Bugo: "I want to be remembered as a pop artist, not a niche one"

Bugo: “I want to be remembered as a pop artist, not a niche one”

Luckily I'm here” is the title of Bugo's new studio album, out next March 15th three years after “Bugatti Cristian“, expanded reissue with unreleased songs from the 2020 album “Cristian Bugatti”. The new work comes after a period in which the singer-songwriter experienced different situations, from the pandemic and the return to Sanremo three years ago with “Instead Yes“, after the adventure at the Festival with “Sincere“, at the desire to go back to writing songs and music. There genesis of the discIn fact, Bugo says in the interview with Rockol, dates back to the end of 2021 when, after participating in the television program “Beijing Express”, he wrote the songs that later merged into “Forfortunate that there are”. “In November/December 2021, I wrote all the pieces, in two months. I need to concentrate my energy in a short time, because otherwise I feel like I'm losing myself. I've always done it this way”, explains Cristian Bugatti, born in 1973 , composed and at the same time unrestrained, in his gray tracksuit.

During the chat – in which we deliberately will not talk about Sanremo 2020 and the dispute with Morgan – Bugo also talks about the birth, the music, the emotions and the influences of his new albumwhich he will then also present live on the occasion of a tour yet to be announced. The release of “Lucky you are” then offers the singer-songwriter the opportunity to share some reflections on today's musical panorama.

Rockol: What are the sensations, emotions, expectations that accompany the release of “Luckily there is me”?
: I wouldn't say expectations, I don't project much into the future. What should you expect? You never know how people react to a record: this thing doesn't depend on me. Music must be made only for me and to make me happy. And, first and foremost, I'm happy, when it comes out, if even just two people like it, that's enough for me. It seems rhetorical, but it isn't. Always trying to do something to make others happy can in the long run be a dangerous thing on a mental level for an artist.

Rockol: Emotions, however?
: There are so many emotions, they are a mixture of the desire to feel good, above all, and to feel a little lighter in the head, which I have already been able to do lately. Already the moments spent in the studio with the guys recording made me feel better.
So the emotions are to find oneself, to reform oneself, to rebuild oneself, to react, to feel good, to continue to believe in oneself.

“Luckily I'm here” is a way to continue to believe in your possibilities. .
And then music is always a bit of a dream, so you also end up telling the dreams you have, together with your freedom and the desire to be mentally healthy and alive.

Rockol: Your latest studio album is “Cristian Bugatti” in 2020, with the Sanremo single “Altrove”, followed the following year by the re-release “Bugatti Cristian”, which included five unreleased songs, including the song you brought to Sanremo in 2021, “But yes”. This new album, “Forfortuna che ci c'io”, how and when was he born?
: Immediately after “Bugatti Cristian”, I felt like writing, because mentally I also wanted to get out of the pandemic period a bit, we were still there, and I said to myself: “You have to start writing”.

Writing has helped me a lot. 2020/2021 was also a therapeutic period for me, it didn't slow me down on a creative level. As soon as I returned from “Beijing Express”, in November/December 2021, I wrote all the pieces, in two months. I need to concentrate my energy in a short time, because otherwise I feel like I'm losing myself. I've always done it this way .
In January 2022 we were already in the studio and the following July the album was finished. Then it took the technical time to mix it, find a label and reform the whole team. Then last year we released the first single and now the album is out.
I was also pretty fast, all things considered.

Rockol: Listening to “Forfortuna che ci sono io”, you seem to find Bugo's typical colloquialism in the lyrics. Songs like the title track and “A Child”, for example, maintain a direct, incisive tone and there are not too many turns of phrase. So does it depend on your way of working, writing quickly and concentrating your energy?
When I write a song, I want to express an emotion of the moment, and therefore I talk a little to myself and a little to others.

There can be a love song, in which perhaps I speak to my wife, another for my son or in which I speak to friends. Each song has its own goal. And for me colloquality is important, because, thinking back to my heroes, since I was little I have always been passionate about those artists who are like that, who are a bit like a spade, who are great because they are outsiders.
Basically it's the music that I like, rock and roll is like that, like “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, for example. In the end, what the fuck do I have to tell you? I don't do classical music, I do rock and roll: it's three chords, I have to tell you that I'm busting my balls and enjoying my song.

Rockol: Who are your heroes, then?
: Among my heroes I can mention Vasco Rossi or Celentano. I would also say Battisti, but he wasn't really a singer-songwriter. All my heroes have always given me something that must be that thing there, it must arrive, and be spontaneous. I'm very interested in this.

Rockol: “Cristian Bugatti” and “Bugatti Cristian”, to use a journalistic term, veered more towards pop, with cinematic situations and open to instruments such as strings and piano. “Luckily that I'm there”, however, is more rock and roll, with the guitars in the foreground, fast and dynamic riffs. There is also a certain incisiveness that recalls the sounds of the Nineties, early 2000s. Musically, how did you work on the new album?
: The album before Sanremo, “No scale to climb” from 2016, is all rock and roll I would say, from start to finish.

From the beginning of my career in 2000 until today, it seems like every record is a slap in the face of the one before it. And I do it because I like doing it, it keeps me alive. It's not that “Luckily there's me” was released because I didn't like the ones before, “Cristian Bugatti” and “Bugatti Cristian”. Since I'm preparing the tour now, as I usually do, I'm going to listen to the previous records and I like them. I am content of all my albums. And every record has its own story. .
“Fortunately, I'm here” is a different story compared to “Bugatti Cristian”, with which I wanted to introduce myself to those who didn't know me.
For me, however, “Luckily there is me” is also a pop record. It's not that because it has guitars it's not a pop record. I would like to be remembered as a pop artist, not as a niche artist. When I tell myself that I'm a niche artist, it offends me: I don't want to be niche. Then, it is the environment that decides where I am, I don't decide.
So for me this new album of mine is a pop album, in which I decided to use a lot of guitars because, with everything that has happened to me, including the pandemic, I want to react. The guitar is, in my opinion, a snarling and angry instrument, which makes you dig deeper into some things.

Rockol: What were the listening experiences that accompanied you in the creation of the new album?
: It's a mix of listening to the nineties, in my opinion the last golden rock era. Not after that, maybe Kasabian. Rock has always continued, therefore. There is also a lot of stuff present, so as not to forget that rock has a history, which seems obvious, but it isn't. But I wasn't inspired only by the nineties, there are many bands that I like. In every song you can find something from Vasco, Oasis, Nirvana, Fontaines DC. There's a lot of stuff that I like, and that influences me.

Rockol: In the title track “Forfortuna che ci c'io io” there is a passage that reads: “Ior I don't know how to live in the world.” Thinking about this sentence: what is your vision of the current musical landscape, and how do you feel in relation to it.
: I'm happy that you notice that phrase, it's one of the most beautiful on the album, in my opinion.
People who thought I knew what the world was like make me laugh.

But you can't know. The strength within oneself is found in self-criticism. “I don't know how to live in the world”, she means that “I want to learn how to live in the world”. The thing that has always struck me in my career, from the beginning, is that when I look at these artists who, young or not young, seem so bold, then in reality they don't even look you in the eye. The fragility is touching, almost.
Because everything is exhibition, it's all an appearance. But you have to create the strength yourself. Therefore, “I don't know how to live in the world” is not a self-pitying phrase, but it is also a way to respond to all those who criticize others.
In the song in particular, then, there is also a lot of criticism of television, where everyone seems so sure of themselves.

Rockol: What is your vision of young artists?
: Towards the public and journalists I want to position myself in a different way from those who feel on a pedestal.

Even though I consider myself very self-confident, because otherwise you don't do this job, you won't last twenty-five years. Therefore, you must have a minimum of mental stability and clarity. But you shouldn't feel like you're on a pedestal and young kids must be careful about this. Sooner or later life can give you a slap in the face, which you will remember forever. And this thing about character, in my opinion, is not taught to young people, neither by their parents nor by the musical environment. The only thing that seems to matter is talent, but talent counts for nothing. One can be good at playing twenty instruments, have the most beautiful voice ever, but if you get four slaps from life, character is fundamental.
I feel very sorry for today's young people, therefore, because I see them as very fragile. You see them all bold, but if you see them on the street, alone, they can't say two sentences. For this reason I empathize a lot with young people, I like them a lot. In reality, they have strength within them, but if no one tells them they are strong, they feel sorry for themselves and act arrogant. On social media, for example, I see that when I clash with someone younger, all it takes is a few jokes and he becomes more emotional, even much more than me.

Rockol: Are there any artists you listen to the most? Are there any new releases, groups or artists, even from the underground, that you would recommend? In short, what are Bugo's musical advice?
: There isn't a particular artist, but there is someone, like gIANMARIA, he's a smart guy in my opinion. I like Visconti, a boy from Veneto who plays rock. There is so much beautiful music, when I read my fifty-year-old peers say that young people's music sucks, I would tell them: “It's not true”. Music is never in crisis, because credibility always exists. Then it depends on what goes in the charts, but it's not true that rock and roll doesn't exist. Now trap is in fashion, but that doesn't mean that nothing else exists. I could name a lot of young, good, rock bands: Afflecks Palace and Pastels, for example. The list of artists I like is very long, but young people's music is not in crisis.

Rockol: What do you think of rock today?
: Rock and roll is not a genre that is in fashion, it has never been in fashion. Every now and then someone comes along who is stronger than the other. But it's not like rock and roll was in fashion when Nirvana was around.
However, I haven't found that impetuosity of the nineties again, so it's also a way of saying to young people: “Oh shit, let me listen to records like that, because as a fifty-year-old I'd be happy with it.” There is a great desire to communicate this thing with young people and in my opinion, with the pandemic, many young people have tried to let off steam with the guitar.
I don't think rock and roll will have a bright future, but maybe there will be someone like me who will make a rock and roll record after years because they think it will still be cool.