“I don’t know how to say” is the phrase he repeats most often. Perhaps, a defense. It is a contradiction, because in reality what he thinks he can say with great ease between round aphorisms and square reasoning.
After all, Silvano Albanese, Coez since he was 13, and he turns 39 days, he lives on contrasts. Rap and indie. The clubs of the tour just finished, To fly (from the title of the last album), and the open stages of the next, To be free, departing on July 15th. The grin of the former rebel and the seriousness of one who struggled to get here.
Here is the catchphrase There is no musicwhich earned him eight platinum records and the universal nickname of a boy with “the school of dance in his stomach”. Here is a solid and genuine career built away from talents, likes and bla bla on social networks. Here is the Milanese hotel that hosts it before the rehearsals of the concert of “Gue Pequenowith which to duet on the notes of Nobody.
Very red T-shirt, vest and multi-pocket trousers, gold watch; the shy and kind smile, happy tiredness of those who are recovering the time suspended by the pandemic and will spend the summer on stage.
How much have you missed that stage in these two years?
“Very, very much. And when I went back, I was afraid: afraid of not holding it, afraid of not being good enough anymore ».
Was it so?
“Not at all, just paranoia, basically.”
Do you have a superstitious gesture before going up there?
“I have a shot of vodka, around a “Ooo ooo “with which I clear my throat, and the band that accompanies me comes after me ».
At the Haka of the All Blacks?
“Yes, just like a stadium.”
What do you fight against when in front of thousands of fans?
“It’s actually one of the few moments when I give up, because I only receive love. As I write, however, I have continuous internal battles, between my soft side, which opens up to pop, and the rigid, dark side, legacy of my “hard core” musical origins ».
What memories do you have of your early concerts?
“If we talk about Coez alone, terrible. I played a genre that you didn’t know what the fuck it was, they sent me to open the lives of tough and angry rap groups, and I was there to defend a record like They weren’t flowers which was not understood. Before, however, with my band, it was something else: seven “brothers” on the same stage in front of people who had chosen us ».
He even got Brokenspeakers, the name of his former band, tattooed on his right forearm.
“It went like this: one evening we were a bit tipsy, we reached the tattoo shop where Lucci worked and we tattooed each other a few letters each”.
“After that, everything was much more complicated, and painful: I took so many insults.”
However, he didn’t go back to his original rap and he didn’t give up.
«I didn’t have to destroy who knows what: a couple of albums with my group and my first solo. The problem, if you can call it a problem, is that I hit the fourth record, I make a mess: I was a little man, I was 33, the age when Christ died (laughs, ed). Unusual and destabilizing. Add a little anger to this: it’s like when you wait for a friend who is half an hour late, the wait gnaws at you, but once it shows up you are happy ».
Everyone has their own times.
“In fact, success came when I was ready: I wouldn’t have welcomed it well before. I think of Blanco, who is 19: I don’t remember what I was doing at his age, but certainly nothing good ».
Try to remember.
“I was a rebel: suspensions at school, failures, barrels … And a handsome vandal: I liked to do graffiti, more on trains at night than on the walls of Rome, I painted my name colored, I scribbled with all the trappings”.
Could there still be one of his “works” somewhere?
“Probably at the Cine-Tv institute, where I graduated: we occupied it for a couple of weeks and I went wild”.
Did he want to be an actor?
“When I was a child. In sixth grade I also attended a theater course. But then I fell in love with a mom tape: We’re not Americans by Vasco Rossi, later reissued as a disc with the title Clear dawn“.
The die was cast.
“I graduated as a sound engineer and started working at concerts as a porter: I unloaded trucks, set up the stages, anything, even the worst, just to stay close to the music.”
The biggest casino?
«What gives the album its title: as the record exploded, the distribution company I had signed with was filing for bankruptcy. By self-producing it I had invested all my money, which was disappearing into a black hole: my career was finally taking off, yet inside I was a rag. It is a story that deserves a documentary. I wrote It’s always good right after receiving that devastating news, and in the end I called my next job that also to stave off the negativism of I make a mess“.
Did he get the money back?
Do you need a certain amount of autobiography to make a good piece?
“I can’t talk about something I haven’t experienced. Yes, there is the profession, there is storytelling, but the best, big songs that you know will work on the radio are the personal ones “.
Do you always know which songs “will work” and which won’t?
“We all have ears to listen.”
What if those songs don’t come to her?
“I’m good. Or I call Davide Petrella, as happened with To flymy latest album for Carosello Records: the track Like in the songs it didn’t come out, but I wanted it to be there to break the intimate and dark atmosphere of the other ten pieces ».
Rumor has it that he wrote this record as a boyfriend.
«And it influenced. Let me explain: I believe that when you are in a couple, one expresses sweetness there and does not need to pour it into music. I’ve been alone for a long time and composed a slew of love songs to fill a void: both because I missed my ex and because I missed the love itself. If I am with someone, that thing already satisfies me. The return to the hardness of the somewhat “forced” sound is certainly due to this ».
He has always called his relationship with fame “complex”. Has it improved, perhaps thanks to love?
«It remains awful! Joke. I continue to be one with my feet firmly planted on the ground, who adheres to real life: I don’t have a stylist who follows me everywhere, I shop independently and I try not to take advantage of the comforts of success “.
How would you define the relationship with the fans instead?
«The fans are not all the same: the real ones, from the first hour, I recognize them by the way they greet me; then there are those of the moment. With the exploit of I make a mess the difference has become tangible: at live shows I saw who waved, sang the b-sides and left the room when I sang There is no music, and who was there only for the last hit of the last record. But that’s okay. It is difficult to build a relationship that never disappoints: I have my internal movements, stylistic changes… I try not to take people for a ride, to grow up with them album after album; some go away, but if they come back it is the best satisfaction ».
Wouldn’t being the judge of a talent be an “equally beautiful satisfaction”?
“X Factor he asked me and I preferred not to accept. I understand that for some, getting out of there works: I’m thinking about Måneskin or Marco Mengoni, but it’s still a bit like building a house from the roof. Then, I would never put myself in the shoes of a judge: who am I to tell someone if he did a good piece or not? And for what reason should he be there to suffer this very bad, cruel mechanism? ».
Would try again Sanremodespite being discarded four times?
“It’s a question that I ask myself too, and I really don’t know how to answer it. I am really undecided. On the one hand I see the impromptu peaks it gives, on the other I think that the real big ones and more lasting ones, somehow, they create them by themselves. Maybe she’s talking bullshit, huh! Ariston launched Ultimo, who from there flew high into the stadiums, and Blanco, who is the artist of the year and perhaps even the next two ».
Has it ever happened to you what happened to him on the stage of the Radio Italia Live concert on May 21st, where he was groped by a fan?
“When I was doing stage diving, the so-called dives from the stage, in social centers, it may be, but in such a mess it was difficult to realize”.
Now that music is measured in views, followers, downloads, likes and comments, is it more frustrating?
«Music has always followed a logic spoiled by the market, by sales, by talent scouts… Social media and Spotify are just the latest arrivals. I guess at the time even the likes of De Gregori, Dalla and Tenco felt frustrated because they were overtaken by a flimsy hit that was cool at the time but in the end didn’t go straight and didn’t stay up until today. The point is another: choose whether to be a sprinter who points to the numbers of the moment or a marathon runner. It’s up to you“.
An unexpressed dream?
«A tour of b-side pieces, which few have spun. But first I have to take a vacation. “
Art direction: Blue Chips Studio
Photo: Tommaso Biagetti
Assistant: Sara Olivetti
Production: Prodacto srl
Styling: Tiny Idols
T-Shirt: CP Company
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Source: Vanity Fair