ESC+Plus has had the opportunity to talk with the Italian hopeful for this year’s Junior Eurovision. The young singer will perform the song “Cara Mamma”, dedicated to her mother.
ESC+Plus: Hello Fiamma! First of all, thank you so much for giving us this interview as the Italian representative at Junior Eurovision 2016 and congratulations on having been selected to perform in Valletta!
How did you receive the proposal to represent Italy at Junior Eurovision? What were your feelings at that time? Did you expect it?
I didn’t expect it all! It was such a great surprise! I actually could not believe it! I received the proposal through Fabrizio Palaferri, the Art director of Zecchino d’Oro. Zecchino d’Oro is the most important Italian national song contest for children. This contest is a piece of history in Italian television, next year it will be 60 years old!!| It is organized by the Antoniano in Bologna. Every year they select twelve songs for their contest, and then their team goes around all of Italy looking for the children who are most suitable to sing those songs. In different towns and regions they go and hear thousands and thousands of children. Three years ago I had the honour to be chosen to sing a wonderful song: Ninnaneve. And now they have chosen me again for this new adventure, what can I say… I’m a lucky girl!!!
E+: Can you tell us what your song is about? What is the thing you most like of “Cara Mamma”?
It is a song of joy. Great joy for the end of a separation, a song of joy and triumph for this reunion. What I most like about it is that the girl not only finds again her mother’s embrace, she also discovers her mother’s courage and strength in herself. She is “la forza dentro di me” which literally means“the strength inside me” , “the woman that I will be”.
E+: Your song is dedicated to your mother, but what do you usually give her for mother’s day?
It depends. Once my sister and I used to give her drawings, little letters and paper hearts, now we prefer looking for something she can wear, so she can think of us during the day. A scarf, a ring, things like this
E+: You recently released an official video to premiere your song “Cara Mamma”. How was the shooting of the clip? Were there any funny anecdotes you can tell us?
It was great fun!!! You see, I was with friends. There was Marco Iardella, the author of the song, and Alex Volpi, the producer, and every now and then also Fabrizio Palaferri, the art director, came down to have a laugh with us. Antoniano di Bologna is really like a family. They are great professionals, but they are also warm and affectionate people. I am sure all the children who have ever sung at the Zecchino d’Oro think of them as friends, from the art director to the technicians, to the administration secretaries. So the atmosphere was relaxed and playful. Marco and Alex are such fun! When we recorded the song sometimes we repeated the same sentence again and again looking for the right tone, we did it in different ways to see which one was best. I loved this “research”. Also because I felt that everybody was sort of looking for my real self in the song. I really loved that. And so it was when we did the shooting. Nobody ever told me “do this or do that”, nobody asked me to pretend something… just like when I was recording for Zecchino d’Oro, my friends told me “do it as you feel it”. Funny things? Well, I am very small and in some moments I had to sing on a little stool so that the camera could film me from the other room… of course in the most intense moments I moved too much and fell from the stool!
E+: Have you already decided how your stage performance will look like? How about the costume?
Well, The Art director of Antoniano, Fabrizio Palaferri has told me he has sent a storytelling to Malta and he will tell me about it next time we meet. I trust Fabrizio will manage all the details to make the stag performance perfect. As regards the costume, I asked for something not too elaborate, I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. And I got what I wanted! I’ll wear something from Mimisol collection. Mimisol is a very important Italian brand of clothes for children. They and Monica Mulazzani from Antoniano are going to take care of my costume. It’s just wonderful… but I’m not going to give you the details!
E+: What do you feel while singing on stage? Do you carry any lucky charms during your performances?
I love singing on stage. Before that I feel terrible, I think I’m not going to be able to do it and so on… but usually, as soon as I begin singing I start having fun, terrible fun, so happy I feel I could explode. I hope it will be like this this time too! I usually wear a necklace my best friend gave to me.
E+: Did you watch Junior Eurovision 2014? How did you feel when Vincenzo Cantiello won the competition?
Unfortunately I could not watch it, as my family was celebrating my sister’s birthday! But of course when I knew I was proud for Italy. Vincenzo Cantiello is such a wonderful singer!
E+: Tell us more about yourself, your favourite music style, favourite school subject, hobbies, musical career….
I live in Florence with my parents and my sister Emilia. She is 14 and she is great! She loves singing too. She was chosen to sing at the Zecchino d’Oro too, two years before I did.
I like both classical and pop music. At present my favourite classical composer is Beethoven. As regards pop I listen more o less to everything, from One Direction to Francesca Michelin. I really love old music too, the Beatles, David Bowie, AC-DC, I’m crazy about them at the moment! My favourite subjects at school are English, German, Italian literature and History. But the best thing about school are my friends, I have fantastic classmates!
I like reading. “Novecento” by Alessandro Baricco, “Fahrenheit 451”by Ray Bradbury, “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare and “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger are the last books that I have most loved reading. But most of all, I am a great fan of a Harry Potter, a real Potterhead!!!
I also love dancing, I’ve been dancing since I was 5 (ballet, modern jazz, disco dance) and I would really like to study musical when I’m older. But maybe my greatest dream is acting. When I read something I particularly like in a book I close my bedroom door and act it! Trying to imagine how I would perform this or that character. What else can I say… you should see my cats, Musetta and Mimì, they are really lovely.
As regards my musical career… well I wasn’t aware I had one! I have been singing since I was about 4, as a “voce Bianca” in the Opera Festival in Florence. As I said before, when I was nine I was selected to sing as Solo at the 56° Zecchino d’Oro. The song they had selected me for is Ninnaneve, a very beautiful piece by Giuseppe de Rosa and Gerardo Attanasio. They are great family friends now. For the last four years I have been part of a children’s polyphonic choir, the Piccolo Coro Melograno of Firenze. I love my choir!
E+: We know that you play the piano, why did you decide to start learning that instrument instead of any other?
I almost can’t remember, I was so small. But I remember that at the time I was singing in a children choir that sang the children’s parts for the Opera Festival of Florence. The teacher taught us our part playing it on the piano. Watching the teacher’s fingers produce those wonderful melodies fascinated me and my sister. She wanted to learn, and of course I wanted to learn too! I remember that for my first small performances someone had to come on the stage and lift me on the stool because I could not climb it!
E+: Do you usually watch the senior Eurovision? If you had to choose an Italian artist to compete at the contest, who would you choose?
I do, and I think I would choose Marco Mengoni
E+: Do you watch the Sanremo festival? Would you like to take part in the future?
That’s an easy answer: Of course I watch it, everyone would like to take part in the future!!!!
E+: What are you most looking forward to doing in Malta? Have you ever visited the island?
I have never visited the island but some friends told me that it is amazingly beautiful and that the people are wonderful too. I look forward to seeing it, but also to meet the other children from the other countries. I hope we will be able to communicate somehow. I have also seen them singing their songs on YouTube and I can’t wait to hear them live.
Thank you very much! Good luck! See you in Valletta!