An Expert Opinion: Italy – ‘Madness of Love’

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Moving on to the next of the automatic finalists who will be taking to the stage next Saturday night, we head onto a nation which many people are still amazed that they have returned to the competition. I am guessing that you know that I am speaking about Italy, the nation which has returned following a break of fourteen years from the competition citing that it is not as fair as it used to be. All of this seemed to change and the broadcaster, RAI, had a change of heart and not only returned but is giving the opportunity to the winner of the Giovani section of the San Remo competition in the form of Raphael Gualazzi and his entry ‘Madness of Love’, a bi-lingual version of the original ‘Follia D’Amore’ which he wrote. This entry will be performed in position number 12.

Biography of the Artist (Presented by Eurovision.tv)

Raphael Gualazzi was born in Urbino on the 11th of November, 1981. After studying pianoforte at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, where he focussed on classical composers, he extended his musical research to include Jazz, Blues and Fusion, collaborating with qualified artists of the sector and becoming known for his unique vocal and instrumental qualities. His music was born of the fusion between the Rag-time technique of the early 1900s and the lyricism of Blues, Soul and Jazz in its more traditional form. The typical pre-jazz and stride-piano sounds of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Art Tatum and Mary Lou Williams, and the Blues of Ray Charles and Roosevelt Sykes, are brought up to date by Raphael Gualazzi with an extremely personal style in which tradition co-exists with the most innovative influences of such eclectic artists as Jamiroquai and Ben Harper.

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Another song by Raphael Gualazzi

Since 2005 Raphael Gualazzi has taken part in important festivals such as Fano Jazz, the Java Festival of Jakarta and Argo Jazz, Ravello International Festival and others, and in France in 2008 his compilation Piano Jazz was released on the Wagram label. This compilation included Raphael Gualazzi’s interpretation of Georgia On My Mind as well as compositions of great artists like Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Art Tatum, Ray Charles, Jimmie Cullum, Michael Petrucciani, Chick Corea, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, Nina Simone and Duke Ellington. After being invited to perform in Vermont and New Hampshire as part of the project The History & Mystery Of Jazz, alongside such prominent musicians as Michael Ray (Sun Ra Arkestra, Kool & The Gang), Steve Ferraris (Sun Ra Arkestra, Charlie Haden), Jamie McDonald, Nick Cassarino, Bob Gullotti and John McKenna, in September of 2009 Raphael Gualazzi met Caterina Caselli and signed with Sugar a recording contract. After catching the attention of the general public with his cover of Don’t Stop, the celebrated ’70s success of the famous band Fleetwood Mac, which was chosen as the soundtrack of the ENI television ad, in the summer of 2010 Raphael Gualazzi performed at the Heineken Jammin Festival, the prestigious Pistoia Blues Festival and the Giffoni Film Festival, and went on to make his debut in September at the club Blue Note in Milan, where he presented his first 4-track digital EP of the same name, which brought him to the top of the iTunes charts.

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Another song by Raphael Gualazzi

In the meantime, the track Reality And Fantasy, remixed by Gilles Peterson and added to the Hotel Costes Compilation and Nova Tunes 2.2, reached the top of the charts for digital sales throughout the world. Raphael Gualazzi gained air play on some of the most prestigious French networks and in December he performed at the Louvre and then went on to make his debut at the Sun Side Club in Paris, the ‘temple’ of jazz music, where he presented his repertoire to the European media. In February 2011 Raphael Gualazzi took part in the Festival of Sanremo in Italy with the song Madness Of Love. The song won hands down, coming away with the prize for the Young Artists category, the “Mia Martini” Critics Award and the Press, Radio & TV Award. Simultaneously, the English version of Madness Of Love was included in the soundtrack of the film Manual Of Love 3, directed by Giovanni Vchosen and starring Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci. The song, which was written, produced and arranged by Gualazzi himself, is from his debut album Reality And Fantasy, released on the Sugar label on 16th February (and distributed with Universal Music in France and Germany). The song will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf with an English/Italian version of the lyrics.

Chorus Lyrics

Ma vedrai un altro me
in un sogno fragile
riderai come se non ti avessi amato mai
cercherai un altro me oltre l’ombra di un caffe’
Troverai solo me
Se mi fermo un attimo io non so piu’ chi sei

Through the Eyes of Our Experts

Brendan Keeley: Like this cool guy! Reminds me of Harry Connick Jnr, with a Buble type song, The song itself faile for me to lift into crecendo, But very trendy and could go far. Five marks from me.

Anders Berglund:  What happened here? Is this what Italy re-enters with when they return to ESC? I don’t know what to say…it sounds like a song from an old movie from the fourties, unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to have a chance in ESC. Personally I like the song and I think Italy is very brave to contribute with this entry even though I think it’s the wrong forum. I hear a live orchestra – is that a sign…Let’s give this seven points.

General Information

Artist: Raphael Gualazzi
Composer: Raphael Gualazzi
Author: Raphael Gualazzi
Song: Madness of Love
Language: Italian / English
Broadcaster: RAI

History of Nation

Yet again, Italy is one of the founding nations of the Eurovision Song Contest with the main concept of it all based on one particular aspect and that was the San Remo festival. It is quite important to note that Italy was not the most successful nation in terms of results within the competition but they managed to create the most popular songs within the event that would go onto hit the charts including those of the United States of America. Two of the songs which many people do remember are surely the ‘Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu)’ and ‘Piove’ by Domenico Modugno which only came in third place and sixth place respectively before becoming worldwide hits. Still Italy was one of the first winners because their first victory came in 1964 when Gigliola Cinquetti won with the song ‘Non Ho L’Eta’. The nation which would never finish in second place dwindled a bit but did still manage to record a second victory in 1990 with the song ‘Insieme: 1991’ performed by Toto Cotugno. The final participation of Italy prior to this year was back in 1997 when Jalisse and the song ‘Fiumi Di Parole’ took to the stage as favourites only to finish in fourth place, something which angered the Italians.

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