Sanremo 2024, Amadeus: "Why I said yes to Geolier"

It was said, Geolier could leave an important mark

His ID card says Emanuele Palumbo born in Naples on 23 March 2000. What that document doesn't list is his stage name, Geolierand the fact that at the last Sanremo festival he took second place in the final ranking with his “I'm for me, you're for you”surpassed only by “Boredom” Of Angelina Mango. The boy turns 24 today and has two albums to his credit: “The courage of children” (read the review here) released at the beginning of 2023 and the debut album, “Emanuel”, released when he was just 19 years old. It is with the review of the 'debut album' written for us by Riccardo Primavera that we wish the Neapolitan rapper a happy birthday.

Very little is known about Geolier. Going through the web, it is very difficult to find information about him, and even less is the content that sees him speaking directly; he practically never allowed himself to be interviewed. In some ways it's understandable, given that his rise in the Italian rap scene was as thunderous as it was very rapid. Three singles, millions of accumulated streams, the immediate arrival of important collaborations, the signing for BFM – the label founded by Luchè, which brings together some of the young talents of the Neapolitan rap scene. We therefore know that he is quite young, that he is Neapolitan, that he wrote some of the most interesting verses of “Mattoni” – the Night Skinny album – and that in just one year he went from an interesting prospect to a real confirmation. In addition to this, in one of the very few – perhaps the only – interviews given, he said that he had discarded three albums, before being convinced that he had created the right album to make his debut.

“Emanuele” is Geolier's official business card to the Italian public, produced and distributed by BFM and Island Records/Universal Music Italia. The artistic direction of the project was entrusted to Dat Boi Dee, a Neapolitan producer and another name who rose to prominence in a very short time – collaborating, among others, with CoCo and Luchè. 16 instrumentals for as many tracks, on which there is space for a few featuring, but targeted and of absolute level: Luchè, Emis Killa, Lele Blade, MV Killa and Gue Pequeno.

It is difficult to imagine a more complete first album than “Emanuele”. Geolier chooses to rap only in Neapolitan, but although the city of Campania is a strong presence in his imagination, the stories he tells allow anyone to relate. The album has everything: from self-celebration to arrogance – as in “Yacht” or “Amo Ma Chi T Sap”, with Luchè and MV Killa and Gué Pequeno respectively -, passing through love songs that can be melancholic or incredibly romantic – “Na Catena”, “Vogl Sul A Te” -, arriving at songs with extraordinarily mature introspection, which artists usually tend to reach after several albums.

“Intro”, “Dreams” or “Emanuele” are examples of writing capable of delving deeply into one's own person, without however ever seeming heavy or out of place.

Smoothness is in fact another of the great strengths of the project: thanks to an excellent variety in terms of sounds, testimony to the excellent work done by Dat Boi Dee, listening to the album is incredibly fluid, it doesn't get boring , it is never repetitive. For every piece with a classic sound like “Provino” we find the Latin-like lightness of “Como Te”, for every evocative and emotional moment like “Intro” there are the pressing and dark atmospheres of “Yacht” as a counterbalance. The numbers that “Emanuele” is crunching are clear demonstration that, in this field, Geolier is one of the most interesting names of 2019, and could potentially leave an important mark on the Italian scene. The depth of this debut album certainly speaks in his favour.