Shiva never stops

You can’t say who Shiva really is without watching videos on YouTube loading santana season, a half-hour MTV Cribs-style tour of Milan West studios, his headquarters, where I also meet him. or maybe i should say There meeting, because the first thing I notice is that there are a lot: His “homies,” as he calls them in pieces, are scattered around the rooms, they smoke a little and relax on the sofa in the living room. There are giant reproductions of the Madonna del Duomo, some of them sit around a table near a coffee machine (they play scopa with a deck of cards) matching monster), some of them hidden in a kind of meeting room (which is actually the room with the table where they play poker, I later learn), behind closed doors, all centered around a PC.

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That video is about to launch on YouTube, the launch will be accompanied by a surprise announcement of the album. I’m a little late, I sit down with them to wait for the load, meanwhile watch something. I observe Andrea (Arrigoni, Shiva’s real name), who watches them silently, looking at herself and what she has created, without comment. Only others tease him a little, point out some mistakes, pull him in between. Though he has built a career on words, Shiva comes across as a man of few words, and seems shy when it comes to conversing with someone he doesn’t know. And yet, when music is involved, as he himself says Tiffany ChampagneThe 5-minute piece that closes the new album is “I Have So Much to Say, a River, a Mountain”.

And in fact he never stops: Shiva doesn’t know creative crises, writer’s block or blank sheet anxiety, for him musical work is a daily necessity, because in 2014, at the age of 15, he released his first app , warrior’s wayor, until santana season Which, he explains to me, turned out to be much more rushed than the previous ones, “to satisfy the need to come up with music” and Pure Vent has a more rapped, more violent album, “My Manifesto”, they They say. matching monster It was a well-placed concept album with a more refined artistic direction, the huge image of the cover – Shiva engulfed in flames with hell in his head – had invaded the Milan metro for weeks. He talked about his relationship with the city, “of love and hate,” he summarizes. Some called it his consecration. He could relax on the couch and enjoy his success, but for him there is no such thing as a break, music is not a job to relax, it is simply his life. So he brought together thirteen tracks under “Claim” (as he defines it) (among the collaborations are Paki, Yowangchimi, Tiago PZK, RVSsion, Geollier, Luche, Gué and Sphera Abbasta). santana season, “Santana” is a key word for him, but also for the crew (Santana Gang), it is the name of the song with which Shiva’s real career began, published after opening a YouTube channel, and it is one of his became a magic word, one of those words he appropriates with postmodern ease, like Shiva, who is not a Hindu deity, but a writer from Tuscany (where he lived for two years as a child) Hai, whose name he has decided to inherit from the first name. In 2022 Siva sets up a new football team with the aim of keeping the boys from Cesano Boscone and Corsica off the street: it’s called the Santana Red Devils, a name you think of, it gets matching monster And Santana Season.

“If you force yourself to follow flows that don’t represent you, maybe it works in the moment, but then you get lost. I’m interested in marathons, not sprints”


According to him, the fact that he still lives in his home state, Milan West, and has never really gone off road, is one of the reasons he doesn’t suffer creative crises: «It’s not that I left. Gave», he explains, “It’s not that I turn and I’m gone, I always have problems, there’s always a war inside me that writes me”. Yet there are people in Italy who at a certain point thought they were only interested in numbers, such as when they made this blue carA Light Single – Chorus Quote Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 – which made rap purists turn their noses up. I ask him how he perceives those criticisms, but he is so sure of his path (and of the results) that he does not give a damn: «Italy lacks a culture (contemporary music, ed. , people do not know what they are talking about, they do not even know an important thing, they do not understand what work is at the bottom, what kind of game it is». Because music can also be a game, and there are some who don’t understand that. “If there’s one thing that I’ve learned and that’s helped me a lot”, he continues, “it’s that people’s opinions, especially if they’re behind a computer, totally don’t matter, because I’m straight in my way.” I go on, my success is real, I see it, it shows, and instead the speakers are there. You do the work of a lifetime, you spend hours in the studio, then someone passes by and makes a comment. is, well, I don’t understand how that can affect what I do». An important awareness for an artist who has 1.5 million followers on Instagram, 585k on TikTok, and each of her posts is literally assaulted by the remarks (which, however, to tell the truth, are above all declarations of love and respect). An awareness that allows Shiva to be experienced with peace, even that the way TikTok, with its viral hits created on the table, has upset the world of music, a change that has been acknowledged by many artists, including internationally renowned artists, « much more than externals Being influenced is a problem because you should never lose your identity. If you have your own identity, tomorrow TikTok may come, something else may come, but if you always remain who you are, people appreciate you. On the other hand, if you try to follow flows that don’t represent you, it might work at the time, but then you get lost. I’m interested in the marathon, not the sprint.

And to think that every now and then, in recent years, someone has come forward to say that the golden age of trap is over: artists continue to make successful albums, their fans loyal, enthusiastic and even That is growing, as the audience age keeps on fluctuating, now from 10 to 50 years.
« I think musical styles are born but never die, there’s nothing in music that’s mine or yours, it all comes back, and then if I have to be honest, this year, Trappers’ music, I can’t think of Laza (came second in Sanremo, Ed) and Giolire, exploded even more. We’re doing stratospheric numbers compared to what a small country we are in Italy, and there’s some absurd musical innovation as well, as are some pieces that aren’t quite so obvious. So we also need to understand who says these things because we have never been at this level even in international relations. And that applies to him too, of course: If in his 2021 album, lovely life, Lil Baby, in April it was instead Shiva who “invaded” Lil Tjay’s live show in Milan. Here we find Yowangchimi, a Puerto Rican rapper “who’s breaking everything on the other side of the world” who he befriended during a trip to Puerto Rico, while Rvssian is a producer he worked with in Miami. There was also another collaboration, but he preferred to save it for later. So does he have any more music ready, I naively ask him. He laughs as if I’ve asked him the craziest thing in the world: «But of course, like everyone else. In my opinion it’s a false myth that artists “make records”, I know artists who have tons of open songs, then close them when they have to make a record, but no one knows their repertoire. Doesn’t match the songs in the list». I don’t understand how it is possible to never lose motivation. And he cannot understand my confusion: «There is so much information around, how do you stop? Everything is happening so fast… I won’t even be able to write a song for more than an hour, if more than an hour passes it means there is a problem».

“genres are born but never die, there’s nothing in music that’s mine or yours, it’s everything that comes back, and then if I have to be honest, this year, Trapper’s music, I don’t know Think about Lazza, Lazza (came second in Sarremo, ed.) and Geolier, it erupted even more. In Italy we are doing stratospheric numbers”


To maintain the hunger to write, he explains to me, it also helps him to always keep his childish self in mind, and what he did, “It’s not that I live badly”, he explains. is, “I just enjoy the things that I have.” With the people I want to enjoy them with, I’ll never be the one who turns and walks away alone”. 2013 skit, the first piece he recorded in his life. «It was 2013, 10 years have passed. We pulled it off the internet and cleaned it,” he explains. « I recorded it in the studio by DJ Telviv (DJ of Amis Killa, ed.). I remember doing it in a low voice, he asked me to do it again: “You have to raise your voice a little”. It sounds like it was sung by a kid (I’m telling him, he laughs, a little shaken and a little embarrassed) and in fact he was only 14 years old. 2013 skit has an important symbolic value: «He’s like a kid who dreams of becoming a footballer, and after a long time he gets there… It’s a bit like my goal, so I want to increase it, want to show that I believed in it and I’m successful there”. Then he turns to his homies, who stayed with us during the interview, “I was in the studio with G.Kres, what a dream” and he explains to me (he gets excited when he talks about his friends, speaks fast forgets that he is shy). “Yes. Kress is one of the best friends I’ve ever had. when i went to school he was amazing he was listened to a lot he brought me his cds and i resold them to my classmates i was in middle school and he was in high school they were close in legnano , we were always together, and he started taking me to the studio with him. In the world of rap he is the king of Legnano, we only listen to him ». Ten years later, he could be someone’s mentor. I ask him who we should keep an eye on: «Lele is doing great, Madan too, he still has a few songs to release, he is my crew. If I had to make a name out there, I would say Tony Boy». One of the studios in West Milan will be owned by Finesse, a producer who, among other things, also made a piece of Bad Bunny, but it is clear that many artists and many people who participate in the process in some way , have passed, have passed and will pass through the headquarters creatively, even just being together, riding a motorcycle in the neighborhood or playing cards. Someone from outside sees the rapper with his face and his voice, but this is only the tip of the iceberg: “I feel and want to be the voice of Milan, I will never leave here”.

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