Genuinamente Romano, Luca Barbarossa e' una di quelle voci Italiane che pur non avendo mai raggiunto un successo internazionale ha sempre mantenuto un'immagine sobria e costante negli anni. Comincia la sua carriera come moltissimi in quell'epoca vincendo Castrocaro. Vince nel 1980 e si presenta a Sanremo l'anno dopo. Da li' una serie di crescenti sucessi lo hanno portato alla fama nazionale. Oggi, a 50 anni, Luca e' ancora attivo e porta la sua musica in giro per l'Italia.
Like a true Roman, Luca Barbarossa has always proudly identified himself as a "Citizen of Rome" and has never been afraid to show his fondness for the Italian capital. Several of his compositions reflect his experiences while growing up in the "quartieri" or neighborhoods of the "Eternal City".
He was born there on April 15, 1961, and within in three years he would unfortunately find himself living in a single-family home as his parents would separate and he would remain in the custody of his mother. The two would soon relocate, fifty miles northeast, to the "comune" or town of Mentana. While still a youth, he would receive as a gift from his estranged father, his first guitar. Luca quickly mastered the instrument and as a teenager he set out on the road performing in local bars and clubs. Surprisingly, his early repertoire included American folk songs in addition to classic hits of the early Italian pop songwriters.
He began the decade of the eighties with a series of events that would serve to jumpstart his fledgling professional career. Luca would be discovered by Italian impresario Gianni Ravera and receive an invitation by him to participate in the 1980 Castrocaro Music Festival. His song "Sarà l'eta" captured first place in the event. He would quickly sign his first recording contract with the Fonit Cetra music label. His victory also earned him direct entry into the 1981 Sanremo Music Festival, where he presented the composition "Roma spogliata". The song fared surprisingly well, as it finished in fourth place among the twenty-eight entries. In September of that year he released his first full-length album simply entitled "Luca Barbarossa"; which featured the talents of British producer Shel Shapiro. He immediately embarked on his first tour serving as the opening act for recording artist Riccardo Cocciante.
Luca's relationship with his label however soon began to deteriorate as Fonit Cetra fell upon hard times and they chose not to renew his contract. Undaunted, he signed on with CBS Records 1983 for a three album deal and it was stipulated that he would first publish a series of 45's to gauge the market's response. In 1986 his single "Via Margutta" was entered into the Sanremo Music Festival and though it fared poorly, it was considered a critical success. He returned the following year and his entry "Come dentro un film" fared much better. He finally convinced CBS to authorize the release of his second album which took the name of this single. Success immediately followed as the recording was bestowed the Best Album award and the single "Roberto" the Best Song award at the "Un Disco per L'estate" music competition held at the Palais Saint-Vincent in the north-western region of Valle d'Aosta.
With his popularity beginning to grow, he returned to Sanremo in 1988, and his moving ballad "L'amore rubato", which dealt with the subject of sexual assault, finished in third place. His third and final recording with CBS "Non tutti gli uomini" was certified platinum as it sold over 350,000 copies. He immediately went out on tour throughout Italy in support of the release and took upcoming female artist Paola Turci as his opening act. Luca signed a new contract with Columbia Records and his album "Al di là del muro" (1989) was another commercially successful effort and featured a song dedicated to Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned at the time.
Another tour ensued and included stops throughout the European continent. After a brief hiatus from the music scene he returned to the studio in 1992 and scored his landmark triumph as he captured first place at the Sanremo Festival that year with the masterpiece "Portami a ballare", a song dedicated to his mother Annamaria who had encouraged and inspired his musical ambitions since he was a child. His fifth release "Cuore d'acciaio" (1992) remained on the top of the charts for weeks and yielded the hit single "Senza amore". Another European tour followed and the highlights were captured on his first live recording and VHS video, both entitled "Vivo" (1993). Riding the wave of success, Luca had now achieved superstar status in Italy and he completed his commitment to Columbia with the release of "Le cose da salvare" (1994). Also included was an Italian cover version of James Taylor's "Shower the people". Luca signed a four record deal with Sony in 1996 and his first stop was at Sanremo as he entered the song "Il ragazzo con la chitarra" and finished in twelfth place among twenty contestants. He included this song on his eighth recording "Sotto lo stesso cielo" (1996) which also included the hit single "Ali di cartone".
He closed out the decade by releasing the platinum selling release "Musica e parole" (1999) which contained the title track, the moving ballad "Italiani d'America" and the duet "Segnali di fumo" performed with Australian recording artist Tina Arena. In the new millennium, Luca released his first greatest hits compilation entitled "Viaggio di ritorno" (2001) and "Fortuna" (2003) which contained the title track which he presented at Sanremo that same year. Luca took time off again to compose songs for other Italian artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Gianni Morandi, Fiorella Mannoia, Alessandro Safina, Paola Turci and Tina Arena. He returned to the studio and his next release "Via delle storie infinite" (2008) was both a commercial and critical success. From 2008 until 2010, Luca starred in the theatrical release of the musical spectacular entitled "Attenti a quei due" along with Italian actor Neri Mercoré. His latest release is his second greatest hits recording celebrating 30 years of recording and is entitled "Barbarossa Social Club" (2011). Luca appeared at Sanremo in 2011 and presented the song "Fino in fondo" performed as a duet with popular female Spanish recording artist Raquel Del Rosario. At age 50, Luca is still an active member of the "Nazionale Cantanti" soccer team which plays to raise money for charitable causes. He is married to Ingird Salvat and has three children, Valerio, Flavio and Margot.
For more information you can visit his website at www.lucabarbarossa.it.
Photo courtesy of www.lucabarbarossa.it