I follow X Factor from the first season: in front of the screen, while auditions and live performances follow one another, one of my many vocations lost in the maelstrom of time comes to life again, as will certainly happen to many. After a thousand and more passions undertaken and abandoned, I ended up writing books, and today I’m happy about it, but from the age of fourteen to twenty I studied singing, guitar and solfeggio in a small school in the Barona area, in Milan, chosen at random from the pages yellow. For years I fantasized about being a singer-songwriter – male decline, and it is imprecise – mimicking in the mirror of the wardrobe door, out of tune guitar over the shoulder, the performances of Carmen Consoli, PJ Harvey and Cristina Donà. Perhaps I have not remained faithful to myself, or perhaps it is just that vocations sometimes get confused, one overrides the other, dreams are not always unique, absolute, clear from the beginning: meeting the cast of the edition of X Factor this year – renewed by the abolition of the traditional categories and by the farewell of Alessandro Cattelan, followed by the surprise arrival of the face of Shame on Italy e Summertime, Ludovico Tersigni – I decide to start from here, from the first manifestation of each person’s passions and from other, secret vocations, from the more or less predictable circle with which Emma Marrone, Mika, Manuel Agnelli, Hell Raton and the new Roman conductor, born in 1995, have become what they are today.
“Humility has nothing to do with art. All art is an expression of the ego, if you are humble on a stage you won’t even get on it ” Manuel Agnelli
“At school I was trying to be invisible. This pushed me towards a very expressive, extroverted writing: all the colors came out there, with my songs the emotional revenge of my adolescence was expressed ” Mika
“The rules of the system are constantly changing. Today the difficult thing is not making a good record, but holding up the pressure ” Emma
“If I did it, it’s because I didn’t accept the word impossible that is often repeated to me in my family when I said I wanted to be a musician” Hell Raton
“The curiosity to see the backstage of a film has always pushed me: maybe it takes away the magic, but at the same time it makes you a bit of a magician” Ludovico Tersigni
(The complete article on Vanity Fair on newsstands from 27 October to 2 November)