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Intervista a Culture Corner.

Ecco la traduzione dell'intervista in lingua inglese al blog Culture Corner. Buona lettura.

Dario Greco’s freedom.

In the history of Italian music, many authors have been talking about freedom, as for instance Giorgio Gaber, Lucio Battisti, Vasco Rossi, Claudio Baglioni, Francesco De Gregori, Lucio Dalla, Fabrizio Moro and Jovanotti. Dario Greco is a Sicilian author, singer and musician (born in the city of Catania) whose name should be added to this list. On his website it is possible to read his biography, of which you can read the most important events here. He has always been committed to music, which has been his loyal companion every day of his life. During the 90s, he got closer to music and especially to blues, rock and gospel. In 2004 he founded The Acappella Swingers, a vocal quartet with a ten-year career during which he produced three albums, he took part in X-Factor and became known both in Italy and overseas. In 2013 he began his solo career and in 2018, after collaborating with many Italian artists such as Mario Venuti, Mannarino, Mario Incudine and Biagio Antonacci’s guitarist Massimo Varini, he published his first album of songs written and arranged by himself with the help of Antonio Quinci and the Deea Studio in Catania. He has made known his songs to the public through two different shows – Dario di bordo celebrated his twenty years dedicated to music and in 2018 Libero Pop Show brought the songs of his album Libero in many Italian cities. Libero (Italian word meaning “free”) is a concept album inspired by freedom where Dario talks about life, love, values and about himself and what surrounds him. The language he uses is a modern Italian pop where music and words are perfectly combined. The first track, Libero, gives the title to the album and in this song Dario is “feeling more free and stronger than ever” (literal translation of the lyrics of the song). This feeling touches the listener too, because Libero is an album that can be listened to and sung in your car with the windows down. Every track of the album (ten in total) is rich of stories and content with tailor-made arrangements that add value to each song. My favourite track is the second one – Regalami una rosa (literally “gift me a rose”). It is about a love story, about creating something together as a couple and about how your loved one’s happiness and smile make you feel blessed. This song came to Dario’s mind on July 12th 2012 at 00:20 while he was going to bed – this is something very peculiar: on the booklet of the album he wrote day, time and location where he had the inspiration for each songs. The third track, Tu (literally “you”) is dedicated to his beloved and it shows love seen through Dario’s eyes. Marte (literally “Mars”), Fiori al veleno (literally “Poisoned flowers”) and Andiamo via (literally “Let’s go away”) are three up-tempo songs and listening to them make you feel like dancing and singing them out loud wherever you are. Camminare sospeso (literally “Walking suspended high”) is Dario’s favourite track and it is the most eclectic and experimental. I am wondering if the next songs’ texture will be similar to this one… unfortunately we do not have the answer yet. For sure Libero includes two melodic and melancholic songs that show the high quality of this album. Davanti c’è ‘u mari (written in Sicilian dialect, the title meaning “In front of the sea”) is a very intimate song for which Dario found the inspiration by digging deep inside himself. It is dedicated to someone that has meant a lot for him and is now gone and the unique feature of this song is that makes the listener feel both happiness and sadness at the same time – sadness for losing that person and happiness for having the responsibility of living for oneself and that person too. The last track I want to speak of is Per una vita intera (aspettami) (literally “For my whole life (wait for me)”), the sixth of the album. This is the only song that was not written by Dario Greco. It is a gift from Pierfrancesco Cordio, a young author and singer from Catania who is a close friend of Dario’s. The film clip of the song features Dario together with Cordio and Simone Pavia, a young and talented guitarist and author. It was shot in Milan and I had the chance to be at its official presentation during Dario’s “Libero Pop Show” on December 8th 2018.

On this occasion Dario presented his official fan club too, which was founded on September 17th 2018. Silvia and Simona told us that the name “i Liberi” (literally “the free people”) came not only from the title of the album, but mainly from a fundamental value that Dario underlines in every occasion and in every post on his social profiles. Moreover, it is a good omen for the fans to be called this way because it allows them to actually feel more free and to think deeply about this idea. Silvia Rossi drew the fan club logo and she told me an anecdote about it. «The idea of the tree came before the creation of the fan club and the logo. In April 2018 I spray-painted a picture inspired by the album Libero and I gave it to Dario. I painted a tree and every part of it somehow represents Dario – the roots are the love he feels for Sicily, his birthplace, the trunk stands for the values imparted by his family and the branches symbolize his wish to share both his music and himself as human being, which is why he has such a strong bond with his fans». Simona mainly focuses on translating the various posts, interviews and articles for the Liberi all over the world. They have done everything on their own, without any help, but they have a lot of ideas as you can see from Dario’s merchandising. What drives them is obviously freedom, the main theme of Dario’s album. They are keeping on creating and everything comes out spontaneously. «Dario’s characteristic of being always kind and open made all this happen. We wanted to do something to thank him for everything he has brought in our lives and this is what came out. We use our strengths to create new ideas that can be shared with all the members of the fan club», that is what Silvia and Simona told us. They came in contact with Dario’s music thanks to Cordio and they met him for the first time during the OPEN MIC festival at the Libreria Open in Milan, where Dario played some of his songs in acoustic on May 3rd 2018.

Thanks to the fan club I got a few questions for Dario from his Liberi, some of which quite unusual. Let’s see what Dario answered.

How does it feel when a fan of you tells you that she managed to overcome a particularly difficult moment of her life thanks to you and your music? It feels a huge responsibility, but at the same time I feel excited and determined to do everything even BETTER. Music has the power to solve EVERYTHING, it saved me many times.

What is your favourite colour? I love red! But not for clothes… above all if I am the one that should wear it. I am afraid it does not suit me.

What is the city you would live in? I love Catania, it’s my birthplace, but I would live part of my life in Milan too.

What inspired you in your career? I have always been inspired by life itself – by my life and by the lives I have “stolen” from other people. Every event, experience, even heartache, can be turned into Music and make it become Emotion. Make it Eternal! All you have to do is follow your instinct and never force things to happen.

Do you have any fear? I will quote Baglioni, this is a sentence that have always struck me – the only thing I fear of the future is not being here anymore. The meaning of this sentence can be applied to everything in life and this is exactly what I do. I would like to BE THERE, meaning that I want my mind and body to be present in everything in my life – in my music, my relationships, love, friendship and with my parents without losing the meaning and the value of Truth.

What is your favourite singer? Without thinking I would say Pino Daniele, but after a few seconds I would add many other singers to the list. I would rather say I do not have one favourite artist, but I like those whose music conveys emotions. Sometimes one song by an unknown artist is enough when you listen to it in the right place at the right time. Shazam does wonders!

Do you mind telling us about when you bought your first instrument? My first instrument was a keyboard (we used to call it “pianola”) with which I made my first musical experiments when I was 8/9 years old. But the instrument that I will always keep in my heart is my first guitar. It was a gift from my high school mates (who spent a lot of money for me) with which I started my musical journey. I treasure it. I wrote my first songs with it and many others too… even recently. I wanted to thank it for everything showing it in my first official video. Yes, it is the one with me in the clip of the song Libero.

Can you tell us a concert that was totally disappointing and one that was very exciting? I was totally disappointed by Bob Dylan – indifferent, unenthusiastic and bored (almost) as we who were listening to him. Instead, three concerts will always be in my heart. The first is Pino Daniele’s concert in Naples on July 18th 1998 at San Paolo stadium with eighty thousand people singing with him. Then Linkin Park on June 26th 2011, and if I think of Chester and his wonderful voice I still get a thrill. Last but not least, Ray Charles one day during the summer 2001 in a church in Messina; he sang accompanied only by the piano; it was a free concert for a few unaware lucky people and it was a real privilege.

What is the first album you have bought? “Phil Collins – Both side”, a masterpiece. It was December 26th 1993. That Christmas was only me and my new stereo with Christmas lights in the background. How could I ever forget it?

Can you tell us one adjective to describe yourself and one to describe your music? Authentic, genuine. It is the same for my music, because I think it represents me.

What is your relationship with Antonio Quinci? It is a wonderful relationship that came from music and grew thanks to it, he is both a friend and a co-worker. We are always focused when we listen to and work on our projects and every time we meet we talk, discuss and share our thoughts because both of us think that honesty and respect are crucial. We are growing and developing together.

Do you prefer performing acoustic songs or with your band? Definitely with my band. Not just because you can listen to all the sounds, but mainly because I love being part of a group and feeling all the vibrations, the energy, the support and the team work. I believe in all this. On the stage all the members become one – one great explosive force. And I am not just talking about sounds!

When will you publish something new? Can you tell us something about the sound of the new songs? I do not have any precise date nor a definite sound yet. Maybe there will be a new single in autumn or the new album in 2020. Who knows… I have written a lot of new things since January. I have been trying to improve my compositions. I would like it to surprise me. I am testing myself and trying different inputs to see what comes out. I asked Antonio, the perfect partner in crime, to make experiments and make me listen to different rhythms and textures to see what they rise in my mind. The result for now is amazing. This path seems fun and I want to go ahead with it. It would also be great to collaborate with other artists, first of all with my friend Cordio – mixing words, blending ideas, discussing on our differences and value them. I do not want to give birth to a “Libero 2.0”, but to a “Dario 2.0”. I have already thought about the title of the album and its cover. Now I just need to add the songs. But I am quite confident about the result.

Thanks to Dario Greco for his answers and thanks to the Liberis for the good questions!

Grazie a Simona Zanoni per la traduzione.

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