Paolo Meneguzzi: “Disco Paradise? Pop is a serious business, let’s not confuse it with that hustler” – MOW

WhyWhat is your attitude towards music today?

My music also takes into account the fashions and influences of the time, especially in terms of sounds and production, which is often electronic. My pop is also an experiment, but always within a market that has certain needs.

Market. You know him well and he has played some weird tricks on you. How did this happened?

My story began long ago. In Italy in 2003, but already in 1996, in South America, I had a catastrophic success with completely different performances from the one with which I was recognized here in Italy. Since the mid-1990s, and for nearly a decade, I’ve been a bona fide king in South America: chart hits, one after another, that never went beyond that, despite the vast geographic territory. My trip took a paradoxical turn when Italian record companies told me I was “too Latin American” to move to Italy. That is, an Italian pop singer would sell his soul to the devil to conquer the South American market and do you think going the other way could be a problem for me? (Smiles, ed.). I too, perhaps, made some mistakes at that time. I should have “settled” in the South American state without getting too confused about the Italian market, which is in any case much more limited. I had to change record labels to get out of Europe. If I think about it today… With Warner, with Madonna, I was the priority all over the world. With the right strategy, I could be Justin Bieber. But at that time my family was having a hard time understanding what I was doing in South America, and I wanted to be appreciated here too, to show everyone what I was capable of.

So your Italian career started in the middle of the zero years. a breakthrough.

Yes, the successes have started. Sanremo, Eurosong, Video, Radio and all the rest. But with a totally different style, an evolution of what I did in South America.

do you ever go back there?

Sure, and I still fill the field with no problem. Therein lies much of my success. A breakthrough happened by chance when, in 1996, here in Italy, I met Oscar Peña, a Chilean record producer, who suggested that I send one of my works to a Chilean festival. I was skeptical, but that festival was really important: I got off the plane in Santiago and found ten cameras pointed at me. It proved to be a springboard, producing Ricky Martin for years on me (this happened in 2007, but then that album, “Musica”, also had a US release in 2009).


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