After a brilliant performance in 2019 that earned him 2nd place, Italian artist Mahmood returns to the Eurovision Song Contest – only this time he’s brought a friend.
Crowned champions of Sanremo in February, Mahmood (born Alessandro Mahmoud) and his rapper/singer Blanco (Riccardo Fabbriconi) are the favorites to win this year’s song contest with their song “Brividi”.
The track, co-written with songwriter and producer Michelangelo – a frequent Blanco collaborator – is a poignant ballad that incorporates surrealistic imagery into the story of a troubled relationship (read the Italian and English translated lyrics here).
We spoke to the duo ahead of their performance at the grand finale on Saturday May 14th.
Ciao Mahmood and Blanco – how did you come up with “Brividi”?
Basically we were in Michelangelo’s studio and a song was born from a wrong chord, so we decided to play the chorus on the piano and then over the following months we wrote the lyrics. It took four months to put the whole piece together! It took a long time – the song was born that day, but then we needed more time to write the other parts.
The song seems to connect to some of your (Mahmood’s) previously explored themes about relationships.
I’ve been thinking a lot about sex [for the song] – I think it is very important. It can be a solution, yes, but sometimes it can’t solve anything. And in this case we’re talking about something deeper: the willingness to express yourself, but also the fear of revealing your feelings – so sex can be a trap.
Mahmood, how does it feel to be returning to Eurovision after 2019?
As if it were the first! Because it’s a whole new experience – I’m with Riccardo this time, it’s in Turin… It’s like it’s a whole different experience.
Does this year feel special because it’s taking place in Italy?
Yes, definitely! For me (Mahmood) it’s an honor that Eurovision is in Turin. Riccardo was also happy because he always wants to go to the same restaurant (for risotto with artichokes).
What do you think of 2021 Italy champions Måneskin?
Blanco: I think Måneskin were great, they were fantastic, they opened doors for all other artists. I think Måneskin only thinks about the music, nothing else, and me and Mahmood are the same.
What are your hopes for your performance at the Eurovision 2022 final?
Blanco: Above all, we hope for a good performance. We don’t take it for granted – although we’ve performed this song many times, we always want to do something more.
Mahmood: It is right to show the reality of things. Men and women all have a vulnerable side, sometimes you try to hide it, and then there’s me and Ricci who want to be honest on stage and show that not everything is easy. Especially in relationships that are big in your life. Of course we are happy about good results, but the focus is on the music. Music is our goal.
The grand finale of Eurovision 2022 will take place on Saturday 14 May. Follow live updates from the finals here.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/eurovision/mahmood-blanco-eurovision-2022-italy-b2077249.html Mahmood and Blanco Q&A: Meet Italy’s Eurovision 2022 hopes