Spontaneous, passionate, determined. This is Francesca Alotta. She’s 50 years old, from Palermo and represents one of the voices that Italian music has never forgotten. She sang Non Amarmi together with Aleandro Baldi and won the Italian song festival in Sanremo in 1992. This song became a timeless success. Sicilian Secrets interviewed her for you.
Who, at least once in their life, hasn’t sung maybe with friends at karaoke the famous verse Dimmi perché piangi…di felicità? It’s one of the most known and recognizable melodies of Italian pop music and the female voice belongs to Francesca Alotta. From Non Amarmi to the new TV show Ora o mai più hosted by Amadeus, and many other new projects, here is what she told us.
Q: Non Amarmi is and will be an unforgettable success, how did it affect your career?
A: Non amarmi has been peculiar since the beginning. Some years ago, people were reticent to talk about disabilities and to discuss this topic in a song was considered crazy. Some producers discouraged us and also our participation at the Sanremo Festival was completely improvised. But the applauses from the audience belied every skepticism, while demonstrating that feelings go beyond every barrier. Well, I would define Non amarmi a milestone.
Q: Francesca Alotta, from Palermo and daughter of a great artist. How much did your being Sicilian influence your creativity and art?
A: Being Sicilian counted, of course. My passion, my grit, my enthusiasm is the evidence. I owe a lot my land, it’s kissed by the Lord, full of colors and scents. If you were born in a place like this, you have a strong imprinting, it’s something that is always with you, wherever you go. It’s an endless bond.
Q: You’re back on TV thanks to the TV show Ora o mai più hosted by Amadeus. Why did you decide to catch this opportunity?
A: It was completely unexpected! They called me to replace Donatella Milani, and even if I worked a lot at RAI and know everybody, the impact was tough. At the same time, it was like coming back home. Like every Sicilian woman I literally jump into every adventure, women from the South love challenges.
Q: What’s your advice for young people that today want to start a musical career in Sicily (but not only)?
A: Francesca Alotta’s advice as a singer is just one: study, guys. Learn how to play an instrument and take care of your voice. Even if today many people think that talent shows are the easiest way, I want to say that to be on TV is not enough to be successful over the years. If you don’t build solid foundations, you can have a ‘Now’ but not a second chance.
Q: Francesca’s dreams: what are your wishes and projects for the future?
A: I always have dreams, above all I’d like to sing with an orchestra around the world. Regarding the future, I’m working on a project about Sicilian and Neapolitan songs, moreover I’ll shoot the videoclip of Ti dirò. It’s a new song about a woman that rebels against a domestic violence, it’s intense. Francesco Benigno will help me to film the video and my wish is to engage also other artists to convey all together a social message. Finally, on September 5th, with Sergio Castellitto, some actors of Gomorra, Beppe Vessicchio and many others, we are organizing an event in Pollica to commemorate Angelo Vassallo, the famous ‘sindaco pescatore’ (the fisherman) who was mysteriously killed. We want to celebrate him and propose to investigate again about his murder, so we’ll play new songs and promote a fundraising campaign to build a monument in his honor.
Q: Do you have a mantra or a philosophy of life you follow every day?
A: The greatest example I had in my life has been my dad. He taught me not to follow perfection and not to be obsessed by external beauty. ‘Feed your soul’, this is my thought, as well as the philosophy that probably everybody should follow.