While Spanish music spreads its way around to South America and a lot of other European music using English language lyrics as a way of breaching national barriers, Italian music doesn’t quite have that same flexibility.
With a language like Italian to work with, it’s not surprising that most artists in the nation tend to stick in to their mother tongue. So be prepared to simply lose yourself in the music and grab a hold of that dictionary, as only one of our featured artists has ventured into the world of English language lyrics for any real length of time.
Nek may only sing in Italian and Spanish (something that’s let Nek have a following in Latin America too) but the raw guitars, driving riffs and gravelly tones are more than enough to convince anyone sitting on the fence to hop over and enjoy the ride.
He’s enjoyed nearly two decades of success in Italy, racking up a total of 15 platinum records domestically alone, a feat easily explained when given the chance to impress. The epitome of modern pop-rock, you don’t have to speak Italian to be taken in by Nek’s charms.
It’s Nek’s vocal that stands out the most, incredibly smooth and easy on the ear, despite being able to carry a real threat of emotional venom when needed. A veteran of the charts he may be, but Nek’s still feeling as fresh as ever.
Another male solo artist to have dominated the Italian music scene is Tiziano Ferro.
With an almost operatic vocal Tiziano is an utterly captivating musical package, be it his more up tempo pop hits or the more off kilter forays into jazz. His bread and butter though is lung busting, heart swelling ballads, something that he constantly pulls off with consummate ease.
To say that Tiziano has been a hit in Italy is somewhat of an understatement, with every one of his five albums hitting multi-platinum status, including two diamond discs. #along with more award nominations and wins than you can shake a stick at, it’s fair to say that Tiziano’s had a fair old time of it.
Occasionally even dabbling in singing in English, Malika Ayane is incredibly accessible too, peddling the same nostalgia infused slowpaced pop that has become such a cornerstone of the charts both here and in the States.
Usually backed by grand orchestral accompaniment, Malika is a wonderfully raspy throw-back.
Just as with Nek though, its Malika’s vocal that makes her stand out from the crowd, her voice on a par of that of Lana Del Rey and other incredibly successful contemporaries, as rich and characterful as anything currently occupying the UK’s charts and smooth as honey.
With a third album set to release later this year, Malika could just be on the brink of taking over the Italian charts.
Our last venture into the Italian music scene is Milanese band Ministri, who’ve been slowly climbing up the alt-rock ladder in Italy since they formed back in 2003.
With three albums under the belts, the four piece have created an intense yet refined industrial sound, the audio equivalent of table saw.
With their fast paced, raw edged guitar riffs powering along the hyperactive sinning styles of vocalist Davide Autelitano, Ministri are a thrill a minute group ideal for those looking for some fast paced rock and roll.
Think we’ve missed off any of Italy’s best and brightest; let us know in the comments below.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith