, a semi-autobiographical story of a local radio station, was well received by the critics and won a number of awards. Ligabue also composed the soundtrack, which was released as an album.

Ligabue's short story collection, Fuori e Dentro il Borgo (Outside and Inside the Village) also won awards, and he has written a science fiction novel La Neve se ne Frega (The Snow Doesn't Give a Damn) and a collections of poems Lettere d'Amore nel Frigo (Love Letters in the Fridge).

A new collection of short stories, Scusate il Disordine (Excuse the Mess), is due out in May.

He once had the reputation as Italy's equivalent of Bruce Springsteen, a musician interested in human rights and with strong political ideals.  In the late 1990s he was elected to the communal council in his home town of Correggio, standing for the Italian Communist Party, although he is no longer actively involved in politics.  In 1999, he joined with fellow rock musicians Jovanotti and Piero Pelu in recording a protest song against the war in Kosovo.

The Palazzo dei Principi was built in the 15th century
The inner courtyard of the Palazzo dei Principi
in Correggio (Photo: Paolo Picciati CC BY-SA 3.0)
Travel tip:

The town of Correggio, situated a little over 20km to the north-east of Reggio Emilia, has its origins in the Middle Ages.  It began to grow in the 11th century, when a castle was built and later, within its walls, the impressive Palazzo dei Principi. Controlled by the same feudal family for 600 years, it fell into the hands of the Dukes of Modena and many new buildings in neoclassical style were built during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Some beautiful palaces and churches can be seen in Corso Mazzini and Piazza Quirino, one example being the Collegiate Church of Saints Michael and Quirino.  Correggio was also home to the Renaissance artist Antonio Allegri (1489-1534), widely known as Correggio. There is a monument dedicated to him in Piazza Quirino.

Correggio hotels by

Wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which is thought to originate in Reggio Emilia
Wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which
is thought to originate in Reggio Emilia
Travel tip:

The city of Reggio Emilia is reckoned to be the home of Italy's world famous hard cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, which is thought to have originated in the commune of Bibbiano, in the Reggio Emilia province.  It is also credited with being the area of Italy from which the country adopted the tricolore as the national flag, with evidence that a short-lived 18th century republic, the Repubblica Cispadana, had a flag of red, white and green.  There are a number of notable buildings, including the Basilica della Ghiara and the 10th century Basilica di San Prospero.