CULTURE

Italian pop sensation in Greece

The first name of Italian pop sensation Guisy Ferreri has nothing to do with the English word «juicy,» though that would have been perfectly suitable for the Palermo-born brunette. This description does not apply to the singer’s physical appearance, but rather to her expressiveness and temperament, which are complemented by her sensational, husky Mediterranean voice. The artist, born Giuseppa Ferreri, has taken over Greek radio stations which for months now have been broadcasting nonstop her two great hits to date, «Non ti scordar mai di me» (Don’t Ever Forget Me) and «Novembre» (November). Ferreri, the new star of the Italian pop music scene, has been particularly well received in Greece. Her debut album titled «Gaetana» – her grandmother’s name – made a triumphant entrance into the Greek Top 10, while her single «Non ti scordar mai di me» reached the top of the local radio airplay, meaning that it became the most frequently played song by Greek radio stations last March. At the same time, it topped foreign singles charts. In recognition of her Greek success and obviously wanting to give something back to her fans, Ferreri has scheduled to give two concerts in the country. Tonight, she will perform at the Vrachon Theater as part of the ongoing Hymettus Festival and tomorrow she will move to the Gis Theater in Thessaloniki. Italian songs have always been popular in Greece, but there is a difference here that should be pointed out. Ferreri’s voice – which leads to an inevitable comparison with that of Amy Winehouse – as well as the dark atmosphere that imbues her songs suggest that this is not just another product of the well-known melodic San Remo school. Ferreri grew up with Janis Joplin, PJ Harvey and Patti Smith. Those were her music idols when she was a kid, as she told Kathimerini in a short interview over the phone when in Abbiategrasso, just 20 kilometers from Milan. Ferreri made a spectacular transition from the reality television show «X-Factor» to stardom – it was the popular series which paved her way to success, helping her sell the 850,000 copies of albums she has so far sold. For some people, this beginning may sound like a great contradiction for a singer and songwriter who adores rock music from the 1970s. Yet Ferreri has no problem admitting that her life changed within 24 hours. She seemed impressed when we told her that Italian music is quite popular in Greece, even when we added that it is mostly the San Remo school. Yet even a dedicated rocker like Ferreri said she is a fan of the San Remo festival. It is interesting to bear in mind that Italian throaty singing sensations have hardly ever had such a massive effect on Greek audiences. Back in the 1980s, Giana Danini, who never became a success here, was the new, up-and-coming star of Italian singing, basically what Ferreri is today. Greece only got to know her recently, because her song «Meravigliosa creatura» featured in a Fiat advertising campaign. Going back one generation, the trademark gravelly voice of Mia Martini (1947-95) was not widely heard in Greece either. Ornella Vanoni, with her big hits «Io ti daro di piu» (1966) and «L’appuntamento» (1970), became more familiar. So it is finally in the face of Guisy Ferreri that Greece is coming to recognize and admire the irresistible charm of husky-voiced Italian singers. Tickets can be purchased at Metropolis music stores in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as at Athens’s Ianos, Fnac and Public multimedia stores.