Guest of the Rockol Lounge, at the Club Tenco headquarters, Gazzelle talks about the song he is competing with at the seventy-fourth edition of Sanremo, “Tutto qui”, and what drove him to participate in the Festival.
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“I like doing things a bit like this, in an impulsive way. I wanted to have a new experience, in life, rather than in career”, explains the singer-songwriter to Rockol: “Moreover, there is also a more of a mythomaniac than me, who nevertheless has that desire to broaden the audience more and more, to make myself known more and more, to become more and more popular, no longer pop”. And of the stage: “Like Spinaceto: I thought worse”, as Nanni Moretti says, quoting the great director.
Rockol: Let’s start from “Tutto qui”: how was the song you bring to Sanremo born?
Gazelles: “Tutto qui” is a song that I wrote a few months ago, so, suddenly, in one go. And then I thought about going to Sanremo. After two hours it was arranged: I was inspired at that moment, it is a very sincere song, very delicate, in my opinion, also very elegant. I wanted to go to the Festiva with a piece like this, with a delicate piece, on tiptoe, without having to shout among a thousand voices. I just wanted to sing my little song. This song means a lot to me: I put a lot of life into it.
Rockol: In a Sanremo where half the songs are in 4/4, with the infamous straight bass drum, how do you think a ballad like this could be received?
Gazelles: I would have brought this song regardless. Obviously I didn’t have the overall vision that Amadeus has of the pieces, so I didn’t know what I would find, but I didn’t care either. I wanted to bring my world, my way of writing, and also my sound. Then yes, when they told me that in fact there are all uptempo pieces, I thought it could be an advantage for me. At least, at a certain moment, you hear something different, perhaps more classic in some ways, but slower.
Rockol: Before you were talking about the arrangement; one thing that changes Sanremo is the presence of the orchestra. Did you already write it with an orchestra in mind, or did you rearrange the song with that stage and orchestra in mind?
Gazelles: I arranged the song directly like this, then in a subsequent phase, when we decided to go to Sanremo, I gave a little more sprint to the string section. If you go to play with an orchestra, you have to use it a bit, otherwise it’s a wasted opportunity. And so I’m actually happy that I wrote an ad hoc piece, basically for the orchestra without doing it on purpose though.
Rockol: This Sanremo comes at a particular moment in your career: as you said, you have nothing to sell, you don’t have any records on promotion, there’s only one tour. Why are we going to heal right now?
Gazelles: Because I like to do things a bit like this, in an impulsive way. I wanted to have a new experience, a life experience, rather than a career one. I wanted to move a little, because in recent times I have experienced many artistic things. Even if my career is short all things considered – but given the times, not too much, because in March it will be 7 years – I have already done many things. I even redid some of them. And so, after the stadium I wanted to feel some strong emotions again for a moment. I thought Sanremo could be the right stage to go and seek out this type of emotion, a bit of heart-pounding, a bit of anxiety, things like that. Furthermore, there is also a more mythomaniac part of me, which nevertheless has that desire to broaden the audience more and more, to make myself more and more known, to become more and more popular, no longer pop.
Rockol: What effect has this stage had on you so far? Expectations met, more anxiety?
Gazelles: “Like Spinaceto: I thought worse”, as Nanni Moretti says.
In reality, it is a stage, like many others. I’ve made many stages to date, this is one of the smallest, among other things. It’s strange: because I’ve always seen it on TV, from which it seems bigger. Then you go upstairs and finally realize you’re in a cinema. Even when you leave, it’s still a cinema. It’s a small stage, but huge, still scary. When I did the dress rehearsal, I was a little excited, but I was happy, because – as I said before – I’m really looking for that, for emotions.
But I’m not afraid of it: in the end I’m going to sing. If they asked me to make a mushroom risotto, I would be nervous. Instead, singing is my job, in the end.
Rockol: Chatting with some of your colleagues from your generation, someone said that they didn’t watch the Festival, but that they come to Sanremo for the storytelling it allows. You?
Gazelles: I have watched Sanremo since I was little. But with hindsight I can say that it was him who was also looking at me, because he has always been looking at me, looking at me, looking at me, and in fact in the end he convinced me. I’ve always watched it, my parents watched it. At the age of six I decided that I wanted to be a singer. So, like a six-year-old child who wants to be a doctor and watched the cartoon “Exploring the Human Body”, I watched Sanremo because I also studied it a little unconsciously.
Rockol: Is there a song from the history of Sanremo that left a mark on you, that you remember with particular pleasure?
Gazelles: There are two, basically, and fundamental for me. I am “Gianna” by Rino Gaetano, because I love Rino Gaetano, for me he is the strongest singer ever in Italy. And then “Vita spericolata” by Vasco. Vasco and Rino Gaetano influenced me a lot, they are really two role models for me.
Rockol: What kind of expectations do you have? You mentioned Vasco, to whom one of the last places led very well.
Gazelles: I hope I don’t finish last, because I don’t think I deserve it. But if I were to come last, maybe I would be a little disappointed. My real dream is to finish third, like Rino Gaetano.