Breaking Language Barriers with Italian Artist sferra basta
Famoso, the new album by sferra basta, is out worldwide for Island Records: thirteen new songs with seven international collaborations (J Balvin, Steve Aoki, 7Ari, Diplo, Offset, Future, Lil Mosey). The album, with Charlie Charles’ art direction, collects all the different sides of sferra basta; there are tracks filled with anger, hunger and desire to take some distance from the neighbourhood, while some songs are more intimate and others just destined to be world hits.
sferra has taken his time to create the most important album of his career to date and the result is thirteen tracks that, together, create what is today the most international and modern project that Italian music has ever made; certainly the most awaited album of the year. After a total of eighty-seven platinum records, a billion and a half streams on Spotify and after being the first Italian to have had seven songs in the Spotify global chart, he returns to raise the bar again. After waiting almost three years, from today, FAMOSO belongs to everyone.
The international single, out from 1am CET on November 20th is Baby with J Balvin. J Balvin, an artist who has repeatedly said to be one of sferra’s closest friends and collaborators, is Baby’s co-star, out today on all platforms and for all radios. J Balvin himself in the film Famoso, directed by Pepsy Romanoff and distributed worldwide by Amazon Prime Video, tells of the desire to see the birth of a truly international Latin gang; an artistic partnership between Italy, Colombia and the whole Latin world. Baby marks the very beginning of what appears to be a path destined to bring Italian music where it has rarely landed.
Congratulations on the national and international success of your album FAMOSO. For those of us in the American audience not yet familiar with your work, how would you describe your journey as an artist? What is the story behind your name?
My journey as an artist is a reminder that everything is possible: I started from a bench in the outskirts of Milan and on my latest album I was able to work with amazing top artists like Offset, J Balvin, Steve Aoki and many more. The story of my name is kinda funny: my artist name was actually Sfera, but when I subscribed to Facebook I had to type a surname and I chose Ebbasta (meaning and stop). It stuck to me since then.
You have mentioned major influences such as ASAP Rocky, Migos and Pharrell Williams, in what ways do you honor their style in your own music?
They’re amazing artists, all their work is developed in every detail, from the beats to the lyrics to the final mixing. You can see that there’s a lot of work and talent behind their hits.
In an interview with a French media outlet, you said that the most stylish woman is Sita Abellán. Since she is a DJ and a model, do you plan on working with her on music, or featuring her in a music video?
I don’t see why not. She’s my sister, we’re very often in contact and I think she’s really talented. I’d love to do something with her in the future.
I especially loved your song with J Balvin! Even though I now live in Paris I felt connected to Pelham Parkway in the Bronx, a neighborhood primarily with Latinos, Italians and Black-Americans. How was it like working with artists such as Future and J Balvin? What does it mean to you to know that the Italian language is being listened to by a vast English and Spanish speaking audience?
It has been amazing working with them. José is truly my hermano and he’s one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. He’s taught me a lot. On a general stage I feel so lucky to have worked with all these important artists and having had this chance proves that, even if I sing in Italian, it’s music the real and true language here, there are no borders.
I am certain your music is first and foremost for yourself. However, what do you aim to represent not just to Italians in Italy, but to the diaspora of Italians across the world?
I hope that thanks to my music Italy and the Italian language is seen and heard everywhere in the world. It makes me very proud.
FAMOSO is out everywhere (http://island.lnk.to/famoso) and so is Baby(http://island.lnk.to/baby)
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