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Articles by: Francesco Foderà

  • Life & People

    Darrell Fusaro and Edward Biagiotti Spread Joy of Life with their "Funniest Thing!" Podcast

    Darrel Fusaro and Edward Biagiotti live in LA, where they have created "Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed" a successful podcast that has gained fans in 170 countries. "The Funniest Thing! is an inspiring way to learn how being positive and live the joy of life simply changing the everyday point of view, making a step out boldly. The very best of their production is now on-air on i-Italy Radio, the brand new webRadio "made in i-Italy" (visit http://radio.iitaly.org).   


    Darrell, Ed - Your surnames sound unmistakably Italian... Where do your families originate from in Italy and when did they come here?  


    Darrell:   Yes, Fusaro is indeed Italian. I believe both of my grandparents came from somewhere in Campania.  My grandmother's last name is D'Bello.  The rumors are that her family is from Naples.  My grandfather is from the southern part of the region.  Probably somewhere close to Lake Fusaro.

    Ed:   You guessed it, Biagiotti is also Italian.  My grandfather, on my father's side came from Coreno Ausonio, in the Province of Frosinone.  He came to the United States at 18 years old with his brothers.  My other set of great grandparents came from somewhere in Sicily. 


    How can you describe your podcast show... I know that it turned to more than 220k downloading...   

    Ed:  Each week we enjoy sharing stories about how stepping out boldly always leads to better than expected outcomes.  

    Darrell:  By stepping out boldly we mean trusting our hunches, intuition, and inspiration, rather than giving into fear, doubt, and worries. 

    Ed:  Yes, and we aim to inspire our listeners to the same.


    Your podcast's main message is "live in a positive way". Is being Italian-American of any help to live in a positive way?  


    Darrell:  What could be more positive than being an Italian-American?  When you think of Italians, you think of people who are generous, creative and friendly.  When you think of Americans, you think of people who are optimistic and industrious.  That's a winning combo.

    Ed:   Yes, and when you throw in the spicy sense of humor and deep rooted spiritual traditions of our Italian heritage, it all makes sense.


    Darrell, today for most Americans being Italian is cool and Italy means fashion, great films, gorgeous food and wonderful vacations... but it wasn't like this in the 70s as you told in your play "The Basement". What was it about?  

    Darrell:   I think you mean gorgeous women!  

    To be honest, I have always loved being Italian.  The intention of the play, in spite of focusing on my grandfather's murder, actually highlights the fact that I appreciate being Italian.  Thanks to Italy's goodwill ambassador, which is food, whenever anyone discovers that I'm Italian, they say, "You're Italian?  I love Italian food!"  We become instant friends.


    On a lighter topic... How would you describe in few words today's Italian scene in LA?   

    Ed:  There are great things happening.  You just have to know where to find them.  One of the best places to start is the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood.  By the way, good Italian food can also be found in Los Angeles.  Again, you just have to know where to look.


    You are collaborating with the distribution of i-Italy Magazine in LA. Just to be a little self-referential... how is it going?    

    Darrell:  Great!  Everywhere we go, people are impressed with the magazine.  They are more than happy to make the magazine available for customers and have been amazed at how quickly they need to restock their supply.

    Ed:  Yes.  We love it because everywhere we have delivered the magazine, the owners treat us like family.  We are often rewarded with a delicious Italian treat of some sort.  They are grateful that we introduced them to I-Italy Magazine.

  • Raphael Gualazzi during his Eurovision Song Contest show
    Life & People

    Raphael Gualazzi: The Italian Jazz that Conquers the World

    I met Raphael Gualazzi during his first Sanremo Festival in 2011 when he won with his song “Follia D'Amore.” Watch the Official Music Video Videoclip


    Raphael, you participated in the Sanremo competition 3 times. How do you feel when you perform on that stage?

    The 1st time I came to Sanremo, it was an extraordinary experience… I felt that kind of emotion… just like when you open the door and go out for the first time. It was a brand new musical experience and something completely new for me in general.


    Raphael's musical production is so varied. One example is his collaboration with Sir Bob Cornelius from The Bloody Beetroots (click here to watch "Liberi o no"). Raphael is an artist who plays with different musical genres, creating orignial mixes. Check out his latest single “La Fine del Mondo”.

    I like what Paolo Nutini replied to a journalist who asked him why he played so many different sounds. He said that music is somehow a mirror on current society. I think this is absolutely true because we live in a globalized world, and it is difficult to describe the whole world with just one genre of music. I enjoy exploring different kinds of music, and I find it hard to select just one sound if you really like music… Making music is my life, my passion, it’s the thing I like doing the most.


    As with many others talents discovered by talent scout Caterina Caselli, such as Elisa e Andrea Bocelli, Raphael Gualazzi is well-known in Europe, America, and Canada. This is also thanks to his second place win in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. To better understand the passion for music that drives Raphael, we must take his story into consideration.

    My whole family had a passion for music. I had a piano when I was 9, and we used to play together… My father had an amazing collection of vinyl records of all genres… This is also the reason why I like different kinds of music. When I was 15 I listened to 60’s and 70’s music. I also had a band that played that kind of music…


    What about your Eurovision Song Contest experience?

    It was a great experience and a great opportunity… I am very happy to have participated and am very happy with the winner of this year's edition, Salvador Sobral, who brought true music to the audience.


    So, Raphael, I can describe you as a new ambassador for Italian Music, right?

    I am very proud of being Italian, and I try my best to pay tribute to our country. I am very lucky to have the chance to travel a lot and to visit the most beautiful places in the world thanks to my music.

    In autumn the international release of my album “Love Life Peace” will occur in Germany and France, and there will be a whole series of vigorous promotions in both France and Germany.

  • Life & People

    Negramaro Band – Italian Rock With “Southern-Taste”

    Rock made in the south of Italy is completely Italian, completely energetic. I met the band Negramaro several times during their concerts around Italy and official events on various TV stations. Negramaro is an Italian pop rock band formed by Giuliano Sangiorgi, Emanuele Spedicato, Ermanno Carlà, Danilo Tasco and Andrea Mariano. The name Negramaro itself celebrates Salento, the place of their origin, adopting it from a typical wine produced locally.

    Danilo Tasco: “We thought that chosing the name of this wine for our band was the best way of showing where we came from. We are a rock band and rock is not really the kind of music that people listens to in our homeland. We hare passionate people as every souther Italian is and we carry this mood into our music and in the way we perform live”.

    Negramaro did a lot of important collaborations… they performed with Dolores o’ Riordan from The Cramberries, recording “Senza fiato”, “Cemento armato” movies soundtrack. Famous italian singer Jovanotti, sang with Negramaro the hit “Cade la Pioggia” and shot the video in San Francisco...

    Giuliano Sangiorgi: “Our collaboration are spontaneous… we have many friends in the music industry and usually we start something new not for because of a marketing strategy but because of a common idea”

    Italians sing Negramaro’s hits since 2001, but the band did several interesting and successful covers in the past years just like Meraviglioso by Domenico Modugno... Take a listen here.

    Andrea Mariano: “We chose the songs according to what we used to listen to when we were kids… it’s indelible memories from our family lives. We like performing songs from other artists as it’s a nice experience to go over the comfort zone and to have a new challenge”.
    Negramaro performs in stadiums, music festivals suche as the 1st of May one, Arezzo Wave or Hard Rock Live in Rome…

    Emanuele Spedicato: “We enjoy being in a band as we are friends and respectful people first. Before every live performance we energize ourselves and motivate each other in order to be capable of living our experience at its best”.

    Click here to see "L'immenso" LIVE @ San Siro Stadium

  • i-Italy Radio
    Facts & Stories

    i-ITALY RADIO. Launching Our New Project


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    Francesco Foderà
    Music Journalist
    Head of Music and Content for I-Italy Radio