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A Chat in Manhattan with Biagio Antonacci

Natasha Lardera (March 08, 2014)
He was in town upon invitation of Laura Pausini who performed at MSG and asked him to sing with her Vivimi, the song written by Antonacci and that earned her a Grammy Award. So on a chilly winter morning we spoke of inspiration, collaboration between artists and his latest hit.

“Two singers on stage 'steal' energy from each other, they inspire each other and communicate in their own special way. The result is something more than beautiful. That is why there should be no envy. The desire to make something unique, something spectacular, should urge them to work together. It's the same with soccer... if you play with Diego Armando Maradona, you are not going to compete with him, you are going to let his talent stimulate you and drive you to do your best. That's what we do on stage.”

Italian singer-songwriter Biagio Antonacci said on a chilly winter morning in the cafeteria of ahotel just a few blocks away from the Empire State Building.  He was referring to the concert he came to the States to participate in as he was a  guest of Laura Pausini's during her live concerts in Miami and New York City. The event renewed the collaboration between the two artists who have already worked together in other occasions.

Antonacci has written for Laura Pausini the songs 'Tra te e il mare' and 'Vivimi', a song the interpreter won a Grammy Award for  in 2006 and earned Antonacci the Ascap award (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) and another award for best song in a Telenovela. “When I write for Laura,” Biagio continued, “I have her voice in my head.
Writing for someone else is a strange process but incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. Once again, there is no room for envy. Vivimi won her a Grammy Award but never have I asked myself 'why did I give it to her?' The author of a song is equally important as the singer, their collaboration is what makes the final product a success.”

And Vivimi is the song Antonacci sang with Pausini that night at Madison Square Garden, (she also performed 'Tra te e il mare' but later on during the show and on her own).
Like he said during the interview, the magic was palpable and the two artists came together in perfect harmony. “I am a bit puzzled about tonight's concert,” Biago confessed “because I am a guest, this is not my concert.

It is stimulating to perform somewhere and you have no idea who the audience is and how they are going to react. It's like participating to X Factor, where you are performing for the judges... it couldn't be more exciting. And when I sing with Laura I feel at home. She is the voice and I am the words.”

Courtesies will be exchanged on May 31st at San Siro Stadium in Milan when Laura Pausini will be guest of 'Palco Antonacci,' a live event programmed to celebrate Biagio's 50th birthday and 25th year of singing career. “It will be a great party, where Eros Ramazzotti is also invited and it will be the first time ever that the three of us will sing together. The song has not been decided yet, and even if it were, it has to be a surprise,” the singer joked. Besides the concert in Milan, there will be another one programmed in Bari, at the Arena della Vittoria on May 24th.

May is going to be a busy month for Antonacci, a month that also marks the US release of his latest album L'Amore Comporta on the 13th. Its fist single, Ti Penso Raramente, has already been released in Italy where it's becoming a great hit (the album features 13 songs altogether). “It's a song about love, an unhealthy love, if we can call it so. I am very happy with but thank goodness it has already been recorded. As an author, I am in continuous evolution. Every time I read something that I have written I want to change a word here and there... I come up with new ideas, with something different I want to say. I am curious and always willing to be stimulated by what's around me.”

This is where Biagio confessed Lucio Dalla, a great artist of the Italian music scene who passed in 2012, was one of his biggest influences. “He was a genius. Someone who changed genre in every record...who played with rock, reggae, pop. Who was a master with words. He inspired my art. While Vasco Rossi inspired my way of performing on stage. He has taught a whole generation of singers how to involve the audience and how to satisfy them. This is it, artists inspire each other, it's a never ending process.”