Reykjavik Boulevard met MARCO MENGONI, the italian finalist at Eurovision Song Contest 2013.

All of his previous albums reached the top of the italian chart straight in the first week. He won the talent show X-Factor in 2009, then it was a long list of awards.

He is competing with a ballad called “L’essenziale” (The essential), first single from his new album #PRONTOACORRERE (Ready to run) on the record label SONY. He’s ready to take the whole cake and become worldwide famous.

Marco-Mengoni-Reykjavik-Boulevard

We had an exclusive interview with him just before the kick off of his italian tour, get to know this future international star coming from Rome!

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Hello Marco, today Reykjavik Boulevard is in Milan to meet you and to ask you some things, especially about the Eurovision Song Contest, event in which you are in the final with the song “L’Essenziale”. Moreover we would like to know your thoughts about this European competition since in Italy it has been a bit “snubbed” in the past.

Definitely, in fact I started to follow better the whole event just from this year, basically, even though I was cheering for Rafael Gualazzi two years ago and I saw that edition almost entirely. I must say perhaps in Italy it has been a little absent during these fourteen years, so there has not been that heat you can find in the rest of Europe. I talked with some friends who live in Spain and as soon as I named the Eurovision Song Contest they nearly jumped out of their chair: “Oh God! It’s a thing…” And then I said: “Hell it is very famous in Europe, why not in Italy?”. Perhaps because we did not participate, perhaps because it’s been absent for all these years and thus it has not been given the right importance. But I hope that for three years now, including this one, it would make inroads because it is a real moment of sharing, or otherwise of communion, with Europe: we should not underestimate it, especially in these times when society is slowly falling to pieces and  there is a strong need of this, of staying together with other people and with humanity.

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Since you had already taken part to the preliminary phases, how was the welcome in this case?

I expected much more competition, for example, among those who took part. But it wasn’t so! It was an authentic celebration, a real celebration of Europe and all its different ethnic groups. And I must say that I have met some incredible people. For example, I’m very impressed by the Greeks who have all this energy, and I also really like what they present. I am very happy and even a little worried because it is very difficult to go there alone to represent an entire nation, musically speaking. Moreover, I am very young, I just started to be a star in the music business and so, I knuckle down to it…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz7X-Yy5g7c

Among the contenders, is there someone who you think is stronger than the others? Is there any song that has affected you in particular?

I repeat, I was certainly impressed by Greece because I like all the mixture and the blending that they made in their piece. Uhm, I really like France, then for sure Anouk hits the ground running with a plus because virtually she already is an international star, already recognized throughout the world. Then for the rest I have not heard all the songs, so I reserve to be “there” to judge.

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You present “L’Essenziale”, song with which you’ve already won the italian major music Festival of San Remo – triumphed, I would say – where you’re listed as co-author. What is the difference between singing a song in which you actively took part to the writing process and one that has been written for you?

Definitely, a song that you wrote is like a piece of your body. So you put into it also your own impression, feelings, your own emotion, a fact living in your own memory, and definitely it is much easier then to reinterpret a piece someone else wrote. In that case you have to look for an experience that possibly gets you closer to what the writer wanted to communicate or, at least, to what you want to express through those words, the idea that you want to give, the emotion that you want to share. So I’m very pleased to sing “L’Essenziale” because I feel myself part of it and because I think it is the most rightful song: as if Italy had given a pass, a passepartout to Europe, because it has had an awesome result and a very positive feedback. So we decided to bring this song both for its writing, which is very Italian – it is a classical Italian ballad – [noise] hey! WE ARE MAKING AN INTERVIEW, SHUT UP! Ha ha ha, they’re singing. It is really nice to sing your own songs, it’s an incredible feeling. The lyrics, well they talk about hope, as I said before, dealing with the fact that society is increasingly evolving and it is changing although – in many aspects – in a negative way… And so, what the riff of this song says is that while the world is falling apart, it solves with a hopeful light, I compose new spaces, that is: we must try to compose something new and then restart, to rise again from this darkness which could be an affair, which could be a friendship, and so on…

So, various aspects of life… “L’Essenziale” was also the first single from the new album “#Prontoacorrere” and it is immediately visible the hashtag before the title of this album, so you’re following the trend of the previous “Solo 2.0”, of web and technology. What is your relationship with this…

Well, I was born in 1988, on the rise of technology: social networks were born when I was younger. Again, society is in full evolution, always, so I think that is the future. Even now, the communication is constantly present in the web. I’m both pro and con about these technologies. The pros are that speed has become really instantaneous, to communicate, for example with my fans, an emotion, a feeling, a photograph, a moment requires just a second to post or write a message. For this reason I really like this thing because I get closer and much faster. The fact that I regret is that however many people use it to hide themselves behind a screen, it means to be fearful of human relationships, the real ones outside. For this reason I have some negative ideas about this. But we say I am “pro-evolution”, so obviously I paid tribute to this more technological society.

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Ok, because Reykjavik Boulevard, instead, took a step back, because we have a little more romantic vision, especially of paper magazines. I can show you our magazine’s first release…

Wow, you’re full of money, you, gosh! Beautiful magazine!


[Click to read the magazine]


We wish we were full of money! Actually, we are looking for sponsors! We decided to go back to paper and we also really like vinyls that, for example, are becoming very fashionable. I would like to know if, from this point of view, do you think you’re going to have this kind of support in the future?

Limitation to physical supports only is nowadays pretty ridiculous, especially for music. Obviously discs are nearly no longer purchased, it is as if you buy a gem… You say: “Ok, I’ll buy a disc”. So everything moves with the web, given that charts – for example, music charts – are associated to that of downloads. So, I hope to record a vinyl one day, because me too I love vinyl. And I hope discs won’t completely disappear even if in a little they will become like vinyl: rare and precious things. And I’m a bit sorry because it’s like putting a work, a piece of art in… In an invisible cloud, right? In an invisible computer memory, so you do not have it physically. Previously, there was a more complex research on paper, on photography, on how it was printed. Conversely, today there is much less. And so… Gosh, I’m saying too many negative things about technology, and it is not true.

The tour that kicks off tonight from Milan will provide many dates around Italy. How will you face up this tour after the previous experiences you had? First maybe you were the rookie, even in front of a bigger audience, and maybe now you’re ready to face this new experience.

Well, I must say that I desired and wanted this tour with all my heart, and I hope it will kick off as soon as possible because I really need to share all the emotions – that are very strong – which we felt and especially I have felt. I hope to get immediate feedback from the audience and to share emotions with them immediately. It’s going very well and we’ll start with this preview of ten dates. I am very happy it had been well accepted, indeed we are sold out almost everywhere and so… I am wound up, really wound up…

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Thank you so much, we will be waiting for you in Iceland!


#Prontoacorrere live @Teatro Arcimboldi, Milan – WATCH VIDEO!


Translated by: A. Battaglia // Video Editing: R. Piano // Thanks to: F. Maffetti @Goigest

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