Interview with Cortese: “We always grow and change in an artistic path as in life”

The singer-songwriter Cortese is back with the new album Love and Glory that the singer-songwriter himself presents as follows:

“This is a record that marks for me a sort of artistic re-debut, a new post-pandemic skin, a new language for ancient memories and recent emotions, a treasure hunt in search of beauty, poetry, lightness … A sudden intimacy violated by the songs and then, with modesty and courage, shared “

We reached Cortese which is told between albums, X-Factor, Vina del Mar, collaborations and future projects.

Cortese – Interview

Hi Cortese, let’s start immediately from the present. He’s out Love and Glory, your new album consisting of eight tracks that tell two very important things: love and dreams. I ask you a “Martullian” question: What is that dream you would like to love and what is your dream love in music?

Bye! The dream I would like to love is exaggerated, not strictly related to my personal life but which would undoubtedly also improve the quality of my life: more moral integrity and meritocracy almost everywhere, especially in our country. My dream love in music, on the other hand, belongs to me intimately: this passion that then becomes a job, the urgency of songs that almost become a vice, travels for music that speaks all the languages ​​of the world because it touches important emotional chords. , this is my great love.

You defined this album as “an artistic re-debut, a new post-pandemic skin”, can you explain this concept in detail?

I am 36 years old, I have always listened to a lot of music and written a lot but this album I wrote it in the middle of the pandemic precisely as a result of new stimuli, with a decidedly different direction in terms of writing compared to my past and therefore also with a new look in terms of sound. We always grow and change in an artistic path as in life, let alone after a global pandemic. This is why I called it the first record of a new artistic life. I feel it like this.

Listening to the songs contained in Love and Glory I was very struck by these verses of Your pillow: “Your pillow has the imprint of your eyes / When you cry while you sleep / Has the memory of your dreams / Your pillow is a room of secrets / Of a bitchy night / With a cracking voice / For love when it passes / And all you have to do is pain in the bones / Which is not so much the wound / But his memory is what matters “. Sincerity, life and memories that come together and give space to the emotions described in a careful way. From a small image you were able to describe an emotion.
Are your songs born from the desire to tell about oneself or from the desire to tell what others have experienced or can experience?

Thanks. Your pillow it is one of the tracks I am most fond of precisely for those images in the text designed to display emotions. All my songs are absolutely born from the desire to tell myself, then often some things I write also coincide with the experience of others, especially when it comes to love. I think it has always been the magic of songs.

In Drive-In do you sing: “I like your hips / When you feel fat / I look at my belly / That summer will come back / To keep us fit” here too sincerity and frankness, teasing with delicacy, a quick but important passage that gives a message of hope in which the “defects” should not be highlighted but must be exorcised, changing perspective. Do you think that a song can be a useful means of communication to make people think?

I think yes. Once upon a time the songs were really at the center of great reflections. Today less or at least it depends on the quality of the songs and above all of the listening. 15 seconds, for example, I believe are too few to intrigue so much as to create dedicated listening and even food for thought.

What would you like to write about that you haven’t done yet?

I’ve always written about things I’ve lived, so I’d like to write about things I still want to experience, I don’t know, when I made love under the stars in the Sahara Desert or in the dressing room of the Bowery Ballroom in New York before a concert.

Cortese, your artistic path started in 2008 when you were part of the Aram Quartet and you won the first edition of X-Factor. What do you bring with you of that experience? Do you have an anecdote to tell us?

I carry the memory of a brief but intense experience, of a train of visibility as incredible as it is ephemeral, a memory of lightheartedness and inexperience. An anecdote that I keep in my heart: one day a Sony record company, then our label, called me on purpose to tell me that Lucio Dalla had passed by their offices in Via Amedei for a greeting and on the desk there were the records of the new releases of the week, among those he took the CD of Aram and said “I take this away, I like them”.

In your artistic career as well as in Italy you have had experiences around the most important stages of South America, also winning the Vina del Mar International Song Festival in 2015. How do the Italian and South American audiences and music markets differ?

The record crisis is actually the same but in the live music market there is an extraordinary habit that a new artist with only one known single in promotion (like me after the victory of the Viña Festival) makes a real e own concert tour with paying customers, spectators accustomed to live, demanding and generous, who then discover the rest of the songs and become attached to the project. So undoubtedly less hype and more stages. Obviously the small and large booking agencies do an exceptional job to give that kind of visibility to the artist by taking the real business risk.

In Vina del Mar you won with a song written by Franco Simone with whom you had the opportunity to collaborate. he said about you: “He is the best among the young colleagues and I have always thought that he is also the one with the most international artistic credibility”. What do you bring with you from this collaboration?

His judgment towards me was always too generous. The collaboration with Franco left South America in my heart and from there my overseas career began. I also realized another great project with him by taking care of the vocal arrangements of his Stabat Mater Symphonic rock opera which has also taken the patronage of MIBACT and trodden prestigious scenarios.


Who would you like to collaborate or duet with in the future?

It would be a dream to collaborate with artists I love and always listen to obviously like Brunori Sas, Niccolò Fabi, Andrea Laszlo De Simone.

You are the protagonist voice of the show “Mogol tells Mogol”, can you explain this project better?

It is a beautiful format of music and words: Maestro Mogol tells his successes between history and unpublished background of the songs written together with Battisti and for other big names and I interpret them both in the acoustic version and, in the complete production, with orchestra.

In 2020 you decided to use only your surname as a distinctive sign, why this choice?

It is a choice that I made as a result of this new artistic dimension in which I tell myself and I thought of the surname as an artistic pseudonym in order not to completely cut with the past, since I am no longer so young and the path traveled up to now tells a lot about me. , and at the same time, from the point of view of communication, clearly present this new period of my life under a new skin, with a new language. After all, I grew up loving artists who never got used to themselves and even when they were at the peak of success they always renewed themselves surprising everyone, so I can’t help but have been permeated by this stimulating vision of art.

Let’s close by looking ahead, can you tell us something about your future projects?

For now I plan to make this record live a lot, to make it collect many kilometers by playing it around, probably even taking it a little to the other side of the ocean since I haven’t been there since the beginning of the pandemic. What better pretext?


Love and Glory – Tracklist

Street food
The masked ball
Your pillow
Drive in

The album was anticipated by the release of the single Gladiators:

Cover images and article by Federica Signorile

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Interview with Cortese: “We always grow and change in an artistic path as in life”

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