Francesca Alotta, born into a musical lineage as the daughter of the esteemed tenor Filippo Alotta, has carved a remarkable niche in the Italian music scene. Beginning her journey at the Vincenzo Bellini Conservatory of Music in Palermo, Francesca honed her skills in violin, piano, and lirica, setting the stage for a career that would span decades.
Her foray into the limelight commenced as a chorister on albums of various Italian artists. However, it was in 1991 that Francesca made her mark, clinching the Cantagiro with the compelling “Chiamataurgente.”
A year later, Francesca, in collaboration with AleandroBaldi, triumphed at the 42nd Sanremo Festival with the emotive duet “Non amarmi.” becoming the best-selling single of that year.
During that era, there existed a notable hesitancy to broach the subject of disabilities, and certain executives at the record company were skeptical about a song that delved into this sensitive topic. The exceptions were the late Mario Ragni, the then Artistic Director of DischiRicordi, and the extraordinary producer, Giancarlo Bigazzi.
Giancarlo Bigazzi wrote some of the most successful Italian pop records, many of which became international hits, such as “Gloria”, “Self Control”, “No Me Ames”, “Tu”, “Ti amo”. He was also a film score composer including the soundtrack of the Oscar-winner Mediterraneo.
Francesca became aware of their participation in the festival shortly before it commenced.
‘Non amarmi’ is a song with a crucial social theme: the fear of a person with a disability of not receiving genuine love but rather mere pity.
The first performance was met with an overwhelming round of applause, a moment that signified the audience’s understanding of the song’s profound message: true love conquers all obstacles. “NON AMARMI” transcended borders, achieving global success in Italian. So much so that JENNIFER LOPEZ hailed it as one of the most beautiful songs of the last twenty years and rendered it in Spanish alongside her future husband MARC ANTHONY in two distinct versions on her album “On the six,” earning them the Latin American Grammy Award with “NO ME AMES.”
This timeless song has remained an evergreen since its inception in 1992.
The success of this venture propelled her into the mainstream, and her self-titled debut album, featuring the standout single “Fragilità,” marked a pivotal moment in her career, culminating in her participation at Cantagiro ’92.
Throughout the ’90s, Francesca continued to captivate audiences. In 1993, she returned to the Sanremo Festival with “Un anno di noi” and simultaneously released the album “Io e te.”
This coincided with her regular appearances on the most popular Sunday shows in Italy, “Domenica in” hosted by Mara Venier, Monica Vitti and Luca Giuratoas a featured musical guest alongside Fiordaliso.
International recognition followed, with releases in Japan through the King Records and a noteworthy presence in Cuba, where her collaborations with Augusto Enriquez of Moncada resulted in chart-topping hits like “Yolanda” and “Batticuore.”
In 1997, Francesca released “Buonanotte alla luna,” an album characterized by its lunar-themed tracks. Collaborations with Demo Morselli, Federico Salvatore, and Loredana Bertè, particularly in the duet “…e la luna bussò,” demonstrated her versatility.
In 2004, she showcased her talents on the televised talent show “Music Farm,” hosted by Amadeus.
Fast forward to 2018, Francesca’s enduring impact on the industry was recognized with the prestigious Premio AFI allacarriera. Her participation in Rai Uno’s “Ora o maipiù” marked another milestone in her illustrious career.
In the same year, the album “ANIMA MEDITERRANEA” was released, entirely in acoustic format, featuring accomplished musicians such as Massimo Moriconi, Giuseppe Milici, Simone Talone, Luca Tufano, and 30 choristers from Paolo Li Rosi’s choir. The album comprises 16 tracks, including ancient Sicilian and Neapolitan songs, dedicated by the artist to her father who passed away in 2003, and with whom she had intended to collaborate.
The tracks includea song with which her father Filippo won the festival of Sicilian songs, an original composition where the lyrics are a heartfelt dedication to her father. Additionally, there is an acoustic version of “NON AMARMI” with Aleandro Baldi, included as a bonus track.
In 2021, Francesca made a triumphant return to television as a contestant on “Tale e Quale Show,” securing the second position. Simultaneously, she released her first self-written single, “DIVERSA,” offering a glimpse into her evolving musical style, which will be further explored in her upcoming album set to release in 2024.
In it there is one song that Francesca wrote in Sicilian and played with Giovanni Sollima regarded as the greatest cellist in the world.
The release of “AVANTI A PUGNI CHIUSI” on December 1, 2023 is a precursor to her highly anticipated album, “DIVERSA.”
“Avanti a Pugni Chiusi” is accompanied by a poignant music video featuring Ivan Cottini, a symbol of resilience in the face of life’s challenges, and the inspiring story of the young warrior, Sofia.
The song reflects Francesca’s personal journey, particularly her battle with cancer during the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After my battle with cancer during the COVID era,” shares Francesca Alotta, “I had to decide whether to face my illness with courage or let it defeat me. I chose to fight and found solace in writing and composing, a therapy for my soul. I wrote melodies and lyrics for six of the thirteen tracks on the new album, including ‘Avanti a Pugni Chiusi.‘ ”
The track serves as an anthem to life, celebrating courage and determination as essential antidotes against physical and emotional adversity. It reflects Francesca’s resilience and her decision to confront difficulties head-on, fists clenched.
In a powerful move, Francesca invited her close friend, Ivan Cottini, to feature prominently in the music video. Ivan, a dancer, model, and performer widely recognized as a warrior, has been battling multiple sclerosis for years without ever succumbing to despair. The video also features Sofia, known as @Lasmagnifica on social media, a young fighter joyfully taking on the challenges of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
The single, much like the entire album, is arranged by Max Marcolini, the renowned arranger and co-producer of artists like Zucchero Fornaciari, Alexia, and Irene Fornaciari. Accompanying the music is the exceptional guitar work of Paolo Rainaldi, whose mesmerizing chords inspired Francesca’s compositions.
The music video, shot in Ivan Cottini’s hometown of Urbino, unfolds against the backdrop of a global kite event held in September — a symbol of joy, freedom, and happiness perfectly aligning with the positive message conveyed in the song.
With the script written by Francesca Alotta, the video was directed by Enrico Cornalea for Albatros Film. The captivating visual narrative adds an extra layer of depth to the empowering message of “Avanti a Pugni Chiusi”.
With a career spanning genres, continents, and musical eras, Francesca Alotta remains an enduring figure in the ever-evolving landscape of Italian music, her legacy etched into the very fabric of the industry.
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