Last: «My outburst at Sanremo 2019 for the missed victory? Neither proud nor repentant, but I’ve changed”

Of Andrea Laffranchi

The singer returns to the Festival: «In Sanremo you win in many ways, but the important thing for me is to get this song to as many people as possible»

Ultimo is seated at a piano. His hands touch the keys. «The piano has always been my instrument. I still study. Now I’m on the world of pentatonics, the blues, but I always have to put something sad in it». The notes of «Alba» come out, the song that he will bring to the competition at the Festival.

He plays it as a favourite. «In Sanremo you win in many ways, but the important thing for me is to get this song to as many people as possibleneither. I return to the Festival with awareness and desire. Mine was an instinctive choice but at the same time reasoning about age, about 26, also had an influence: it’s not like if you go to stadiums you have to forget certain things. I really started from that stage and I want to close the circle with Sanremo in a different way ».

The Roman singer-songwriter returns to the scene of the crime. At the Ariston he won among the New proposals in 2018 with «The dance of uncertainties». The following year in the Bigs, second place for «Your details» and blurted out in the night because the press office had preferred «that boy there», the then newcomer Mahmood… Full circle with everyone, even with himself? “I hope my return is the clearest answer he can give. I didn’t apologize directly, if that’s what you mean, because I’m neither sorry nor proud. I accepted what I did for better or for worse because he brought me here today. I had to go through it and I came out changed».

«Alba» is a song without the classic verse and chorus, a crescendo, both musical and of interpretative pathos. «For me, “Alba” represents an artistic growth, which does not mean doing better or worse, but a change. It is an introspective vision that is reflected in the presence of my heartbeat used as a battery. It is a dialogue with myself that tends to open up towards a new beginning which is precisely represented by the dawn. I ask myself almost primordial questions about being human, what would happen if we were one way or another, and then arrive at the moment of disillusionment. It is true that poetically the sunset offers more, see Baglioni and Venditti, but the image of dawn came upon me and made me ask those questions». In one passage he sings «I often hate my life»: 5-year career, 55 platinum records and stadium tours like the one next summer with 250,000 tickets already sold… «I’m not a guy who, because he achieves these results, manages to heal certain voids. I always feel tormented and I don’t know from what. I should have a life of my own, I think about music 26 hours a day, but I chose instead to use it to create a collective with concerts that are medicine for me». The voids could be filled, but inspiration would fail, but also accompany you in the adult phase… «I’m more afraid of filling them and losing inspiration».

«Alba» is also the title of an album with 14 new tracks which will be released on February 17th. In the lineup there is “Joker”, portrayed from an unusual point of view of the villain of comics and cinema. «I wrote it after seeing the film that struck me, not only for Joaquin Phoenix’s acting. Even though Joker is a psychopath I can’t blame him 100%, so is the world around him. In the text I wonder what would have happened if his knife had met a heart ».

January 21, 2023 (change January 21, 2023 | 12:51)

Last: «My outburst at Sanremo 2019 for the missed victory? Neither proud nor repentant, but I’ve changed”