Postcards from Prato

Shannon Livewell

Tiziano Ferro: Gavin Degraw meets Michael Buble

This week instead of doing my normal show or album review, I wanted to take a minute and focus more on the one artist who grabbed my attention the minute I landed in Italy and has held it ever since.

Tiziano Ferro is a young Italian pop singer who came to fame in 2001 in Italy when he signed a contract with EMI Music Italy. Throughout his career he has sung songs in Italian, Spanish and English, all focusing on one central theme: love. This is an artist who has sold more than seven million records worldwide, and I cannot believe I haven’t come across his music sooner.

The first single he released under EMI was “Xdono.” I only heard this song after doing some extensive research on YouTube while I was searching some of his more current songs. This song has an infectious beat, but does not showcase his voice nearly as well as his newer music. It seems to me that Ferro is now pulling away from his young pop audience and leaning more towards the jazz and blues, slow ballad genre that his voice was meant for.

Ferro’s second album, 111 was recorded in both Italian and Spanish, receiving recognition across the globe. With this album, he won Best Italian Artist in 2004 at MTV Italian Music Awards in Rome.

Since then, he released three more albums, one of which was released in 2011 and is still booming on the Italian charts today. It is titled L’amore É Una Cosa Semplice. The song that really struck me was the one that inspired the title of the album itself. This is the track that really allowed me to see the full range of Ferro’s voice and appreciate the tambour that he possesses.

He is a phenomenal singer, and this song really showcases all that he is capable of. Without knowing the language too well, the music video can be a bit confusing, yet it is played everywhere you turn in Italy. It soon becomes clear that it is about everyone having a secret and having to live with those secrets to protect the feelings of those they love, or to hold onto where they are in their lives now. I found this meaning really refreshing because in American pop music today, the lyrics of most songs only go as deep as the surface. It seems as though Italian music really digs at the things that make someone connect and feel the real emotion the artist does.

If I had to compare him to anyone to give you an idea of his sound, I would say that he is similar to a blend of an early Gavin Degraw and a current Michael Buble. Some of his songs are very upbeat and he tries to collaborate as much as possible, probably to reach a younger “clubbing generation.” But in most of his solo pieces, he exudes a certain emotional simplicity that can make even someone who has never heard a word of Italian understand what he is singing about.

I would definitely check him out. My favorite way to explore a new artist is to type the one song I know into YouTube and then to search through all of the related videos. So far, with Tiziano Ferro, there has not been one that’s disappointed me.