On Saturday 4th December, the artistic director of the Sanremo Music Festival Amadeus revealed the 22 artists who will compete for the win. Sanremo 2022 will be held from 1st February to 5th February. Not only is Sanremo embraced by non-Italian eurofans, but it is also one of the biggest events in Italian culture. The line-up of the artists taking part next year is a reflection of the current Italian music industry and the ones who have had long careers dating back to the early 1960s. In the line-up for next year, seven of those have already won the contest and six have been to Eurovision already. We have to remember that the idea behind Sanremo is to showcase the beauty of Italian music. So for that reason, Eurovision may not be a priority for a large majority of the singers. Because Sanremo now informs who will go to Eurovision for Italy, especially after the success of Måneskin, the host entry will be of big importance. Whilst February 2022 is a long way away, it gives us time to get to our artists a bit better!
Hello, It’s Nice to See You Again!
*Disclaimer – Like always, Sanremo welcomes back former participants with open arms. As said above, many of the singers are competing to have the title of being the best song in the Italian language. For this reason, Eurovision tends to take a back seat and has done so for many years. But let’s once again, say hello to our old contestants (some of them will be performing in duos).
Iva Zanicchi has been a part of the Italian music industry since 1962. Her long and illustrious career has seen her go all over the world, from France, Brazil and the Soviet Union. She even became a member of the European parliament from 2008-2014 and is a well-known TV presenter! Zanicchi is the only woman to have won Sanremo three times. She won in 1967 with “Non Pensare a Me”, in 1969 with “Zingara” and again in 1974 with “Ciao Cara, Come Stai?”. She also represented Italy at Eurovision 1969 with “Due Grosse Lacrime Bianche”. Can Zanicchi make it 4th time lucky? Maybe the odds are in her favour?
The Eurovision entrant that never was. She has become one of Italy’s most iconic singers following her victory at Sanremo 2001 with “Luce (Tramonti a Nord Est)”. A lot of Italian eurofans believe that if Italy had never withdrawn, she would have won Eurovision with her winning Sanremo song. However, we will sadly never know if she would have taken the victory or not. Since the announcement was made, Elisa has now become one of the favourites to win Sanremo 2022. Elisa has said that her song is one that she has kept in her drawer for years. She added that it is now perfect for it to be sung in the Ariston Theatre. Perhaps, she could get the ticket to Eurovision that she never could 20 years ago? Only time will tell.
A friend of the Sanremo Music Festival, Achille Lauro’s first participation came in 2019 with “Rolls Royce”. He then came back in 2020 with “Me Ne Frego” and returned in 2021 as a special guest who performed his own songs such as “C’est La Vie” every night. Achille Lauro is especially loved by young people, especially as he is unapologetically himself and is a fashion icon. Achille Lauro has now become part of the Sanremo music experience and it looks as though he will match up to this once more.
Noemi, real name Veronica Scopelliti, is a singer who is best known for participating in the 2009 season of X Factor Italia. Since 2009, Noemi has released 5 albums and written for artists such as Vasco Rossi, Marco Masini and Fabrizio Moro. Following her breakthrough single “Bricole”, she first debuted at Sanremo in 2010 with “Per Tutta La Vita”, which became a massive hit. She also participated at Sanremo this year with “Glicine”, written by Mahmood (who is also competing this year). Who knows what Noemi will do next year? A pop song or a ballad? She can do both.
La Rapparesentante di Lista (LRDL)
Following their debut this year with “Amare”, LRDL are back again! LRDL are a group that consists of Veronica Lucchesi and Dario Mangiaracina, forming in 2011. They have released five albums since they formed. At this year’s Sanremo, they covered “Splendido Splendente” by Donatella Rettore (who is also participating next year) and were even joined by her on stage. Following their time this year, LRDL have become even more popular and gained a plethora of fans with their vibrant music. It would be fascinating to see what direction they would take for their second Sanremo appearance but we cannot wait!
Another X Factor alumni, he won his season on 12th December 2013. He started singing as a child and it then became less of a hobby and something he wanted to pursue seriously. He was coached by Morgan during his time on X Factor and his debut song “La Vita E La Felicità”, written by none other than Tiziano Ferro, became a huge hit in 2013. His songs have featured on film soundtracks and he was a tutor on Amici in 2017. He first participated at Sanremo in 2017 with “Diario Degli Errori”, which came 4th and came back as a guest to duet with Annalisa the following year. Can Bravi do better than 4th? He certainly thinks he can; he wants that crown!
A name familiar to many eurofans, Fabrizio Moro is one of Italy’s biggest singers. In 2007, he won the Sanremo Newcomers section with “Pensa”, an anti-mafia song dedicated to Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, which became a massive hit. In 2018, he won Sanremo Big with Ermal Meta, singing “Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente”. They then accepted the ticket to represent Italy at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, placing 5th on the night. Moro has also gained a reputation as a solid songwriter, writing songs such as “Sono Solo Parole” and “Se Non è Amore”, which were both released as singles for Noemi. Moro is known for singing songs about important social issues and it does seem as though he will continue with that theme. But we’ll see……
Irama first participated at Sanremo 2019 with “La Ragazza Con Il Cuore di Latta”. He then came back this year with “Il Genesi Dei Tuo Colori”, which finished 5th. The most remarkable thing about “Il Genesi Dei Tuo Colori” is that Irama never performed it live. He tested positive for COVID so he never performed it on the Sanremo stage (technically, he did for rehearsals) The song was a big hit, like his other song “Nera”. However, Irama has found himself in several controversies but he is still performing and singing. It does seem as though Irama wants justice for not being able to perform live this year, maybe he truly wants his time to shine once more.
Mahmood is back! It seemed unlikely but he is back! Mahmood first participated at Sanremo via the Newcomers section with “Dimentica” in 2016. Mahmood then won Sanremo Giovani in 2018 with “Gioventù Bruciata”, which allowed him to compete in the Sanremo Big section in 2019. He won with “Soldi” and after initially being hesitant to participate at Eurovision, he changed his mind and decided to go to Tel Aviv in 2019. He placed 2nd, after Duncan Laurence. Mahmood is known for his mix of pop, hip-hop and R&B in his songs and considers his genre to be Moroccan Pop. After the success of “Soldi”, some feel he could potentially sing a ballad, especially as it has been confirmed that he will be in a duo with Blanco, one of Italy’s biggest new artists (we’ll speak about him a bit later). Perhaps it will be a ballad with Moroccan Pop influences? Who knows, especially as he and Blanco are now tipped to be one of the favourites?
Ever since Giusy Ferreri stepped onto the X Factor stage in 2008, her career has evolved and continues to do so. She came 2nd place in her season but she went on to release a string of hits such as “Novembre”. She is also well-known for other hit singles such as “Roma-Bangkok” with Baby K, “Jambo” and “Amore and Capoeira” both with Takagi and Ketra. She has collaborated with artists such as Ermal Meta and Claudio Baglioni and has sold 2.8 million records as of 2021. Ferreri first sang at Sanremo with “Il Mare Immenso” in 2011, then with “Ti Porto a Cena Con Me” in 2014 and “Fa Talmente Male” in 2017. Ferreri is now one of the biggest names in the Italian music industry and her talent has no bounds. Will it be fourth time lucky?
A so-called walking meme, Gianni Morandi has solidified himself as a member of Italian pop culture. He participated at Eurovision 1970 with “Occhi di Ragazza”. He won the 1987 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival with “Si Può Dare di Più” in a trio, placed second in 1995 and third in 2000. He also hosted Sanremo in 2011 and 2012, so he has been a friend of Sanremo for many years. Loved by the old and young, it would not come as a shock if the Emilia-Romagna-born singer were to place very well at Sanremo.
Like Gianni Morandi, Massimo Ranieri is also loved by the old and young. The man from Naples can play the keyboard, guitar and obviously sing. His career dates back to the mid-1960s, back when he was known as Giovanni Falcone. In 1971, he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest with “L’Amore E’ Un Attimo”, which placed 5th. He then sang at Eurovision again 1973 with “Chi Sarà Con Te”. He won Sanremo in 1988 with “Perdere L’Amore” and came back to the festival in 1997 with “Ti Parlerò D’Amore”. A long and illustrious career will surely be on his side when he takes the stage once again. Judging by how enthusiastic young Italians were when he was announced in the line-up, Ranieri could prove to be a popular choice.
Another victor of Sanremo, Emma represented Italy at Eurovision 2014 with “La Mia Città“, finishing 21st. Two years before that, she won Sanremo with “Non è L’Inferno“. She won the 2009-2010 edition of Amici and has since released a string of hits, further solidifying herself as one of the most iconic voices to come out of Italy in the last decade. Is it two times lucky for the Tuscan-born Apulian artist?
Le Vibrazioni are a pop-rock band which was formed in Milan. They have been together since 1999. Their first single “Dedicato a Te” became a huge hit in 2003 and since then, their careers have taken off. They first made their first Sanremo appearance in 2020 with “Dov’è“, with veteran conductor Beppe Vessecchio by their side. It has been confirmed as of 5th December 2021, Vessecchio will once again be the conductor of Le Vibrazioni’s second Sanremo song.
A gay icon, her singing career began in 1973 and is best known for her song “Splendido Splendente”. In a very funny twist of fate, she performed this song with LRDL in this year’s Sanremo and is now back to perform against them. Rettore will be in a duo with Ditonellapiaga (an indie singer who we will speak about later). Rettore has previously been at Sanremo three times as a contestant, first debuting in 1977 with “Carmela”, then “Amore Stella” in 1986 and 1994 with “Di Notte Specialmente”. The big personality is back once more and in the duo with Ditonellapiaga, it would be interesting to see which direction they go in.
Here Come the Debutants!
So we have just met our old friends who have previously participated at Sanremo. Now, let’s welcome the artists who will be at Sanremo for the first time in their careers!
Rkomi is from the Milan suburbs and has a very fast rise to fame. He has been around since 2017 and his first album “Io In Terra” became a huge hit, placing number one on Italian FIMI Albums Chart. His other two albums, “Dove Gli Occhi Non Arrivano “(2019) and “Taxi Driver” (2021) also reached number one on the Italian FIMI Album Chart. His sound is hip-hop and rap but he has also embraced a pop sound. His first Sanremo will hopefully be a memorable one, as it will cap off what has been a successful beginning of the decade for the Milanese artist.
“Blanchitooo babyyy, Michelangelooo” is the now-iconic line uttered by the young Blanco. Blanco has had a very successful 2021 and his first album “Blu Celeste” was a smash hit, topping the Italian FIMI Albums Chart. Not only this, he scored a huge hit with “Mi Fai Impazzire” with Sfera Ebbasta this year. Blanco will be in a duo with Mahmood and they are already one of the favourites to win the entire contest. It would be so interesting to see how their music blends in February 2022. If he and Mahmood win, it will cap off a successful beginning of the decade for the young artist, like Rkomi.
Originally from Spain, the young singer has made a name for herself in Italy following several summer hits with Rocco Hunt such as “Un Bacio All’ Improvviso”. Ana Mena is really well-liked and loved among young Spaniards and Italians; for them seeing Ana Mena on the Sanremo stage is a dream come true. Her Sanremo song will be produced by Rocco Hunt, Federica Abbate and Zef. But we have to see! It is also important to note that Mena will be singing alone and not in a feature as she usually does. Therefore, we cannot wait to see what Mena does as a soloist.
Another Neapolitan, Truppi will participate at Sanremo for the first time. He has collaborated with LRDL, Calcutta and Niccolò Fabi in the past. Furthermore, he has released five albums which date between 2013-2019. He then released an EP last year. Truppi’s sound is considered to be indie rock and that sound is becoming more popular. Will he be a hit with viewers? Truppi on the Sanremo stage is something we are positively curious to see.
Aka7Even comes from Naples! He participated in X Factor in 2018 and he was on the latest season of Amici. Following the ending of that season, Aka7Even then signed a contract with Sony Columbia Records, releasing songs such as “Loca”, which became a summer anthem. He also recently won an EMA after being voted Best Italian Act. His career looks very promising and he is another example of the successes young Italian singers are having.
Another singer from the latest season of Amici, Sangiovanni is another example of young Italians having their success in the music charts. He has an army of young teenage fans and like Aka7even, his career looks very promising. To date, Sangiovanni’s big hit has been “Malibu”, released in July. Sangiovanni looks like he is here to stay, choosing to show off his skills at Sanremo next year.
D’Amico is an Italian rapper and singer. He has collaborated with Marracash, Rancore, Bugo and Fabri Fabra. D’Amico’s career dates back to 1997 and was one of the first major artists to be involved with the Italian rap scene. Some considered his inclusion at next year’s Sanremo to be a surprise. But surprises can be good and we have plenty of time to anticipate what he will do come February 2022.
Diotonellapiaga is a singer from Rome born in 1997. In her first Sanremo appearance, she will be duetting with Donatella Rettore. She describes herself as sunny and enthusiastic, with a touch of melancholy. She has collaborated with other artists such as Fulminacci, who participated at this year’s Sanremo with “Santa Marinella”. Like Blanco and Mahmood, Ditonellapiaga’s duet with Donatella Rettore is something people are eagerly anticipating. But for now, we must wait.
Last but not least…
Highsnob and Hu
Highsnob is a rapper who is best known for his songs “Per Odiarti Non Ho Tempo”,”Bugie Da Bere” and “Poison Ivy”. He rose to prominence in 2016 as part of Bushwaka, and has remained in the Italian music industry ever since.
Hu is a singer who can play several instruments and is also a producer. She participated in Sanremo Giovani last year but unfortunately did not win. Perhaps Highsnob and Hu can come in and claim the victory? If they do not, it will still be okay as they would surely benefit from the exposure they will get from their Sanremo appearances.
That is it for now from the Sanremo Big Category! But we still need to find out the two Sanremo Giovani singers who will be a part of the line-up. The final will be held on 15th December.
Overall, there will be 24 singers vying to become the victor of the Sanremo Music Festival. Not only this, one of these artists will win be offered the chance to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest held in Turin next year.
Which artists do you want to see perform at Sanremo the most? Are there any artists you wish were a part of the line-up? How do you feel about the line-up in general? Let us know in the comments below!