This year marks the 71st edition of the prestigious Sanremo Song Festival in Italy, set to begin on March 2nd. The 26 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 Fasma and continuing through to La Rappresentante di Lista.
More about the history of the Sanremo Festival and their connection to the Eurovision Song Contest can be found on this special theme page about Sanremo.
Fasma – Parlami
Tiberio Fazioli, also known as Fasma, is an Italian rapper born and raised in Rome. His music ranges from Hip-Hop to Trap, genres that are starting to find their way into Sanremo. Back in 2016, Fasma founded the hip-hop crew WFK and the debut EP also titled WFK was released in 2018. His first studio album titled ‘Moriresti per vivere con me?’ was released towards the end of 2018.
This is not Fasma’s first experience at Sanremo. He participated in the Newcomers section just last year with the song ‘Per Sentirmi Vivo’ where he advanced to the semi-finals. This will be his first participation in the Campioni section of the contest.
What can we expect from Fasma at Sanremo 2021?
His 2020 song and performance at Sanremo was an interesting one. There was definitely autotune in the performance, but not necessarily in the form that we are used to autotune. When you think of autotune, you think it’s there to cover vocal sins, but behind the autotune was a good voice. We also have to remember that autotune is a bit part of the trap genre. With that said, it’s possible that we will see that in play for his song this year. His music can come across as quite harsh, and that might alienate some viewers.
Francesca Michielin & Fedez – Chiamami per nome
Francesca Michielin is a familiar face to Eurovision fans, having participated at Sanremo back in 2016 with the song ‘Nessun Grado di Separazione’ which finished in second place. Despite not winning Sanremo, she went on to represent Italy at Eurovision as the winning Sanremo group declined the opportunity. At Eurovision, she finished in 16th place. Francesca has released four studio albums, with the latest titled ‘Feat (stato di natura)’ which will be re-released in March 2021 to feature new collaborations, including the Sanremo song.
Federico Lucia, better known as Fedez, is a household name in Italy. He is one of the biggest and most popular rap artists in the country, with his latest four albums reaching #1 in the Italian charts, and being certified platinum. Fedez released his first single for a major label in 2013, preceded by the top 10 single, ‘Cigno Nero’ which featured his Sanremo partner, Francesca Michielin. In 2014, his fourth studio album was released, and featured a number of popular Italian vocalists, such as Malika Ayane, Francesca Michielin, Noemi, Elisa and J-Ax. His next studio album was a collaboration with J-Ax, and featured some of their most popular songs such as ‘Vorrei Ma Non Posto’ which reached an incredible 7x platinum and ‘Senza Pagare’ which reached 8x platinum. This will be the debut Sanremo entry for Fedez.
What can we expect from Francesca Michielin & Fedez at Sanremo 2020?
Since we have already heard two songs from the duo together, and two successful songs at that, it’s clear that this collaboration works. What we are likely to see is rap based verses matched with Francesca singing the choruses. Hopefully we will see a song that boasts Fedez’ creative lyrics, and the appeal of their previous collaborative singles. Bookmakers currently have this as the favourite to win, and quite frankly, it will be a tough combination to beat.
Francesco Renga – Quando trovo te
Francesco Renga is no stranger to Sanremo. He is one of those names that continues to pop up in Sanremo every few years, and based on his previous entries, we always look forward to seeing what he will bring to the contest. Francesco won Sanremo back in 2005 with the song Angelo, then returned in 2009 with the song Uomo senza età and again in 2012 with the song La Tua Bellezza. His style can be described as Pop-Rock.
What can we expect from Francesco Renga at Sanremo 2020?
We know that Francesco will bring strong vocals to the contest. His voice is incredibly powerful, and with the right song, he should certainly be a contender. Looking at the songwriters, I noticed Dardust, and while that name might not ring a bell for many, Dardust was behind some of the biggest hits in Italy in recent years. Perhaps one of the biggest songs composed by Dardust is Soldi, which was performed by Mahmood at Sanremo and at Eurovision. He has also written for artists such as Marco Mengoni, Emma, Annalisa, Giusy Ferreri, Levante, Elodie, Fabri Fibra, Ermal Meta, Fedez, Mahmood and Rancore among others – an impressive line-up. Dardust has written a number of songs for Francesco, including his 2012 Sanremo entry, so we are expecting some magic on stage.
Fulminacci – Santa Marinella
Filippo Uttinacci, professionally known as Fulminacci is an Indie-pop singer from Rome. The 23 year old is relatively new to the Italian music scene, having debuted with the studio album ‘La Vita Veramente’ back in 2019. He has released a number of singles since 2019, including some of the most recent, ‘Un Fatto Tuo Personale’ and ‘Canguro’.
What can we expect from Fulminacci at Sanremo 2020?
Despite being a fresh face, his song was strong enough to land himself in the Sanremo line-up. The song he will be singing is self-penned, so what we are getting from Fulminacci is something totally authentic to him, and based on his previous songs, it’s going to be fresh and youthful. His previous music feels relevant to this day and age, and he might add something really unique to the line-up this year. Sanremo has acted as a good platform for artists similar to Fulminacci, and although he might not win, he will certainly gain a few more fans.
Gaia – Cuore Amaro
24-year old Pop singer Gaia was born in Italy but has roots in Brazil. This shows in her musical style, which is urban pop with a latina flavour. Her rise to fame came after a second place finish in the tenth edition of X Factor Italia. This participation in Sanremo will be her first.
What can we expect from Gaia at Sanremo 2021?
Gaia said that for the first time, she will not necessarily sing about love. Her song is about how stubborn she can be in achieving what she wants and not giving up. In the composition, her South American roots will be present, so we expect a strong, fresh and distinguishing song from the rest of the field at Sanremo 2021.
Ghemon – Momento Perfetto
Giovanni Luca Picariello, also known as Ghemon, is an Italian rapper and singer-songwriter. His stage name is based on the character Ishikawa Goemon XIII from Monkey Punch’s manga series, Lupin the Third. Ghemon released his first album back in 2007 titled ‘La Rivincita dei Buoni’, and followed this up with another 5 studio albums. This is not the first time we have seen Ghemon at Sanremo. He previously performed the song ‘Rose Viola’ in the 2019 edition of the contest where he ultimately finished in 12th place.
What can we expect from Ghemon at Sanremo 2021?
Although considered a rap artist, I would definitely classify Ghemon more in the pop realm, at least from his latest releases. His sound is unique, using some elements of rap and hip-hop but placing it into a more consumable format. Finishing mid-table in his previous Sanremo participation gives a bit of a benchmark – will he improve on that? I think it will take something special to fend off the hot favourites of the competition.
Gio Evan – Arnica
This 32-year old pop-singer makes his Sanremo debut in 2021, with a song he composed himself: ‘Arnica’. His real name is Giovanni Evani Giancaspro and he has been active for eight years already. He toured in Europe and South America in his first couple of years as an artist. Now it’s time for him to take part in a big music competition. The biggest in his home nation.
What do we expect from Gio Evan at Sanremo 2021?
A poetic song which strikes emotions. That’s what this singer has told about his song during the press presentation. He hopes the orchestra will increase the impact his song can make even more. So we expect to hear an emotional pop-ballad.
Irama – La genesi del tuo colore
Irama is a pop artist originating from Carrara. The young star rose to fame in 2018 after winning the 17th edition of the talent show Amici di Maria De Filippi. He previously competed in Sanremo Giovani, the newcomers section back in 2016, then returned as part of the Campioni section in 2019 with the song ‘La ragazza con il cuore di latta.’ The song ended up in 7th place overall, but gained a lot of attention. The song has over 52 million views on Youtube, and many of his songs since have been big hits.
What do we expect from Irama at Sanremo 2021?
‘La ragazza con il cuore di latta’ was a powerful and emotional song, but if you look at the more recent discography of Irama, you’ll notice he definitely isn’t shy of a Latinx style beat. Will he return to a more sensitive and powerful song for Sanremo? It’s certainly a possibility, but he may want to show more of a fun side in this year’s entry. His previous releases have been incredibly upbeat, and could potentially bring a lot of energy to the Sanremo stage. Either way, I think he is definitely one to watch.
La Rappresentante di Lista – Amare
La Rappresentante di Lista is a progressive rock group formed by female lead singer Veronica Lucchesi and Dario Mangiaracina. The group was formed ten years ago but is taking part at Sanremo for the first time. They have composed this song themselves, which makes sense. Dario is a talented musician and knows how to play the guitar, synthesizer, saxophone and accordion. That’s impressive!
What do we expect from La Rappresentante di Lista at Sanremo 2021?
Dario said about the song that it is a classic song in their style, with an explosive chorus and a lot of energy. In their most energetic songs they usually go full swing and use all the instruments they have available to be as diverse as possible. Saxophone, synthesizers, guitars, everything that makes noise will be used in this performance. With the talented orchestra in Italy, this should be a very fun performance.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Sanremo this year? Stay tuned for the next part of our Meet the Participants series for Sanremo 2021!