by Giovanni Ballerini
After a part of the tour abroad, Mario Biondi arrives on tour in Italy to present an album that he wanted to dedicate to love in all its forms. Is called Romantic and the crooner Catania, born in 1971, which is actually called Mario Ranno, produced it with Massimo Greco and David Florio for Sony Music. All the tracks on this successful album were recorded analogically, a choice that gives a very warm and authentic sound to the entire album that recalls a distinctly 70s sound.
Biondi, even with this fresh-from-the-press album, has hit the center, but it’s nothing new: she started under a pseudonym and now they know her all over the world …
“Actually I started with my stage name Mario Biondi in the 80s, then I made many dance music records under a pseudonym and in 2004 I signed Was-A- Bee This is what you arebut when the song was aired in heavy rotation on the BBC they wanted to know who this performer was with a Sinatra’s voice. I got excited like a child at the compliment and from that moment on, the pseudonym went into oblivion and only Mario Biondi remained. Fortunately, my father’s stage name, which later became mine, was stronger than the nicknames we used “.
Do you come from a family of musicians?
“My grandmother sang to the Eiar in Turin. She was a mondina in Piedmont and from there she was heard, as they did in the cotton fields in America and was hired by the master Cynical Angelini to sing in his orchestra, he also made a record in the 40s then returned to Sicily and married my grandfather. My father followed in her footsteps and he too was a singer, songwriter. My brother too Speedy Biondi she started singing and won the Mia Martini Award in Calabria lately ”.
Romantic also becomes his message of peace?
“I believe that romance is a way to dream at least of benevolence, if we don’t get to love. The romantic is a dreamer, so much so that the first track, which is called The Creator Has a Master Plan and was written by Leon Thomas and Pharoah Sanders reads: ‘There was a time when on earth there was peace, joy, happiness and a minimum of the people who inhabited the earth knew their strength ‘I think it’s a bit the key to being at peace, to living well together. If you know your strength well, you don’t need to possibly rage on others. This should be the pacifying message ”.
Also from a musical point of view?
“The project is particular from a musical point of view: there are sounds, unthinkable evolutions for a crooner, which in itself is more inclined to swing, to bossa nova. In Romantic there are in fact notes that wink at fusion and other musical visions. We are working on the sounds of the live and I must say that I am lucky because on stage I have about ten exceptional musicians and a lighting technician who makes sparks. Together we create beautiful atmospheres “.
How did the overseas tour go?
“Very good. in particular, the meeting with the Scots and the British was spectacular: they invested us with joy, the desire to have fun, contact: they were concerts full of excellent people, a stratospheric audience that gave us sold out on every date and a double sold out in London. A great satisfaction. A happiness and a positive charge made in the UK that reverberates also on this tour ”.
How did you learn to speak and sing English so well?
“I’m not a mother tongue and it’s a struggle, but over the years I have managed to live it. I also love Portuguese and Hispanic languages: I have found them on me and I understand them perfectly and I can manage to speak them. English has become more and more natural, I no longer need to think in Italian and then translate. It is the result of a journey started as a kid in Taormina, where I sang for an international audience: I read how the words were pronounced and tried to be up to it, then slowly I began to understand what I was saying. Then my family helped me a lot, they insisted on studying languages ”.
Did he also educate his big voice?
“It was a discovery. I came from a music school that sang everything with a tenor voice. My father was a tenor, as well as the reference artists of the ’80s and I struggled to thin my voice trying to get to that kind of sound. It was a struggle, then over the years they explained to me that I was a natural bass and that my vocal cords are as long as I am. It was a discovery, how to understand who we are, which came quite late in my life ”.
Can we imagine that someone who is mighty and 1.96 tall like her will never have been bullied by anyone?
“Of course? They made fun of me countless times because I was so tall, because I was some kind of Swedish Martian in Sicilybecause I was a southerner in the North. I believe that being opposed, fought from the outside is a little part of everyone’s growth. Especially if you are a little different on a physiognomic, structural, physical level or maybe because you speak in a different way than the others. I feel there is a lot of talk about this bullying. But, I understand the suffering and I certainly don’t want to diminish the problem. On the contrary. Having said that, everyone has their own inner sensitivity and delicacy, but I believe that the new generations should not be raised just too delicately: everyone took a few kicks in the butt. I have learned that life is so unkind to him that often those who behave badly are repaid with the same coin ”.
Are you really as calm and thoughtful as you seem?
“Not always: I grew up in the shadow of the Etna volcano, I have muscles, but I don’t show them off. I am not interested in living by showing off anything, but if I need to, I know how to bring out the determination, even if I always try to avoid because any vocal or physical aggression generates sorrow “.
Was this attitude useful to you?
“The strong character allowed me to move forward, in a positive way, against those who said no to me, against adversity. I owe a lot to my father who taught me to fight since I was a very young child, he explained to me how to channel my energy and always transform it into something positive “.