History is filled with successful individuals who come from many different walks of life. The people at the center of these stories have followed their own unique path and utilized the available resources they had at their disposal. The tale of Italian singer/songwriter and poly-instrumentalist Francesco Gabbani is remarkable and not unexpected. He was born in the comune of Carrara, located on the coastal periphery within the northern region of Tuscany, on Sept. 9, 1982. Francesco grew up in a musical environment as his parents were the proprietors of the only music store in the world-famous marble-producing area.
Understandably, he was exposed to and immersed in the fertile, melodic ambiance that surrounded him. By age four, he displayed an intense fondness for the drums but quickly realized that he would be better served by studying a harmonic instrument that would allow him to better express his ideas and emotions in compositional pieces. By age nine, he began formal studies of the guitar. He later mastered the piano and bass guitar and served as a stage and sound technician; yearning to understand the entire musical performance process. Francesco enrolled in the Liceo Classico Emanuele Ripetti di Carrara to begin his formal studies in musical composition and, just before graduating, he signed a professional recording contract on his 18th birthday.
He formed his first band, Trikobalto, along with brothers Matteo and Nicolò Zarcone. They fused together elements of blues with psychedelic rock and funky pop sonorities creating a unique and eclectic musical sound. The group attracted the attention of Alex Neri and Marco Baroni, founders of electronic dance music ensemble Planet Funk. They would produce the group’s first two singles “C’é Ketto” (2006) and “In-contro” (2006) on the multi-national Sony Music label. The songs became instant hits and the videos were showcased on TV video music programs including MTV Italia and Rock TV. In turn, they received invitations from important Italian music exhibitions including the Heineken Jammin’ Festival. They also performed at the prestigious Blue Note Jazz Club in Milan and served as the opening act for the popular English rock group Oasis on the Italian leg of their European tour.
Trikobalto entered a new contract with the Italian independent, Paris-based, Kyrone GP music label in 2008. Under the guidance of noted music producer Marco Patrignani, they immediately released two more singles “Sarà perché ti amo” (2009) and “Preghiera maledetta” (2009) which were followed by a tour in France. As a harbinger of things to come, Francesco and the group were invited to participate at the 2010 Palafiori di Sanremo, coinciding with the 60th edition of the famous annual music festival. Their increasing popularity lead to the release of their first EP recording entitled “Maxi” (2010). Despite the band’s accomplishments, Francesco sensed a lack of personal fulfillment and made the difficult decision to break away from the band to pursue a solo career.
He signed with the Milan-based DIY Italia independent music label and began composing new material. His first two video singles “Estate” (2011) and “Maledetto amore” (2011) were well received by the public and critics alike, with the latter being included on the soundtrack of Mirca Viola’s full-length comedic film “L’amore fa male” (2011). Francesco’s debut album “Greitist Iz” (2013) yielded the singles “I dischi non si suonano” and “Clandestino,” each of which received over 125,000 YouTube visualizations, and he immediately set out on a tour throughout the peninsula. Francesco then signed on with the Berlin-based BMG Rights Management music group in 2015 presenting his un-released composition “Amen” to the Sanremo “Giovani” selection committee in early October; he was granted admission to the 2016 Sanremo Music Festival in the “Categoria Nuove Proposte” (Newcomer’s Category). On Feb. 12, the song was introduced as the winner of the 66th Edition of the music festival earning additional awards including “Premio della Critica – Mia Martini” and the “Premio Sergio Bardotti – Miglior Testo.” Francesco’s second recording “Eternamente ora” (2016) was released to coincide with the completion of Sanremo. The eight-track recording received extensive radio airtime and was certified by FIMI (Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana) as one of the best-selling albums four weeks after its initial debut. He embarked on another national tour during which he opened for established Italian and International acts such as Franco Battiato, Francesco Renga, Simply Red, and Anastacia. Francesco’s good fortunes continued as he composed the song “Il bambino col fucile” which was included on the Mina and Adriano Celentano best-selling follow-up duet album, “Le Migliori” (2016). In addition to authoring the song, he also played the guitar on the track and helped to arrange the piece along with famous Italian producer Celso Valli. Francesco’s “Occidentali’s Karma,” co-written with Fabio Ilacqua and Luca Chiaravalli, was reviewed and accepted by the Sanremo “Big” selection committee for admission to the 2017 Sanremo Music Festival. On Feb. 11, 2017, Francesco captured first place with his song and marked the first time ever that an artist had consecutively won both the “Giovani” and “Big” competitions. He also received the TIM Music Award for the “Most Streamed Song during The Finals.”
Francesco was invited to represent Italy at the 2017 Euro Song Contest to be held in Kiev, Ukraine in May of 2017. Francesco is in the process of completing his yet-to-be named third recording which has an expected release date scheduled for the end of April 2017. For more information, you can visit his website at www.francescogabbani.com.
Photo courtesy of www.francescogabbani.com