The Italian influence is too vast to be limited to its exquisite cuisine or its top fashion designers. On the musical level, there’s a long tradition in pursuit of the perfect song, dating back to the legendary Sanremo Music Festival, a fundamental basis for developing the celebrated Eurovision Song Contest.
These pleasant sensations are sprinkled throughout HIT Week, the annual showcase of the freshest Italian music, that returns to Miami this Saturday, October 15th, with a double bill by Cosmo and Diodato, among other emerging artists and special guests. What’s better? You can snag tickets for free with RSVP here.
This event serves as an excuse for us to dig a little into Cosmo and Diodato, both renowned pop stars in their homeland. Also, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to spotlight the incredible Rachele Andrioli, whose amazing debut in the US took place in last year’s edition, as a highlight of HIT Week 2021.
The selection is completed with two other Italian talents who are ideal for expanding the musical panorama: the great rapper Frah Quintale and the dreamy singer Joan Thiele. Later, there’ll probably be room for gelato… So don’t be left wanting more and check out our playlist, Piacere, to hear them all:
Things definitely changed for Diodato when he won the 70th edition of the Sanremo Music Festival in 2020 with his song “Fai Rumore”. Of course, his career was already uphill from a time before – In fact, that was the third time he had participated in the legendary festival, after appearing in 2014 with the song “Babilonia” and in 2018 with the song “Adesso”. Starting with his debut album, 2013’s E Forse Sono Pazzo, the first awards came as rewards. His creative drive never stopped and he polished himself as a singer-songwriter with the albums A Ritrovar Bellezza (2014) and Cosa Siamo Diventati (2017).
Born in Aosta, in the valley of the Italian Alps, Antonio Diodato grew up mostly in Taranto, a city in the south, near the sea, and later settled in Rome. His first musical adventures, however, took place in Stockholm, where he worked with DJs Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello, who were then starting the supergroup Swedish House Mafia. His fourth and most recent album, 2020’s Che Vita Meravigliosa, crowned him “Best Italian Act” at the MTV Europe Music Awards. He was also adding roles in film and television. This year he walked through the Eurovision competition as one of Italy’s most popular new artists.
The choice of his alias is not accidental: Cosmo is a musical space traveler, an astronaut who pursues stellar melodies, future synthesizers, and danceable beats that stick to the body. His ship of sounds is increasingly difficult to identify, although he has long since landed and settled in the heart of the Italian pop planet. Born under the name of Marco Bianchi, this Piemontese singer-songwriter has already had an interesting journey leading Drink to Me, an indie rock and electropop band formed in 2002 that now seems to be on hiatus, with a fruitful period of four albums between 2008 and 2014.
Cosmo emerged as a side project for Marco to venture as a solo artist, back in 2012. His debut album Disordine came out a year later. If there’s a turning point in his career, that’s definitely “Sei La Mia Città”, a hit single he released in May 2017 as a preview of his third record, 2018’s Cosmotronic. The song – which title means “you are my city” – is “an ideal declaration of love” that can be applied to people or places where we take refuge after traveling. His sold-out live performances sometimes feature two drummers, projections, and lighting effects. His influences are so wide ranging from traditional Italian singers like Lucio Battisti and Franco Battiato to avant-garde acts like Animal Collective and Grimes.
If the map of Italy is a boot, then Salento is its heel. From that peninsular region comes the musical blend served by the exquisite singer Rachele Andrioli. Her songs are rooted in the traditional sounds of the area, of course, but grow into the vast expanses of world music – that somewhat worn category that may not specify much but in this case is taken by heart and is so magical that refers to folk from all over the planet. Rachele is purely Italian, but her music is passionately traveling, crossing from India to Latin America to Lebanon. A good proof of this is the wonderful Tiny Desk Concert that she recorded last year.
Rachele Andrioli studied jazz at the conservatory in Lecce. Since her first steps on stage, back in the 90s when she was part of the local band Officina Zoè, she brought ancient rhythms from her homeland such as pizzica to festivals around the world. Going solo, Rachele’s musical journey has expanded and opened up to the influences of our time. Collaborations are common currency in her career – it’s worth noting her recent performances with accordionist Rocco Nigro. Her singing is a hypnotic sound experience that builds multicultural bridges, installs calm, and invites you to meditate – some even say that it has therapeutic effects in these times of uncertainty.
Originally from Brescia, in a region of northern Italy known as Lombardy, Francesco Servidei fell in love with hip-hop culture at the age of 16, encouraging himself to graffiti some walls or write his first rap songs. A year older, in 2006, he formed the duo Fratelli Quintale, along with rapper Mr. Merio. Despite what the name implies, they were not brothers (“quintal” referred to their weights). Frah Quintale began his solo career in 2012, with the release of the EP Idiot Savant, conceived as a side project while he was still part of the duo.
In 2016, Frah Quintale was officially a solo artist and had another EP cooked up on his own, titled 2004. A year later it was time to release his first album, Regardez Mois, which was certified platinum in Italy shortly after. His tours covered the entire country and lasted until 2018. By then he ventured with Lungolinea, a compilation album that includes earlier singles and more recent tracks like “Missili”. His latest project is called Banzai and consists of two albums, Lato Blu (2020) and Lato Arancio (2021).
The daughter of a Neapolitan mother and a Swiss father, Joan Thiele spent her childhood from here to there: Colombia, Canada, the Caribbean, England, and Lake Garda in Italy. In London, she took her first steps in music, shortly before moving permanently to Milan to pursue a career as a singer. She was first encouraged to post a cover of Drake’s hit “Hotline Bling” in 2015. The following year her first songs came out – including the singles “Save Me”, “Taxi Driver” and “Lost Ones” – gathered in her self-titled debut EP.
Joan Thiele’s first releases boast remarkable musical production, with easygoing beats and pop melodies sung with a soul bent. This is what came to corroborate her long-awaited first album Tango in 2018, anticipated by the singles “Armenia”, “Fire” and “Polite”. However, the great click in Joan’s career came in 2020, when she released her second EP Operazione Oro, her first record sung entirely in Italian, with courageous and personal songs like “Le Vacanze”, “Puta” and “Bambina”. Last year she upped the ante by putting her sweet, velvety voice on the R&B hit “Senza Fiato”, in collaboration with the talented Mace and Venerus.