Fast Cars, Amazing Music: An Italian Legacy.

Ever since Italy’s withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest (with the fantastic farewell song Fiumi Di Parole) in 1997, fans have been eagerly anticipating their return. And in 2011, when RAI made the unexpected announcement that Italy will be returning with the San Remo Festival once more as their national final, fans and Contest enthusiasts welcomed them back with open arms, much like the father embracing the prodigal son.

It’s a well known fact that Italy is famous for its fast cars, soulful music and delicious food. However, on a recent trip to Ferrari World I realised what the Eurovision Song Contest was truly missing out on.

It is that Italian zest for life in the fast lane, to dare to dream and then the determination to see it through, much like Enzo Ferrari and his pursuit of excellence. And then have all this passion embodied in music… No one can do it like the Italians and this is what they bring to the Eurovision Song Contest, what we’ve been missing this past decade. No wonder then when Raphael Gualazzi took to the stage for Italy with Madness Of Love on the 14th of May, it just felt right.

So welcome back Italy. Keeping your Eurovision-winning entry Insieme: 1992 in mind, its indeed wonderful that we are all together again in 2012, twenty years on.

Spinning with Stella’s Hula Hoop.

Even though Stella Mwangi failed to take Norway out of the Semi-final and into the Grand Final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with her delightful afro-schlager Haba Haba, it seems that she is finding success even further afield despite it all.

Imagine my surprise when the other day at the gym, I look up to see Stella, along with Swedish superstar Mohombi, carvoting about onscreen to their latest hit Hula Hoop! Nearly tripped over on the treadmill I did. Its an instantly catchy, infectious number. Check out what folks are pumping iron to:

New Music: ‘Vár a Holnap’ by Kati Wolf.

This year, Hungary was the firm fan favourite at the Eurovision Song Contest. Represented by the song What About My Dreams? sung by the irrepressible Kati Wolf, the country managed to break it’s bad run of results by qualifying for the Grand Final. Though it failed to set the scoreboard alight on the big night, Kati emerged from the Contest as a national heroine and the darling of the nation. She has now released a brand new album and the lead single Vár a Holnap is making waves. Translated as ‘tomorrow is waiting for you’, it continues in the same vein as What About My Dreams? with it’s retro-eighties production touches and catchy chorus. Combined with Kati’s powerhouse voice, Vár a Holnap is a stunner of a song. Check out the dramatic music video below:

It’s been a big week for Kati, as she’s also performed the song on Hungary’s X Factor. You can watch the show-stopping performance here.

New album art for Raphael Gualazzi’s ‘Madness Of Love’.

Here’s my take on Italy’s much-celebrated Eurovision entry this year: Madness Of Love by ‘San Remo Newcomers Winner’ Raphael Gualazzi. I kept the original band design element from the original and played around with the typography and selected a more suitable picture that fits with the song’s title. Stay tuned for more reworked album art!