MACUILXOCHITL: Five Flower”, the Aztec god of music and dance
In times of media hyped prefab ‘stars’ and ‘reality’ shows essentially selecting the next big hit, a young man like Tiziano Ferro, is not just an anomaly, he approaches revolutionary status. This Italian man has his feet firmly planted in reality. Through his own efforts, his work, his art...his music, is selling records and making folks dance. He strives toward his own happiness and feeds off the response his compositions, sung mostly in Italian and Spanish, evoke.
The 23 year old native of Latina, a small city near Rome, has been a self-motivated go-getter from the get go. After graduating from high school, he enrolled himself at a university choosing to focus on both engineering and communications, but his mind and heart were already centered elsewhere: music.
Having demonstrated an interest in music on his guitar since the age of 7, he also studied drums and piano and by his early teens began writing his first songs. At 16, he joined the local gospel choir ultimately discovering an entirely new passion for music there. Ferro calls music his “greatest love”.
He, himself, was discovered by producers Mara Majonchi and Alberto Salerno in 1977. And after intensive training, joining forces with musical arranger Michele Canova, and after a long search, he landed his first recording contract in May 2001 with EMI.
Ferro’s music is a mix of R&B and contemporary pop through which the shy yet well spoken hipster seeks to communicate his emotions.
I love communication in general. My music is my means of expression. Some people paint. My emotions are most difficult to express…so I speak through music,” said Ferro as he sat down in a plush downtown hotel lobby to speak to La Prensa San Diego.
While complex and at times somewhat reserved, Ferro also can show his young optimism and wide-eyed curiosity. He has adopted Mexican culture and chooses Mexico City as his home away from home. The language, the people, the food all brings necessary warmth to his heart. He is very close to his family, friends and home culture, but because of his career he must spend time away and therefore chooses Mexico, which he says sets itself apart because it “has a feel, and identity as strong as Paris does in Europe.”
It’s not just the metropolitan atmosphere and entertainment headquarters that draws the young man to Mexico. He also ranks some of the country’s singers and performers as his favorites. He’s even worked with one of them.
“Pépe Aguilar was very important for me. To collaborate with him was an honor. He is the consummate professional. He’s given so much, yet is still so full of life and music. When you’re in the spotlight, you are like a lemon and it’s as if they’re squeezing you. He is impressive. I’ve been enjoying his music for years and when I met him I was struck. Here’s the two meters tall guy who sings so amazingly well...”
And in the midst of admiring and complimenting one star, he is quick to throw out a line to another performer for whom he has the highest regard: Tijuana’s own Julieta Venegas.
“Now she’s someone who is deservedly enjoying tremendous success and with whom I would love to work.”
Tiziano Ferro plays tonight in Tijuana at El Foro at 1500 Avenida Revolución. Tickets are $10-$85 and doors open at 8 p.m. Call 619- 734-2333 or 011-52-664-685-867 for more information.