This article is published in issue 28/29 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until July 19, 2022
Luigi Strangis it is one to catch on the fly while getting on a train, a free zone between a firmacopie and a concert around Italy. A little less than three months from the triumph of the 21st edition of Friendsthe most watched talent show on Italian TV, the 21 year old from Lamezia Terme collects commitments, accumulates travel, sets new dates for his live. With the energy of victory still in his pocket and the debut of the his ep Strangis at the top of the charts, he hits hard on the golden moment. The head goes to a thousand for the job and that’s it. “I’m a bit tired, but everything that happens to me recharges me,” he says, as he moves from La Spezia to Rome, then, from there, to the province of Campobasso and who knows.
And to think that the auditions of the program of Maria De Filippi he showed up on the penultimate day: “I didn’t feel ready”. He’s the one who seriously chews music from the age of six. Even earlier in reality. “My father made me listen the riffs of Eric Clapton and John Mayer, the bass lines of rock and blues. I would freak out, and immediately set off to mimic the gesture of the hands sliding on the ropes. Somewhere at home I still have a couple of toy guitarsso small that they look like ukulele ».
And the path is already mapped out. Classical guitar lessons by learning to read chords before words in school; the hours on the piano and on the drums as self-taught; the afternoons in bedroom to discover AC / DC and Guns N ‘Roses, David Bowie and Prince, the Beatles and the Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Pino Daniele, «while friends played football. At 14, I chose to attend the Tommaso Campanella high school of musicI started writing my songs and I also got into a punk band“. The liaison with such a hard core genre lasts just four
seasons or a little more. The next step: a real record, solo, in English. Luigi records it, produces it, arranges himself. It is a beautiful experiment, which gives him an important intuition: from now on, he thinks he, will sing in Italian to take advantage of every nuance of the language he masters.
In the meantime he performs in the clubs of his city, he graduates, he is an arranger in a recording studio “So as not to weigh on the parents”. And wait. It is not yet the time to Friends. Covid then stops everything. But Strangis accelerates. And talent show either. Not just any one, however: “I just wanted Maria’s, because it seemed more familiar to me. I’ve seen it for a long time », she says smiling. The auditionunfortunately, he starts uphill: «I arrived there with my two pieces. I’m a guy who watches a lot and I saw that he didn’t throw too well. I took the guitar, I played Reflexes, which among other things is in the ep “. The rest is history, that of “Louis the shy” who, thanks to Maria De Filippi, slowly opens up: «I came up with things that I have never said before. Paradoxically, not being able to hear my family helped me: what at first was the most difficult thing to manage ad Friends, the isolation, the remoteness, in the end it pushed me to tell and tell myself ». From diabeteswith whom he has been dealing since 2016 and for whom “I had to learn to manage emotions, feeling them affects the level of blood sugar”.
Strangis works hard, proves he deserves the bench in the school. He has only one fear inside: “Losing, on the outside, the bonds I have built”, a naive and genuine fear. The victory in front of almost 4 and a half million spectators, which he dedicates “To the Ukrainians and to those who are singing under the bombs “takes away his sleep and gives him the applause of Madame as well as the prize of 150 thousand euros: «I would like to invest them in music and, perhaps, in a nice trip for my parents who have always encouraged and supported me. They deserve it”. End of the previous life, beginning of the new one. Which immediately picks up speed. The calendar of meetings with fans to sign copies of the ep in stores throughout Italy is dense: “I don’t call them “fans”, but friends. Many want to talk, they seek comfort, they tell me that they are better thanks to my music and it honors me. A lady even gave me two singles: one by David Bowie and one by Dire Straits ».
The first live shows also arrive. “The truth? I have only attended one concert to date. It’s just that I’ve always listened vintage artists, several of which disappeared. I am a false young man (laughs, ed). Moral, I went to hear the Coldplay at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Of course I have seen several on the DVD: the first ever, perhaps, that of Guns N ‘Roses on stage in 1991“. On him, on stage, Luigi enjoys above all a detail that makes the difference: “In the television studio I never had the audience in front of me, but now I look him in the eye”. The most coveted stage remains the Ariston of Sanremo, “Of the Festival that I followed with my grandparents”. The latest rumors of the network give Strangis in the wish list of Amadeusparticularly in a duet with former schoolmate Alex Wyse. Luigi does not get upset, first of all because he is someone who does not look too far, and then because he has a granite certainty: “You go to Sanremo when there is the right song”.
When asked if he is afraid of to remain forever «that of Friends“, he replies: «Maybe I will seem a bit superficial, but this hell! What matters is that I feel good about myself and my music ». He is pragmatic even when we ask him what he would do if he hadn’t been admitted to the talent show: «Better not to have plans B that deviate from the plans A. I certainly wouldn’t have gambled on YouTube or on social networks uploading videos of my songs or something like that: it was never mine
Street”. If he were to give himself a grade now, after all the judgments of his teachers, Strangis flies low and speaks to himself: “5. Indeed, 6but only because it’s you, Luigi ».
Photo Carolina Di Lazzaro
Martina Antinori service
Davide Spinella collaborated
Grooming Francesco Avolio @ W-MManagement using R + Co
To subscribe to Vanity Fair, click here.
Source: Vanity Fair