HIS STORY, HIS MUSIC AND HOW HE’S CHANGING THE GAMES
The story, the music and the life of one of the most loved and awarded Italian independent artists in the world and face of the LGBTQ community.
He is one of the most loved and awarded independent Italian artists in the world, holding the record for 3 nominations at the BT Digital Music Awards in England, as well as 1 Unicef Award, 2 LAIFFA Awards in Los Angeles, 1 Renaissance Award. He was the first Italian to perform on stage at World Pride in London, Miami Beach Pride, and was chosen by Global Pride to represent Italy among stars such as Elton John, Kesha and Adam Lambert. Osvaldo Supino is a real phenomenon, overbearingly Italian in his charismatic and tremendously sexy personality, and international in his (award-winning and inspiring) discography, singing in four languages and performing on three continents out of seven. His sound, worked out together with some of the most important pop producers such as Tempo Stokes (who has already worked for Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado), and Scott Robinson (Demi Lovato, Christina Aguilera), combined with his Italian essence, certainly makes him unique and recognisable on the world music scene. A true and visceral passion for music, combined with the great numbers of his inspiring career, but who has by no means lost his sense for modesty, qualities that only characterise great artists.
How did your journey into music begin?
“I think with my parents who met at a disco and took me there from a very young age. I grew up with a lot of music and this desire to sing. I can’t tell you the day I chose it, it all came naturally. I followed this love, first it was a hobby and then it turned into a passion that influenced all my choices. The first one, for example, was to leave my country and move to Milan where I started working with the first producers. But the reality is that music saved my life”.
Can you be more specific?
“I come from a very small town in the south of Italy, where if you have a different objective than a regular job, if you dress more fashionably, if you have a graceful voice, you are often called ‘maricon’ (‘faggot’). Today they embrace me, compliment and encourage me, but I can’t tell you how many times my own schoolmates offended me while I was on stage. As an answer, I had my dream to pursue, I could not waste time with them. Music has never made me feel lonely”.
You are spokesperson for various organizations around the world in the fight against bullying. Is this the reason for your great commitment to social work?
“The truth is that I know very well what it feels like to live under constant judgment, and I also know well the sense of alienation. It’s my story, I’ve been there and I want to do everything in my power to change or at least improve some situations. At the same time I strongly believe that today we should all fight for certain causes. We all, more or less, have the opportunity to speak out through our social media, so it’s our responsibility.
You have also always been very open about your sexuality. In your first interview in the US for the program ‘Primer Impacto’ on Univision, you immediately made it clear that you are gay. This is certainly a sign of great personality and courage.
“The truth is that I’ve always shown myself for who I am, for my strengths and weaknesses… I don’t know if it’s a matter of courage, but I wouldn’t find the sense to live and do things in silence. Music is everything to me, the songs I write and sing are my greatest freedom, a complete reflection of my life, and it’s right that I should be honest, both in what I sing and what I say in interviews. And then today there are still a lot of people who suffer because they are not accepted, it is right that those who do a job like mine and are exposed should openly take their side”.
Of all the experiences you’ve had, is there anything that has stayed particularly in your heart, a turning point?
“Probably my first time in Miami. I had been invited to sing at Miami Beach Pride and I was very unsure if I should accept… I didn’t feel up to it, and that’s why I realized that unlike other trips it was time for me to do that experience completely on my own, without a manager, my dancers or my crew. I had to prove to myself that I could do it. So, I got on the plane and tackled everything really alone. The truth is that that act of courage changed my life. I found so much strength in myself that I didn’t know and so much support not only from people but also from the Latin media, that I convinced myself from that moment on to also make all my music in Spanish. It’s one of the choices I’m most proud of”.
“Because I discovered my Latin soul. I’ve always listened to music in Spanish, Alejandro Sanz has always been my idol, so it’s something that’s always been inside me. To be able to realize this dream of singing in Spanish, and to find so much admiration even on my social networks from people who live so far away from Italy is wonderful, exciting and gives me an incredible drive. One of my biggest dreams is to finally visit Mexico and some Latin American countries that I haven’t seen with my own eyes yet, but that I’ve only known through interviews I’ve done from a distance. When this whole Covid thing is over, that will be the first thing I do”.
You are one of only four Italian artists, together with Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazzotti and Il Volo, to have been interviewed by CNN en Español. A great recognition for you. How did you live that moment and how do you live your success?
“‘With enormous gratitude and a sense of duty. I am a disciplined person, who puts a lot of effort into everything I do, with care and dedication. Considering that there are millions of people who are certainly much better than me, I always want to feel that I deserve what I get and never leave room for doubt, at least with myself. That interview was a really important sign for me of consideration and openness. I don’t have Laura’s or Eros’s career years, all the more reason for me it was really… wow.”
Speaking of Covid, how are you experiencing this situation in Italy?
“It’s a very difficult time for my country, not only logistically and economically, but especially psychologically. There have been, and still are, so many cases. Seeing our streets and monuments deserted, feeling the fear and every day praying that the number of victims and those infected decreases has been and still is a great trauma. But we Italians, in times of need, know how to stand up and how to be united, and even if politics is not helping us at the moment, I am convinced that we will come out of this.
And how did you experience all this?
“Very badly. First of all, I thought about my family, which lives far away from Milan, where I reside, and then the bitterness because, in addition to all the other projects, I had to stop the promotion of my previous album LUCES and all the plans I had for Latin America. I had been working for years on a tour that I had to cancel, and especially for me, who travels all the time for work, finding myself stuck at home was destabilizing. My life is a journey, the things I write and the choices I make are often made on planes, between concerts and promotions. For months I forced myself to spend time writing new things, but obviously not having any stimulation I couldn’t do it. It was dangerous. But then I got unstuck and I’m so happy that I now have so much new music that I can’t wait to release”.
Over the years you have worked with some of the world’s most important music producers. If you could pick a few names for a dream collaboration or duet?
“Britney Spears has always been my myth, as well as Jennifer Lopez, who I love for her dedication to work and perseverance, and of course Alejandro Sanz. As for the others, Julio Reyes is definitely a producer I hope to work with very soon.”
In your music there is a lot of you, of your experiences, and in what you see in the previous video clips the “change” is really a point of conjunction between all of them, as well as a constant search and attention to detail. What’s next? What will be the new Osvaldo?
“Now I feel like dancing again!”
I read that you sometimes call your fans on the phone. Is that true?
“Yes, of course, although after a few little problems I’ve learned to count the time difference exactly. Once I called a fan in Argentina thinking it was 8pm. But it was 3am and I woke him up!”
And how do you get on in the kitchen?
“I love to cook and as an Italian it’s a skill I aim for a lot!” (laughs) “It’s my biggest hobby, as well as my way of pampering those around me.”
Last curiosity. Love?
“Love is there and it doesn’t have to be only in a partner. It may sound obvious but love is within us and we have to learn to recognize it, to cultivate it, even if no one ever teaches us how to do it. ”
official site: www.osvaldosupino.com
Credits for the article / interview / pictures:
Styling: Francesca Carini
Make up: Francesca Fortinguerra
Art direction: Osvaldo Supino, JayP