With the Grammy awards fresh in our minds, let’s take a look at one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Osvaldo Supino heralds from Italy where he has taken pop music and made it go BANG. He isn’t shy and there’s no questioning whether he’s gay. He is loud and proud and I reckon one to watch. I had the privilege to get to know him and ask him a few questions about his story and his music.
Vada: When did you first start to sing and why?
Osvaldo Supino: I was just a kid when I started singing. It was always something that I wanted to do. I was a very shy boy but not when I sang. Singing made me feel stronger, more confident and I managed to focus all my feelings in a way that made me feel good. This is how I’ve always approached this path of mine. Passion is the key word for me. It was never for fame or success
As an artist you must wish to convey a message, what do you envisage this message to be?
I want to tell people that they must believe in themselves, in their dream and embrace who they really are.
What Italian influences do you think are apparent in your music?
I listen to Italian music a lot, since I was young. One of my biggest dreams is to do a duet with Claudio Baglioni, whom I think is one of the most talented and representative songwriters of my country. I think that it does matter where you are from and somehow, your roots always emerge during your journey as an artist, even when you are doing something completely different from the way you first started. Although I sing in English and I perform non-traditional music, I see myself as a pure Italian in the way I deliver my songs. It’s not about what I wear or my dances, but it’s in the intensity I feel which I try to convey when I sing.
What event inspired your, might I say epiphanic song – “I Have a Name”.
I was in a very fragile space due to the end of a very important relationship. I was not used to suffering publicly and every day I had to deal with a reality that i didn’t seem able to accept. I was in a weak and confused state. I knew that this song was what I needed to shout out who I really am and tell myself that I could overcome that bad time. I realized I shouldn’t have run from that pain but I had to live through that moment because only by living in it completely could I grow and learn something from it.
Your latest music video, “Goodbye” is a visual journey to a rather universal time we all have felt. A time of feeling lost and tossed away. What made you want to tackle such a dark moment in anyone’s life?
My music represents exactly who I am and what I have been through in my life. I have always sung about something I have lived through or experienced. ‘Goodbye’ is about the things you never get to say when a relationship ends. Those words are the things I never said to the person I loved. It’s strange because sometimes you write something very private and personal and you think no one else understands that feeling. In reality it’s this type of truth that connects you with your audience the most.
Which was your favourite song to work on from your album, “Exposed”.
Probably, ‘I have a name’. It states the entire concept behind ‘Exposed’
Does living in Milan a fashion capital influence your style? And is there any link between music and fashion?
I like to give a visual representation of my music and I must admit that fashion is big part of this. Milan offers a lot of inspiration and I am very happy to be surrounded by people that are talented and creative to help me integrate fashion into my music projects
When you aren’t touring or writing music, what do you do?
I like to play with my dog, go out or cook for my friends. Trying new recipes relaxes me. I love being in the kitchen and having positive people around me.
What’s your favourite movie of all time?
‘The Bodyguard’ – romantic, surprising and has a wonderful soundtrack.
What do you have planned next? Any spoilers?
Music, music, music!
Who would you say has influenced your sound?
Everything I see and I listen to influences me. Artists I have listened to the most are Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince. It really depends on the albums I am listening to whilst working on a single project. During ‘Exposed’ I listened a lot to MUSE and LOREEN.
Do you think the Italian music scene is growing?
Unlike fashion and other arts, Italian music remains bound to its traditions. I definitely love it but I like to follow those artists that keep evolving and changing. Except for just a few people, every Italian artist keeps making classic Italian music. But I do love Italian music.
What is the general feeling toward members of the LGBT community in Italy?
Many people are actively fighting to send a message of ‘normality’ regarding gay love. It’s a difficult time. The gay community is not supported by the Italian legislation and this causes confusion. Although in everyday life and through the media the value of freedom is spreading more and more amongst people.
You can check out Osvaldo on Twitter @Osvaldosupino