This article is published in number 9 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until March 2, 2021
“It has fragile flowers that seem to break in a breath, but branches so strong that over time they even bend iron. Wisteria has a lot to teach you about how nice it would be to be in the world. Blossoming of a delicate antique pink, cheeky, however, in the deep blue of the night, despite long and tenacious roots that give us life but often also entangle it ».
Even those who have always known Noemi and call her by her name, Veronica, need a few more moments to see her again today.
To focus on it a second time, and have confirmation. May the woman in front of him really be her. That that is still his skin, last, that still his laughter, even if less broken than yesterday. That arriving on the set of these fair and casual photos, in a white shirt, also means having gained a certain courage to be what she wanted. That getting there straight and alone is the definitive disappearance of that child insecurity that often remains in our grown-up steps.
Speaks, this new Noemi, and holds her waist in her hands, “you have to love it, listen to it, because it is the belly, what you feel happening inside it, that reveals – precisely – the point of life we are in: the body is the our great, powerful indicator of what we have in mind ».
In her there Metamorphosis (to which he “ovidly” entitled his album, which will be released in the middle of the Sanremo Festival, where Glicine) is being done as wonders or manifestos are done. In the sacred right to transform oneself into what one wants, defending it. In the freedom to pursue the ideal of beauty in which one believes, whatever it is. To re-come to the world in which we were already born by mystery, but in our own dream. “And the twist in the tale, they call it in English, the turning point of history: there is a new scenario that is opening up and, little by little, the wonder grows ».
This is the first time he tells it.
He is in front of his mirror. What do you see?
«I see myself, I recognize myself. To understand who I was, and to reach me, I had to cut the thread with the past, pull down cathedrals and rebuild my city. It wasn’t easy ».
How did it go?
«I am lost: darkness, emotional anesthesia, I no longer felt any passion for myself. Even the music, even the music that had always given me comfort, I no longer knew where to look for it, how to be found. The more I lost control of my life, the more my body escaped too. I hit rock bottom ».
How did he start to rise, give himself the push that saves?
«I was still. Paralyzed. There were things that nailed me. A wall that prevented me from traveling. I felt the need for dynamism and revolution, but I didn’t know how to do it. Thus, I began to deal with myself ».
When did it happen?
“During the pandemic. I am not one who has ever wanted to change the connotations. I have always accepted myself with my flaws. But at a certain point what I had become outside no longer represented me. I looked at myself and thought: “You are not this”. I had to tidy up, and now that there is everything is new, as if I had started again, as if I were in my unexplored garden and every blade of grass is amazement that I enjoy ».
The most intense discovery?
«That of a new look, too, on my new body. Feeling traversed by a feminine sensuality that I did not allow myself, and instead here unites Veronica and Noemi, which is the name that my mother would have liked to give me, Veronica and Noemi who finally talk to me, have made peace, after a while confusion. For one who at the age of 13 was bathing in the sea wearing a t-shirt, it is a lot of stuff to understand that one can be welcoming even when very thin, and light even if the scales show a high weight ».
The secret is therefore in liking oneself.
«You don’t lose weight because society wants us to be thin, but because you want it. I did it because in that other body I no longer felt myself. So I defended the dream I had of myself. I learned not to be afraid of the honesty of asking, “Who am I?” and get closer to what you think you want. Sometimes we defuse ourselves ».
What did he have to work hard at?
«Against the monster that becomes that part of us that is fond of the comfort zone, of our habits, and undermines the audacity, and wants to sabotage us. I am happy today because the house I have reached and in which I live is cooler and more fun than the one I thought I did not know how to leave ».
«’You don’t look like you!’ “Incredible transformation”. “You are unrecognizable”. “How did you do that?””.
In the good.
«A lot of girls, even boys, write: ‘Do you know that you make me want to eat a salad?’. Which is an anomalous compliment, but which means: “Wow, if she did it then I can do it too if I want to” ».
In the bad.
“” I preferred you before. ” “But how are you reduced?”. But if to live my life as I imagine it I have to make someone unhappy, peace. Maybe we will meet again later ».
«Turn off the buzz around, fly over the voices: buttery? “Lose weight”. Skeletal? “Fortified”. Married? “Wrong”. Single? “Unlucky”. And instead there is softness in the thinness. And power in fragility. And motherhood even if you are not a mother. What counts is closing your eyes and listening to yourself. And never accept someone telling you when, if and how to change. Because, if you are in any case you are not doing well, then you are only doing well if you are doing well ».
They say she is “our Adele”, but without that note of abysmal melancholy.
“She is a goddess, who fully marries him stop pleasing, start living (stop liking, start living). I laugh, laugh, laugh, but in reality it is a barrier beyond which no one sees: when and how much I can also be sad ».
And the music?
“She has changed, grown up, out of her shell, out of the ivory tower too. A step forward, with authors like Ginevra, collaborations and producers like Muut and the team of Dario Faini, Andrea Rigonat, new sounds and voices. My manager helped me in a more conscious work, without neglecting anything. I started studying singing. And no longer serving the texts, but within them, I let them tell about me. Today I feel like an artist, regenerated. Reset, fluid, connected with time, I test myself, I mix. And I still face certain old insecurities that reappear at regular intervals, “old friends”, Churchill said of depression, “the black dog that bit his jacket”. But it is there, only there, when you are with your demons that you understand who you are ».
Now, another Metamorphosis song goes: “You must never be fooled by your old fears that you already know.”
“Mine? A sense of subjection to the surrounding, which moves away from one’s own identity. Instead, one should never be afraid of existing, and of saying “no” to do so. The “no” is the moment that most defines us ».
The first “no” more difficult to say are perhaps those of a daughter.
“Always. Because they put you on the same wavelength as yours. They make you talk as an equal. And sometimes you also feel that you are sorry to think differently. But I had to tell him. And in the long run they have been appreciated, because it is from these “no” that trust in the other as an adult is born, it is in seeing you emancipated from them, “ready”, that they can let you go. My dad has always been my first confidant, ever since I went to wake him up at three in the morning and he would say to me: “Come here, and tell me, tell me what you feel”. Today he tells me: “Having no more responsibility for you as a singer reassures me” (he was the manager with his sister Arianna, ed)».
Oedipus, Electra and their complexes teach: in order to grow we must sacrifice something of what we have been.
«There is the pain. In the detachment of this passage that disconnects you from the “bond”, for the need for a comparison different from the usual grammar ».
He sings it in yet another point: “Want to go away from here / see the port that disappears … the only way to change / I’ll let my hair down and leave the most precious things so then / I’ll be free and stronger / never throw yourself away down”.
“A ballad folk which then enters this beat electronic to give back when you are about to launch yourself, and you look at the abyss: it is a vibration, a wish to overcome the invisible limits that we build around us, to learn to love each other ».
How did you practically do it?
«I trusted myself. Questioned. And I started from scratch. In my head, I “turned” the point of view and I was accompanied in a healthy lifestyle. I re-evaluated the relationship with food and with my forms together with my nutritionist, Dr. Monica Germani, a serious who followed me at 360 ° and did not set me on the diet trip, but in peace with meals, and even the cheats. This is how I understood the importance of movement and started training with a personal trainer, Carlo, who made me love the Tabata method, a mixed system with high intensity and rest. The greatest gift you can give yourself in need is to let yourself be helped ».
How much perseverance did it take?
“A lot. The debut was tough. I love to eat. I was the classic midnight burger girl. Then, as you enter that regime and in the clothes you like, and you feel in order, sloppiness, even food, you run away. For someone who opened the wardrobe and threw on a sweatshirt, a tracksuit, what happened within range is a crazy satisfaction to choose instead what you really want to wear. When you discover yourself, you are no longer satisfied ».
What role did your husband play in this story?
«Gabriele has always held my hand. Even in the scariest times of yore, when I had panic attacks. Even when I became so distant from how she had known me. It was my strength when I gave up, and he said to me: “Tonight I’m not that hungry.” “Circuit in the salon?” ».
What changes in being married?
«Signing us is the responsibility of honoring the intentions of belonging that state:“ This is my new family, and we write the project of this new family together, the dream we have is our dream, the future is our future. I don’t want to lose them ”».
Is a child something that his new head, his new body, this dream of yours desire?
«Centering also makes answering ‘yes’ more true. But to “bring a life into the world” – which is incredible just to say it – you must first settle into your own. Now that this is the case, if I think about it, I say to myself: “It could be very nice”. And maybe the body now responds. And if he doesn’t answer, I believe in the wonders of technology: I would have no problem resorting to assisted procreation ».
Often one speaks of one’s works as “parts”.
“But that’s never the case. A record will never tell you: “Mom, no”. There lies the unprecedented and overwhelming experience ».
What matters most in life?
“Be careful. Having alert eyes, wild like those of animals, means being there. Even in the change, in the metamorphosis that can be lost because you know, and well, who you are leaving but not who is on the other side. And that tension is challenged in every moment by the comfort that can destroy you, involuntarily prevent you from evolving ».
Or it can go well, like her, like those immense wisteria in Rome.
«I like to think the story of what is in via Margutta, in the center, is true. It climbs on the facade of a historic building, and from there it takes the neighboring courtyards and rises to the sky, then descends down in a cascade of perfume. But it is underground to be even more extensive: it passes under the cobblestones of via di Ripetta, and reaches the Tiber. And yet it is light ».
If he ran into his old self on the street, turning a bend, what would he do?
“I would look at her – her, and that great sense of protection of hers for all the people she loves so much that she forgets about herself. I would tell her: “Don’t worry, maybe you can do it”. I would thank you, then, because through you the battle of the body you want to have no longer concerns me, but everyone, even those who feel born by gender in the wrong container. That nobody is an island. And finally, I would give her a caress ».
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