Madame: «In my song are the ignored of all the suburbs»


“I’ve had more answers from the simple and the ignorant than from the great scientists”: the singer tells “la Lettura” the genesis of the song that will lead to Sanremo, “Il bene nel male” (which, however, was entitled “Puttana” )

On «la Lettura» speaks Madame. In an interview, signed by Maria Egizia Fiaschetti (from Saturday 17 on the App of the supplement and from Sunday 18 on the newsstands) the artist tells the genesis of the song that will lead to Sanremo. Her name was Whorehas now become The good in the bad. Two pages dedicated to the singer

It’s only been four years since Sciccherie, the song that launched her into the panorama of the most interesting artists of the indie-rap scene, except that from the very beginning we sensed the difficulty of pigeonholing her into a genre. Skilled at carving words, after often daring linguistic experiments between neologisms and broken sentences woven like shreds of speech, Madame returns to the stage of the Sanremo festival (her debut in 2021 with Voicewinner of the Targa Tenco for best song) with Whorea text that marks a reductionist turning point in the name of less is more: evolution similar to that of a figurative painter who, after pushing the expressive potential of the medium to the max, up to Mannerist hyperbole, returns to the essentiality of the sign.

“Now they will say that Madame has forgotten how to write,” he jokes the singer-songwriter from Vicenza, 20 years old, born Francesca Calearo — I can sign it like a brand engraved with a hot iron on wood». And yet, the transition to a leaner style reflects the transformation that, from her comfort zone, sees her projected towards adulthood: a path enriched by the comparison with everything that can resonate more by contrast than by affinity between intimism and curiosity anthropology, self-knowledge and journey around man. It thus happens, in the context of a natural process tuned to emotional frequencies, that writing is increasingly the reflection of her cinematic gaze: less transfigured and more adherent to the story, however imaginative. Likely stories that refer to everyday life, which has become the fulcrum of her interest, going against the trend of peers who often dribble reality looking for a parallel dimension in the universe of social media.

On the contrary, Madame tries to intercept flashes of authenticity that often come from the margins and peripheries of the world with a sensitivity that recalls the famous verse of Field street by Fabrizio De André: «Nothing comes from diamonds, flowers are born from manure».

The search for simplicity in the contents – parables in which everyone can identify – goes hand in hand with the stylistic stripping and engages the need to focus on the cycle of existence in its entirety, beyond the single segment. The metaphor chosen by the artist to summarize this mood is the Japanese image of theikigai which indicates the meaning of life and the reason to wake up in the morning: for her it is the certainty of always finding something precious among the ignored and forgotten people.

How did the new song that will lead to Sanremo come about?

«The moment you write you are inside a flow, almost in a state of trance, connected to an idea, a thought: words, sensations, emotions come out of that tap. “Bitch” is a word like many others, without a positive or negative connotation. Once out of the creation of the song and after listening to it, I can give input on what comes to me. In the song, the term “whore” sounds like a sweet offense… Basically I empathize with a prostitute who falls in love with a man, but he only sees it as a mistake. A discussion arises between them, with respect to which she makes a deeper reasoning: the moral is that you can take the good that comes to you from anywhere… Whether it’s 70 percent good and 30 percent bad or vice versa, the message is: focus on the end of the path, on what even a whore can give you».

The title, the cut and the narrative plot recall De André’s “Bocca di rosa”, a singer-songwriter to whom she is very close.

«I grew up listening to his songs, I’m sorry I never got to talk to him because we love the same things. In my very short life I have received more answers from the simple, from the ignorant, from those who have nothing to lose than from great scientists and philosophers. While writing the piece I made group trips at random, I went outside Milan, on retreat in day centers… In situations of this type you always find people who manage to surprise you with their simplicity… the elderly in the semi-abandoned village that has been holding green beans all its life and shoots the pearl of wisdom, the atomic bomb… As a twenty-year-old I love my comfort zone, I’m starting to understand the risks of the world and I’m pissing myself off a bit.. but since I was a child I have always left the house to go to the ignored people… They will remain my source of inspiration».

For your generation, writing has often been reduced to emoji pictograms or the hypercondensed jargon of Whatsapp: what is your relationship with words and how do you manage to convey the refinement of your texts?

«The origins are fundamental… if you grow up with a father who makes you listen The fisherman by De André you will continue to look for content of a certain depth, trivial songs with poorly studied lyrics will not be enough for you. Right now writing is what I want to do in life to make sense of myself and help others. My motto is to try to go beyond the fetishism towards the word, to concentrate on the emotions it can arouse, excitement or sadness, which perhaps do not cause the same effect in others. It really depends on the period I’m in, in which I want to create, follow my passion for lyrics and music: I start digging and trying to understand where that word comes from. In Whore it’s like going on a swing, making a 360-degree turn and returning to the starting point: admiring the simplicity of the language and of the people who ignore the courtly and sophisticated terms. Whore is a word that everyone knows: me and Valentino, the clochard I meet in Central Station in Milan, and he asks me for my autograph; my mother, my nephew… It is in the wake of all the words I used for the new recording project: they are simple but there is a studio behind them. The whole passage that I bring to Sanremo is based on the quick, frank dialogue between the two interlocutors and on the clarity of the words».

What do you think is the most effective hook to reach the public?

«I think the strongest element is this: having ideas that people stick to regardless of age, which resonate even in their forties and sixties. It’s rewarding when I’ve finished a project at mix and master; but the greatest enthusiasm is to find the idea: if it’s strong, you don’t need fifty thousand ingredients; it stands on its own. I think it’s the winning process in all creative fields. I’m a singer, but in two years I’ve only sung on tour and a couple of times in the shower. My job is to look for the idea, when I need the voice I call the vocal coach and in three weeks I’m ready. I’m a fan of the auto-tune, which I’ve learned to dose and with which I think my voice works better. Of course, if I spent 90 percent of my time singing, I’d be in tune, but I prefer to use it to find effective ways to communicate. For many young artists the priorities are money and fame, objectives not so difficult to achieve if you have a good marketing idea, a nice personality, a good producer and a captivating video… I have other ambitions, I am free to write into freestyle because i don’t have money like god. The comforts are nice, but it doesn’t change anything for me to go back to live with my mother or to spend time in a social housing. What I do is independent of having good feedback on social media and Fomo (fear of missing outthe social anxiety of being cut off from the events that matter, ed). I wish my discography would one day be a beautiful snapshot of my life, time and the evolution of a woman over my years.”

You often make use of allegory. What stimulates you about this rhetorical figure?

«Even De André used images that contain others… if the text of Sand Creek River, of the Indian killed in his tent by the whites, arrived at a five year old girl it means that inside there was much more than the story of Pocahontas… This is what the allegory is for… I live in Milan, I get up in the morning, I take the dog out… if I had to talk about my life without allegories I would go into crisis… Fantasy allows me to enter the lives of others, to then return to myself, feeling on my skin what others feel . Our human heritage is the richest thing we have…».

What books have left a mark on your education?

“Surely Lolita of Nabokov because it has a very articulated story, which shows the dark, controversial side of human nature. I like books that put you in the wrong without making you feel wrong. I believe that bad guys don’t exist, if someone does a bad deed someone did it to him first. Nabokov is there.’

What relationship does it have with the metrics and musicality of poetry?

“A collection I recently read, The Book of Madness by Anne Sexton, exponent of the American movement of confessional poetry, struck me for the freedom with which he tackles topics that, in his time, were taboo. She’s my favorite late teen-early adult poet… I love her lyrics, they’re crazy glossy rotten.’

Have you ever thought about writing outside the perimeter of the song?

“Of course I’ve thought about it; not everything can fit into a backing track. I’ve been collecting poems, but I get one every six months… a long-term project. I have a very cinematographic writing, for images, and I would like to write the screenplay for a film in which I am also an actress and author of the soundtrack… I would like to work from a total point of view».

If you had to choose the word that best represents you, what would it be?

«I am very attracted by a force that pushes me downwards, carnal, and elevated by something that attracts me upwards, the spiritual sphere. We need a word that encompasses both carnality and spirituality, black and white… I’ll reveal the solution to you in the new album».

December 17, 2022 (change December 17, 2022 | 12:55 am)

Madame: «In my song are the ignored of all the suburbs»