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 Lo Stato Sociale and continuing through to Willie Peyote.
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.
Lo Stato Sociale – Combat Pop
The runner-up of 2018 returns to Sanremo and we can only hope they come up with the goods again. The group Lo Stato Sociale had massive success with that previous Sanremo track ‘Una vita in vacanza’. They have stayed true to their Indie Pop/Rock background and are known to be energetic and vivid in their live performances. Ideal for a televised music competition.
What do expect from Lo Stato Sociale at Sanremo 2021?
It’s easy to look back at their performance of 2018 – well at least figuratively. RAI makes it very difficult to rewatch our favourites from the past. But that’s another topic. We expect this group to come with a similar song in 2021. With a title like ‘Combat Pop’, it should be a strong rock banger that suits the powerful song title. And these guys have proven to be able to deliver such a song in a convincing way.
Madame – Voce
Madame is the pseudonym of the 19 year old rapper Francesca Calearo. She already signed her first contract at a record label at the age of 16. She does not have to take part in the Giovane section of Sanremo, perhaps because she was successful in X Factor Italia in 2020, reaching the semi finals.
What do we expect from Madame at Sanremo 2021?
The song ‘Voce’ has been composed by Madame and Dario Faini, more known as Dardust. And Dardust of course was responsible for ‘Soldi’ by Mahmood. In that track they also managed to give a rapper a mainstream song with the potential to have huge success. We hope that they also managed to do so for this talented young female rapper.
Malika Ayane – Ti Piaci Così
Malika took part at Sanremo a couple of times before. First in 2009, when she finished in second place at the Giovani section. Later on she went to the Campioni section four times, the last time in 2015. She has a wide range in her music style, from pop to jazz and contemporary R&B.
What do we expect from Malika Ayane at Sanremo 2021?
Like many other artists this year, Malika took matters in her own hand and co-composed her own entry ‘Ti Piaci Così’. Having taken part five times before, we expect an experienced song presentation and delivery by an artist in control. She did not want to tell which particular style of music she will give us in 2021, so we will have to wait and listen just a bit longer!
Måneskin – Zitti e buoni
Perhaps one of the biggest threats to Fedez and Francesca this year is the group Måneskin. The pop-rock group rose to fame on the 11th season of talent show, X Factor Italia back in 2017, where they finished as runners-up. Their debut single ‘Chosen’ was showcased during the X Factor season, and ended up charting at number 2 on the FIMI singles chart. The group’s first album and single ‘Torna a Casa’ topped the charts.
What do we expect from Måneskin at Sanremo 2021?
Måneskin could ultimately opt for more of an upbeat pop-rock entry such as their first single Chosen, or alternatively, they could bring a big ballad to the stage such as ‘Torna a casa’. The song title suggests that the former option might be true, but either way, the group is highly talented and highly entertaining. Bookmakers have the group in third place currently, and I certainly would place them as a favourite to win.
Max Gazzè & La Trifluoperazina Monstery Band – Il Farmacista
Max returns to Sanremo, having taken part for the last time in 2018. This pop/rock singer has been active for a long time and has 10 albums on his name. He is known to be able to play the bass guitar alongside singing his own songs. At Sanremo he has been on stage five times prior to 2021, with the best result being a fourth place 21 years ago.
What do we expect from Max Gazzè & La Trifluoperazina Monstery Band at Sanremo 2021?
It is not a serious song, but an ironic one. The ‘pharmacist’ that the song is about has the cure to various kinds of problems. The style of the song will be up-tempo rock. Completed by the band on stage, this should be a fun and spectacular entry.
Noemi – Glicine
Noemi is another familiar face to Sanremo fans. Her career has spanned over a decade, starting with a participation on the X Factor Italia back in 2009. Noemi has released 5 studio albums, with a number of highly successful singles. She has also participated in Sanremo a total of 5 times between the years of 2010 and 2018. Her best placing at the contest was in 2012, where she finished in third with the song Sono Solo Parole.
What do we expect from Noemi at Sanremo 2021?
We have another song in the line-up featuring the songwriting skills of Dardust, which definitely is a promising sign for Noemi. A ballad wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest, with her voice definitely suiting that style of song. I think we will be in for a nice performance from Noemi, but at this stage, probably not a contender for the podium.
Orietta Berti – Quando ti sei innamorato
78 year old Orietta will take part for the 12th (!) time at the Sanremo festival, after her debut in 1966. But for the first time since 1992. Her best result was a third place back in 1974. She is the grand old lady of this festival and released more than 50 albums!
What do we expect from Orietta Berti at Sanremo 2021?
This should be a lovely nostalgic entry with the orchestra taking us back to the old days of Sanremo. We think so because she has explicitly said that this is what she is looking forward to most. To be able to team up with such a wonderful orchestra once again after so many years.
Random – Torno a Te
The rap line-up in this year’s competition is strong, and Random will only add to that. Random is the stage name of Emanuele Caso, a 19 year old rapper from Campania. He is relatively new to the music scene, being active from 2018. Despite that short amount of time, he has released a studio album titled Giovane Oro, as well as an EP and a range of singles, particularly during 2020.
What do we expect from Random at Sanremo 2021?
Judging by the title, a love based pop-rap song is on the cards. Listening to some of his discography, he definitely has a commercial sound, rather than being a real jarring form of rap or trap. Bookmakers have him fairly low down in the rankings, and while he could be a surprise package, I just can’t see him winning over audiences while competing with some of the biggest names in Italian music, and especially one of the biggest, if not the biggest Italian rappers, Fedez.
Willie Peyote – Mai dire mai (La Locura)
Guglielmo Bruno, known as Willie Peyote is an Italian rapper and singer-songwriter. His stage name is based on the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote and the ‘peyote’. Willie has been active in the music scene since around 2004, and has released five studio albums, with the most recent being in 2019. He is relatively popular in the genre, with many of his videos on YouTube achieving several million views each.
What do we expect from Willie Peyote at Sanremo 2021?
Willie Peyote has a sound that should be able to appeal to the younger audiences, but also the more ‘traditional’ Sanremo audience. If the performance or even the lyrics are a stand out, this might do well, but otherwise, a middle of the table result might eventuate. The bookmakers are placing him around the 10th place mark, but we will have to wait and see what the song and performance delivers.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Sanremo this year? Read Part 1 and Part 2 of our Meet the Participants series for Sanremo, and stay tuned as the results of the competition come through during the week!