This year marks the 70th edition of the prestigious Sanremo Song Festival in Italy, set to begin on February 4th. The 24 participants of this year’s contest were previously revealed by the Artistic Director, Amadeus and will feature a number of returning artists, as well as newcomers to the contest. Meet the participants in our preview series, starting with Giordana Angi, and continuing through to Morgan & Bugo. Catch up on our previous Meet The Participants post here.
Giordana Angi – Come Mia Madre
Giordana Angi is a 26-year old singer-songwriter, who was born in France but raised in Italy. She is a self supportive artist who can play guitar and piano, and sings jazz songs.
Back in 2012 she participated in the Sanremo Festival in the Youth category with the song ‘Incognita poesia’. After that, she worked with established names like Tiziano Ferro, who produced her single Chuisa con te (XXX). In 2018, she wrote the song Senza Appartenere which Nina Zilli competed with at Sanremo. In the same year, she participated in the show Amici, where she finished in second place. That was also the year she finished second in the eighteenth edition of the talent show Amici.
Giordana’s latest album, Voglio Essere Tua was released late last year, and debuted in first position on the charts.
What can we expect from Giordana Angi at Sanremo 2020?
Depending on whether she will be playing her own music instrument or not, the performance of Giordana may differ a bit. She will however likely have a song that strongly leans on the vocals. We can predict an almost spoken jazz-like song with a lot of metaphors and emotion to it.
Irene Grandi – Finalmente Io
Irene Grandi, born in December 1969, established a name for herself in Italy in 1995. With her album and single ‘In vacanza da una vita’ she scored her first big hit. Over the years, she has released songs in various styles, such as pop, soul, blues, jazz and even rap.
Irene is a well known nameat the Sanremo festival as well, with four former participations. The best result came in 2000, when her song La tua ragazza sempre finished in second place. In 2020 she makes her return to Sanremo after last taking part five years ago.
What can we expect from Irene Grandi at Sanremo 2020?
Despite not participating at Sanremo last year, she featured in the fourth evening as a duet partner for Loredana Bertè and her song, Cosa ti Aspetti Da Me. Based off that performance, and her recent music, we might expect a pop number featuring acoustic style guitars.
Junior Cally – No Grazie
Junior Cally is the alias of Antonio Signore, who is a rapper and producer. After a somewhat unsuccessful start to his music career, things picked up when he rebranded and became ‘Junior Cally.’ In music videos, he is often seen wearing a gas mask which has become a signature style.
After the release of his first album, Ci Entro Dentro, Junior Cally signed to Sony Music Italy. Less than a year after his first album release, he released his second album titled Ricercato which features collaborations with other artists in the genre, including Clementino who previously participated in Sanremo.
What can we expect from Junior Cally at Sanremo 2020?
We can expect something in the rap genre, but I suspect like many rap artists who have participated in Sanremo before, his style might adapt to be a little bit more commercial for the sake of the contest. If his lyrics aren’t too shallow, he may appeal to a broader audience, but his entry likely won’t appeal to everyone.
Le Vibrazioni – Dov’è
Le Vibrazioni is a pop/rock group from the city of Milan, which had some success at the beginning of this century. Between 1999 and 2010, they released four albums in Italy, before splitting up in 2012. The main reason for this were the solo ambitions of lead singer Francesco Sarcina, who released two albums as a solo artist.
In 2017, without bass player Emanuele Gardossi, the group reunited and released a new album: V. They released five singles from that album, the first being their Sanremo 2018 song ‘Cosi sbagliato’. For 2020 they started working on new songs, including their Sanremo 2020 entry.
What can we expect from Le Vibrazioni at Sanremo 2020?
It will be the group’s third time at Sanremo, after 2005 and 2018 and it can be expected that will take the stage again with guitars, drums and a soft rock influenced song, reminiscent of an Italian version of The Killers.
Levante – Tikibombom
Claudia Lagona, stage name Levante, is a newcomer to Sanremo, but not a newcomer to the Italian music industry. Born in 1987 and active since 2013, Levante has released four albums and 17 singles in Italy. In 2017, she was one of the judges in X Factor Italy.
Her most recent album Magmamemoria was released in 2019 and reached fourth place in the Italian album charts. Out of the 13 songs, Claudia has almost written (or co-written) all of them. Not only is she a talented singer and song-writer, but she has also been sought after in the fashion world. Those influences can be seen in her music videos where she is not scared of experimenting with different styles – much like her music.
What can we expect from Levante at Sanremo 2020?
Her song is called ‘Tiki Bom Bom’, which sounds like it could be ethnic and uplifting. However, Levante is capable of doing songs in several genres, including mystique Indie pop songs. A slow, heartfelt, ballad is also an option, being carried by the infamous Sanremo orchestra.
Marco Masini – Il Confronto
Marco Masini is best known for winning Sanremo in 2004, which nowadays would grant him the opportunity to sing at Eurovision, however at that time, Italy was not taking part in the contest. He also won the Newcomers section of Sanremo back in 1990 and finished in third place in the Campioni section in 1991. In total, Marco participated at Sanremo seven times, the last time in 2017 (13th place).
His music is being described as being ‘musica leggera’, which free translated means something like light pop music. Easy to listen to, and appealing to a big crowd. He has released a total of 11 albums, spanning from 1990 to 2017 and has toured extensively in Italy and in Europe.
What can we expect from Marco Masini at Sanremo 2020?
Despite not having the best results in his most recent participation in Sanremo, a former winner should always be a force to be reckoned with. His song ‘Il confronto’ has been co-produced by Marco himself, alongside Federica Camba and Daniele Coro, connected to the Warner-Chappell Italy company. He will very likely stay ‘on brand’ with his Musica Leggera style with a focus on lyrical content.
Michele Zarrillo – Nell’estasi o nel fango
Michele Zarrillo is a true Sanremo veteran, winning the Nuove Proposte category in 1987 and making his tenth appearance in the Campioni section in 2020. His best result was 4th place in 2001 with the song ‘L’acrobata’.
Apart from a lot of Sanremo experience, the 62-year old singer has also written a number of songs for other artists. As a songwriter, he penned songs for several artists, including Ornella Vanoni and Renato Zero.
As a soloist, Michele has released 10 studio albums and two Live albums, as well as four Greatest Hits albums. In his career, he has sold over 2 million records. His style has been described as pop-rock, although recently has leaned more towards the soft pop style.
What can we expect from Michele Zarrillo at Sanremo 2020?
His most recent Sanremo attempt in 2017, ‘Mani Nelle Mani’ was a mellow pop song and it is expected that his new material for 2020 will also be in this style, a gentle Italian pop song with some subtle guitars in the background. Will also likely be lyrically poetic.
Morgan featuring Bugo – Sincero
Marco Castoldi, stage name Morgan, took the Sanremo stage in 2016 as member of the group Bluvertigo, however they did not make it to the final night of the competition. Cristian Bugatti, stage name Bugo, is a newcomer to Sanremo. Both artists, born in the 70’s, have a background in electronic rock music.
Morgan was a judge in X Factor Italy for a total of seven seasons and has a record of the most wins as a coach in that competition worldwide. Some of the most notable participants he coached on the show include Michele Bravi, Chiara and Marco Mengoni.
Both singers are well known artists, with multiple released albums and an impressive track record in Italy. As a soloist, Morgan released five studio albums, and Bugo has released a total of nine studio albums.
What can we expect from Morgan and Bugo at Sanremo 2020?
This is a duo to watch out for in 2020. A lot of stage experience, and two strong vocalists. Sometimes, classic rock anthems tend to fare well at Sanremo, remember the (surprising?) victory of Stadio a few years ago. Also, raw vocals combined with a good harmonic composition is something that is being received well at Sanremo (and Eurovision, look at 2018). We are very curious for this one.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of our preview series, where we get to know more of the Sanremo participants!