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“Ticino was where I felt at home”

On the album «Miss Italia», popstar Jack Savoretti wants to find his italian roots after his father’s death.

Most people dream in their mother tongue, but in your case it’s not English, German or Polish, but rather Italian …

That’s only been the case since I made this album. «Come Posso Racontare», in which I sing about it, is the only song I had already written before my father passed. His reaction gave me the confidence to do «Miss Italia» after his death. This existential experience led me to engage more with my Italian roots in general.

How did «Come Posso Racontare» come into existence?

I think in this case it was a kind of serendipity. But I find songs like that terrible. You write a break-up song and two months later it really happens. You know much more inside than you realise. Our senses become dulled because we have so many distractions. Our intuition could tell us more. I had already started to dream more about Italy, and then this catastrophic event made my curiosity about my homeland explode.

Why not earlier?

Before that, my relationship with Italy was defined by my father. When this constant was gone, I had to find out what else connected me to this culture. I even applied for an Italian passport. Two months after completing this album, I received it in the post. That was a strange moment indeed as I had never considered becoming Italian in the past.

Did you feel a closer connection with Ticino?

Well, I never lived in Italy, while Carona, above Lake Lugano, was my home and later the place where our family gathered. The only thing that comes to mind are my summer holidays. I spent them with my grandparents in Liguria.

How did your parents react to your musical career?

My mother had given me my first guitar and my father was the first to criticise my songs. He taught me not to take it personally, but professionally. That’s very important in this industry, where you read a lot of terrible things about yourself. My mum, on the other hand, loves everything I do. I could throw up and she would think I was a genius. (Laughs) She’s the perfect Jewish mum in that respect!

How do you deal with it if the album is not only received positively in Italy? After all, these are all very personal songs.

I hope that it will also reap criticism! Otherwise, it would just be flat. I’m also not so presumptuous as to think I’m a great Italian songwriter. I just hope that people will be curious and form their own opinions.

You recorded a new version of «Senza Una Donna» with Zucchero, which was already a hit in its version with Paul Young. Just a PR move?

The duet certainly helped to promote the album, but it wasn’t my idea. After I had interviewed Zucchero for an English radio station and we had got on very well, he called me when he was giving three concerts in London. «Should we produce a single for the 30th anniversary of ‘Senza Una Donna’ and sing the song at Royal Albert Hall afterwards?»

Did you even know the song?

Sure, «Senza Una Donna» brings back fond childhood memories for me. It was one of my mother’s favourite songs. She always had it playing loudly when she took me to school in the car. Thanks to the song being bilingual, it will help introduce my British fans to the songs made in Italian only.

Where does the title of “Bada Bing, Bada Boom” come from? It has a groove that brings remedies of a summer hit.

In English, this is an expression used to say: «That’s it! We made it.» Just like «Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious» in Mary Poppins. The twist came to me when I was looking for a chorus with co-songwriter Miles Kane, the great guitarist of The Last Shadow Puppets.

You played for FC Lugano in your youth. Would you rather have been a professional footballer than a pop star?

Football has always been my passion, but I stopped at 13 or 14 when the game became serious. Other things were more important to me, and the music came later. Nevertheless, I remained a football fan, for FC Genoa and Italy – even at a match against England. I’m already looking forward to the Euro 2024!

What thoughts did you have on the occasion of your 40th birthday? 

I think your values and responsibilities change as you get older. You try more to make yourself and the people you love happy and look less at others. That’s why «Miss Italia» is one of the most important albums I’ve ever made. At least, for myself.

Biography

Jack Savoretti was born in London on 10 October 1983 to an Italian father and a German-Polish mother. After growing up in Ticino, he returned to England, where he released his first single in 2006. His breakthrough came in 2015 with the fourth album «WRITTEN IN SCARS» and the hit «Home», the last two «Singing To Strangers» and «Europiana» even reached number one. He wrote the songs on «Miss Italia» in Italian for the first time. Savoretti is married to the actress Jemma Powell, has three children and lives in England.

Photos Copyrights: Jack Savoretti, Chris Floyd