Interview with Italian superstar Eros Ramazzotti
Italian singing superstar Eros Ramazotti turned 50 last month but by golly does the man still have it in the looks department! With a Christian name that translates to ‘Love’, Eros has had female fans (and some males, we’re pretty sure) swooning in the aisles since 1984.
In three decades, the man has released 11 studio albums, three compilation LPs, three live sets, and 38 singles – his latest single ‘Io Prima Di Te’ already a huge hit in many European and South American countries.
Famous, too, for his duets, Eros has sung with Cher, Tina Turner, Ricky Martin, Anastacia, Joe Cocker, Luciano Pavarotti, Laura Pausini, Andrea Bocelli, and a host more of veteran and contemporary artists.
Besides his obviously handsome appeal, it’s that voice that really captures audiences: forceful and resonant, delivering tunes that are at once infectious, melodic and packed with passion.
Antonino Tati chats with Eros about love and marriage, his tour this month of Australia, and that all-important beast, social media.
Hi Eros. Where are you at the moment and what are you up to?
I’m in my studio in Milan – being interviewed by you!
How different are the concerts in Australia going to be this time round compared to last time?
This time the concerts will be a lot bigger and better. Australia is the last leg of this tour so we’ve had plenty of experience – 50 dates in fact – to deliver some great final few concerts. Five or six months of touring makes a big difference before we get there.
Does the production of your show change from city to city or does it stay pretty the same?
Pretty much the same. The members of the band are the same that we tour with in Europe. Even the lighting show that we’re bringing is direct from Europe.
You yourself come from Rome, yes?
Yes, but I now live in Milan and have done so for many years because my records do so well here. My discography tends to take shape better when I’m working from Milan.
Do you like to stay put in Milan?
No, I get around a bit. Sometimes I go to Lake Como; sometimes to Lake Maggiore. And to Genoa. Milan is a beautiful city but it doesn’t have water near it so it’s nice to get a way to the Lakes now again.
Of all other cities in the world, which do you like?
I really like New York. Even Sydney is a great city.
With all your touring, is it difficult to keep family matters in check?
One of my daughters is 16 and the other daughter is two years old. It’s not difficult re touring since I often bring them with me. My girlfriend often comes too, and a nanny, so the girls are well looked after.
Your girlfriend? So you haven’t married again?
Not yet, but it does look like the right thing to do! To me, really, marriage is not that important. What’s really important is love. Some people like to push the idea of marriage but really, for me, it is all about love.
You sing a lot of love songs. What is a typically romantic night for you?
A typical romantic night? There is always a romantic night in my house!
You write many of your own songs, yes?
I usually co-write with friends but the song is usually begun by me, yes.
What other artists are you currently listening to?
There are so many. I really like Lana Del Rey; I love her lyrics, her voice, the whole package. And I really like Muse who, again, deliver the real deal. I don’t appreciate artists who don’t have a lot of input in their music; those artists that deliver one hit that has been written by someone else, and then they disappear.
Your full name is rather long: Eros Luciano Walter Ramazzotti.
Ah yes, but 30 years ago they used to christen people with lots of names. Who am I kidding, 30 years ago? It was 50 years ago!
Hey, you don’t need to be embarrassed for your age; you look fantastic for 50! But back to your name, where on earth did ‘Walter’ come from? It sounds so English.
My dad decided to give me that as one of my middle names. My dad is half mad.
Too funny. You’ve sung with so many popular artists: Cher, Tina Turner, Andrea Boccelli, Laura Pausini… do they ask to duet with you, or vice versa?
I’ll sometimes express that I like their music, and they’ll sometimes express that they like mine. Then the record companies get the ball rolling.
What do you like to do to get away from making music and simply relax?
When I’m done recording or touring, family comes first and I like to spend as much time with my girlfriend and children as possible. To get back to a normal life is so important for an artist – otherwise things can get out of control.
If you weren’t singing for a living what else would you have done in this life?
Definitely something artistic. I’m a Scorpio and we’ve got to do creative things.
When you see on paper how many CDs and downloads you’ve sold, does it do your head in?
I never really look at sales figures. I’m more concerned with going back and finishing things I’ve started in life but neglected for a while. Selling all those records is satisfying, but I’ve never really study the profits.
Finally, what do you think of modern social media?
I think social media is very important; great for interaction between artists and music listeners. But you’ve got to be sure you’re seeing and hearing the right thing.
Eros Ramazzotti tours Australia this month, playing Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 15 November, the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Wednesday 20 November, and Challenge Stadium in Perth on Saturday 13 November. Tickets available through www.livenation.com.au.
Eros’ new single ‘Io Prima Di Te’ is out now.
Thank you to Giusseppina Tati for assisting with the translation of this interview.