(4 / 5)
This guy is a superstar in Europe and one of the biggest selling artists in Italy for decades. He has shifted in excess of 10 million records worldwide.
His sixth studio album, translated into English as “The Profession Of Life”, features the lead single “Potremmo ritornare” at track nine, which was released in October 2017 and debuted on top of the Italian Singles Chart. His first number-one hit as lead artist since 2008’s “Alla mia età”.
The 37-year-old artist has released five previous albums since his debut in 2001. He has won many awards including a Latin Grammy and an MTV Europe Award for Best Italian Artist. He is a singer, songwriter, producer and author.
He broke through in 2001 with his international hit single “Perdono”. Ferro has released a Spanish version of each of his albums, and has also sung in English, Portuguese, and French. Known as the modern face of Italian pop music, he frequently writes songs for other artists and has produced albums for Giusy Ferreri, Alessandra Amoroso and Baby K.
Ferro has had well publicised personal struggles. Having been overweight as a teenager, he has been outspoken about his battles with food addiction and eating disorders. In May 2006, several comments he made during an interview on Italian television resulted in major controversy, effectively ending his career in Latin America. In October 2010, at the height of his fame, Ferro came out as gay.
His ‘Greatest Hits’ album was supported by a stadium tour. A long way from his start in music at the age of seven, when he was given a toy keyboard as a present, used to compose his first songs! He later took guitar and piano classes. When he was 16, he joined a gospel choir, and also began singing in piano bars and karaoke contests.
In 1997, Ferro participated in a music contest created to choose the contestants of the Sanremo Music Festival, but he was eliminated during the first stage of the competition. The following year, Ferro participated in the same contest, and despite being chosen as one of the 12 finalists, he did not make it to win the competition.
But during the selections, Ferro met music producers Alberto Salerno and Mara Maionchi, and began to work with them. In 1999 Ferro also toured throughout Italy as a back vocalist with the Italian hip hop band Sottotono. In 2001, he signed to EMI Music Italy.
In July 2004, Ferro released his first English-language single, “Universal Prayer”, a duet with British R&B singer Jamelia, recorded to promote the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Ferro lived in Mexico during these years, first in Cuernavaca and later in Puebla. He studied Spanish there at a university, eventually graduating in August 2005, before relocating to Manchester, UK.
During the spring and summer of 2012, Ferro toured Italy, with additional stops in Switzerland, Belgium and Monaco. The tour’s highlight was Ferro’s first full stadium concert at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. This sold-out concert was attended by 50,000 fans.
In the summer of 2015, he toured the main Italian stadiums, including two concerts at the San Siro stadium in Milan and two at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The Milan concerts were recorded and added to a new CD/DVD edition of “TZN – The Best of Tiziano Ferro”, released in November 2015. That same month, Ferro started a European arena tour to continue promoting the greatest hits compilation.
The latest album, all sung in Italian, is a return to the sound at the beginning of Ferro’s career, with more focus on an electronic approach but mixing it up with organic instruments. It has an edgy, contemporary vibe and he has a strong, distinctive vocal.
The album is issued as a special edition two-CD version; which includes an interesting second disc of a dozen “Urban vs Acoustic” cuts, including a nice cover of One Republic’s “No Vacancy”. The set comes with a 24-page booklet.
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’