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Don’t call them "canzonette"

A generational clash takes place in Sanremo: singers who tell (yet) of love on one side, on the other Millennial and Gen Z sensitive to real problems.


The Sanremo festival is the expression of light music. Anzi leggerissima, to stay on topic: refrains that come into the head and stay there for a long time against the will of the listener, probable summer tormentoni, songs baked for social media. Factors that push the sommeliers of the Genoese songwriter and the lovers of indie (it still exists? It has not become the most commercial genre?) to desert the holy week of Sanremo. "I don’t look at it": but I comment every day, I would add.

Is that really all it comes down to?

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Un post condiviso da Teatro Ariston di Sanremo (@aristonsanremo)

It is true that in the past 73 editions the songs of social denunciation, more politicized, have been sporadically selected: in part kept away from the Ariston by the artistic directors not to disturb any status quo, a little self-exiled in niche intellectual kermesse. The prevailing themes were, on the other hand, undemanding and weighed down by stilnovist strophes of melense and poignant loves.

On the contrary, during the Amadeus regency and in particular this year, there has been a greater openness towards denunciation texts, in a different guise: the "spoken" songs have given way to verse rap and the multi-cited straight box. 

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Un post condiviso da Vanity Fair Italia (@vanityfairitalia)

A technical component that is linked to another data, of an anagraphic nature: young people and emerging artists have exposed themselves and chanted social hardships. The established ones, or desperate for a last flash of notoriety, preferred not to leave their comfort zone, focusing on the factors mentioned above. Of the series "minimal effort, maximum result", in order to intercept the taste of the average listener. Perhaps he missed a small detail: the rebranding operation conducted by Amadeus has slightly transformed the profile of the Sanremo target, who has had enough of crazy loves, red roses (beautiful or withered), ragazzi che incontrano ragazze and capolavoro couple lives.

Who were then the most political singers of Sanremo 2024?

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Un post condiviso da Il Fatto Quotidiano (@ilfattoquotidianoit)

The fight of Big Mama against bullying

Avellinese, born in 2000, at his debut at the Festival with La rabbia non ti basta, a song of redemption after years of suffering: first for his body, after for a lymphoma, Marianna Mammone puts in verse the evil that bullying can do. revenge in electronic sauce, accompanied by outfits and performances of those who have stopped hiding, of having to justify themselves as they are: she is the real discovery of this Sanremo.

Ghali: when a song is worth a thousand monologues

Can we talk about wars, migration and ius soli without openly mentioning any of these topics? If you are Ghali, yes: Casa mia is both an elegant political manifesto and a terrible photograph of the present. The Tunisian-Baggese rapper imagines a dialogue with an alien who, observing the Earth from above, sees senseless borders, many tracks with bombs, children suffering. As if that were not enough, in the cover night he slaps the part of Boot that would want everyone at home, with a medley to poison. He said nothing but said everything: he deserved the prize for the best text.

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Un post condiviso da Ghali (@ghali)

Dargen D'Amico, the tragedy of the dead at sea and the courage to speak

If Onda Alta was a movie, it would be Io Capitano by Matteo Garrone. The rapper-producer uses the stage of the Ariston to tell the dramatic odyssey of migrants in the Mediterranean; speaking are not only the song but also the outfits signed Moschino: the children victims of shipwrecks become teddy bears sewn on the jacket; The words to the wind spent on not solving the problem cover the white suit. As if that were not enough, he is the first to publicly expose himself, calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East: from this edition he will no longer be remembered only for the bonus sunglasses at Fantasanremo.

La Sad, the emo trap group talking about suicide and social anxiety

They are the mad splinters of the 74th edition of the Festival. Theľ, Plant and Fiks took the stage with all the chrism of punk culture: studs, skin, ridges, makeup and tattoos in sight. The most combed listeners of the Festival have regretted the aplomb of Achille Lauro. Autodistruttivo, written by Riccardo Zanotti of the Nuclear Tactical Penguins, is a song about the perennial performance anxiety, about the sense of loneliness and bewilderment that younger generations feel every day, and are not afraid to bring out. An offsite group for many, necessary for many.

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Un post condiviso da Dargen D'Amico (@dargendamico)

Gino Paoli, guest at the podcast Tintoria by Daniele Tinti and Stefano Rapone said that "the shitty song did not reach Sanremo, but now we get mostly shitty ones": his is the point of view of many listeners and detractors of the festival, the same people who criticize the young generations of artists of political and social sterility but do not tolerate the ways in which someone tries to reverse the trend. To use the same words of the Friulian singer-songwriter: how they move, they pound a shit. The political activism starts again then from "C'era una volta una gatta che aveva una macchia nera sul muso".



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios