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I told you how summer means aperitivo in Italy, but it also means “Latin music” to many Italians. There is usually one song in Spanish that will follow you to every corner and corner shop in Italy, tormenting you until you know every word and recognize it from a few muffled bars from someone’s upstairs window.
The year I arrived, it was “Obsession (No es amor)” by Aventura, and it hung on for quite some time and was rejuvenated when Frankie J. came out with his English version.
This year, it’s “Toda Joia Toda Beleza” by Roy Paci & Aretuska feat. Manu Chao. I’m guaranteed to hear this song at least another 5,000 times.
Luckily, those with a Latin-fixation in Milan can get some satisfaction in the summer going to the Festival Latino Americando and they have a concert every night – sometimes bringing in big stars like Elvis Crespo, La India, Fulanito, Gilberto Gil and Paulina Rubio. I went several times in 2003 and had a great time – just make sure to spray with plenty of mosquito repellent before you go!
Interested in other popular music in Italy right now?
Here’s a few songs buzzing right now – feel free to add your recommendation in the comments!
Negramaro, who made an appearance at the Festival Bar concert in Milan I went to in June, has one of the most popular songs of the summer with “Parlami d’Amore.” The audience practically sang this song for them. They were also very good in concert, working the crowd and doing extra songs during commercial breaks – it was obvious they love their fans.
Check out Tiziano Ferro‘s “Raffaella è mia” about Raffaella Carrà, a popular TV host/actress/singer from the 60s. Tiziano is popular but not very well-liked by many “serious” music fans – most of my Italian friends groan when I say I like him, but I can’t help it. I definitely recommend him if you’re learning Italian, and tell me that this song doesn’t make you dance!
Nek is another artist I recommend if you’re learning Italian. He sings very clearly in Italian and was one of the first artists I started listening to while I was back in the U.S. I also saw him this year at the Festival Bar concert in Milan. He often has albums in Spanish, like Laura Pausini and Eros Ramazotti. His recent song is Nella Stanza 26, but here’s arguably his most popular song, Laura Non C’è.
Irene Grandi‘s “Bruci La Città” is not a particularly great song, but the refrain just sticks with you…. “e tuuuuuuuuuuuutti quei ragazzi…come teeeeeeeeee” – if you listen to it twice you’ll probably have it stuck in your head. The video has a Second Life appearance that I’ve seen in a few Italian music videos lately.
If you want to keep up with what’s popular in Italian music, I recommend checking the MTV charts or Radio Italia charts (only Italian artists) or check the ringtones sites which will tell you immediately what’s hot and what’s not.