A shortlist of Italian artists to watch out for in 2022!
In the spring of 2021, during the internationally watched Eurovision contest, the Roman band Måneskin reminded Europe - and the rest of the world - that Italians knew how to rock hard too. And above all, they proved once again that a rock band singing in Italian could become a worldwide sensation.
In fact, Måneskin has joined a long list of Italian artists who are internationally recognized precisely because they make a point of singing in their native language: Laura Pausini, Umberto Tozzi, Mina, Eros Ramazzotti, Paolo Conte, and let’s not forget about world famous opera singers like Luciano Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli. Italians have managed to make their own international styles, such as pop, jazz or rock, into local versions... which are in turn exported internationally.
To get acquainted with the new Italian scene, and to know who the stars of tomorrow in Italy – and maybe the world the day after tomorrow – will be, our local teams have selected for you some of the artists who have distinguished themselves in 2021 and who should be closely followed in 2022!
Even if she has lived in London since 2014 where she moved to study music and jump-start her career, Chiara Floris remains a Sardinian at heart. She quickly started composing and writing her own songs, and under her stage name Bluem, she released “Picolina” in 2018, a first EP composed of three English-sung tracks.
After three years spent exploring with music within her own universe, Chiara Floris switched back to her native language, and started 2021 by releasing three singles - ‘Lunedì’, ‘Martedì’ and ‘Giovedì’- all leading to the release of “NOTTE” in May. Experimental and ethereal, the album navigates between alternative pop, minimalist folk and electronica and offers the listener a condensed week in the mind of Bluem, who got the chance to present "NOTTE" on stage as part of a mini-tour, galvanized by the album’s press and public acclaim.
For her recent single ‘Fiamme’ released last November, Bluem was inspired by her live experience and the cold beauty of Finnish landscapes, to compose an electronic ballad about two people growing in different directions. Let's hope that these next shows in 2022 inspire her just as much!
One of the most promising classical music artists in Italy, Emiliano Blangero started to play the piano at only 4 and wrote his first composition in 2007 at the age of 7! The same year, this Alba native began participating in concerts and piano competitions, later moving to Turin to perfect his art at the Conservatory.
In 2019, Emiliano Blangero made his debut with the single ‘Think of you’, quickly followed by “Rivelare”, a solo piano album with minimalist overtones. Welcomed by the critics, the album accumulated several million plays on Spotify and the song ‘Eterno viaggiare’ stood out among the others, exceeding a million of streams . In 2020, his single ‘Oltre’ was part of the “The Shape of Piano to Come" collection of the prestigious label INRI Classic and reached 500 000 streams on Spotify.
In 2021, Emiliano Blangero released three singles that led to his new album ”Moments”, which was promoted by a series of live streaming concerts. It quickly reached millions of streams on Spotify thanks to the very contemporary and serene style of the artist's compositions. The 21 year-old pianist and composer recently released his EP “Una Notte” and has partnered with TikTok Italy, where he will curate his own classical music playlist.
L I M
Hailing from Milan, L I M is a non-binary multidisciplinary artist who was once half of the electronica band Iori’s Eyes before going solo. “Comet”, their first EP under the name L I M, was released in 2016 and praised by the critics. The main title, a soulful electro-pop piece, was used as the soundtrack for several movies and documentaries such as Young Pope or Skam Italia.
The great reception of “Comet” allowed them to release “Higher Living”, their second EP, in 2018. L I M received Best Music Video from the See You Sound Festival and was mentioned at Berlin Music Video Awards for the video of their single ‘Rushing Guy’. Active member and activist of the LGBTQI+ community, the artist was chosen as ambassador for Spotify’s “Unlike any other” campaign in 2020. The same year, L I M and fellow artist Giungla released ‘1986’, a pop-house anthem celebrating Pride Month.
In November 2021, L I M announced their next album "GLOWING" through a video premiere of the single ‘Bubu’ on the prestigious electronic music magazine FACT. Earlier in January 2022, the musician released ‘QUANDO’, a new catchy electronica single that leaves that makes us very eager for the album's launch in February.
Even though he is considered an emerging talent in the Italian rap scene, Mida – who was born in Venezuela in 1999 but grew up in Milan - started rapping and freestyling at the age of 11, and the freestyles he published online began to catch attention: he was only 16 when he joined Emis Killa's label Blocco Recordz and start touring Italy with him.
In 2020, Mida decided to start fresh as an independent artist, celebrating with ‘Ratatah Freestyle #3’ quickly followed by ‘Davvero’, a dynamic trap track symbolizing his new energy. His next releases ‘MMM’ and ‘Dinero’ brought him a growing audience, the latter track reaching 400K listeners on Spotify.
Later in the year, he demonstrated his skills freestyling in the popular YouTube rap show Real Talk, and collaborated with Napolitan rapper Nicola Siciliano on the track ‘Slide (Passo Dopo Passo)’, a huge hit that passed the million streams.
Mida really blow up in the summer of 2021 when his single ‘Ricordarmi di Scordarti’ stayed for more than 4 months on Spotify Italy Top 200, reaching more than 10 million streams, and going heavily viral among Italian TikTok users. 2022 is still to be written for Mida, who now defines himself as an "urban pop" artist, which is confirmed by the turn taken with his latest single ‘Lento’.
It was through the 2019 edition of The Voice of Italy TV show, in which she participated as a member of the team of singer Elettra Lamborghini, that Lisa "Leslie" Cardoni became known to a wider audience. However, Leslie was not a beginner since she already had several hip-hop songs to her credit, such as ‘Bye Bye’ or the ‘S/N’ EP .
The TV show allowed her to showcase her talent and prove that she was not limited to hip-hop, which remains her favorite style. The success of the show, combined with her performance in an episode of the aforementioned YouTube rap show Real Talk (viewed 1.5 million times) also allowed her to release her first EP ‘Bipolar' in the end of 2019. In 2020, she kept showing the versatility of her voice on songs like ‘29 Giugno’ or ‘Santi & Serpi’ (with the rapper Ensi and the US-based Italian producers duo The Caesars).
In 2022, the 28 year-old artist from the Abruzzes region will release a new project that she has been teasing with trap-oriented singles like ‘Cosa Voglio’, ‘Invisibile’, or more electro-oriented tracks like ‘Spine’. Her last single, the melancholic ‘30 Gocce’, was released early January.
Before taking on the pseudonym of Holden, taken from Salinger's Catcher In The Rye, Joseph Carta had already made a name for himself as an EDM DJ in the clubs of the Italian capital, which he had been frequenting since the age of 16.
In 2019, Joseph released "Il Giovane Holden", a debut EP under the name Holden consisting of three modern pop tracks. He then moved to a more trap-inspired style with ‘Come le Altre’ and ‘Na Na Na’. This last track was a big success and joined the Top Viral Italy and Global playlist on Spotify, now having more than 35 million streams. More pop-oriented, the following single ‘Non fa per me’ took the same path and reached 14 million streams.
After a handful of singles in 2020, Holden released “Prologo” in the spring of 2021. A first album in which he mixes Italian pop, rock, and trap without forgetting his electronic roots. The flagship track of this eclectic album, ‘Roma Milano’ exceeds now one million streams.
If he started the year by appearing in featuring on ‘Con Te’, a cloud rap track from the Roman rapper Gemello’s album, Holden should definitely treat his fans with a new album in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Born in 2001 in Fregene, a coastal town on the outskirts of Rome, Flavia Zardotti - aka Flaza - became passionate about music at an early age, asshe started writing her own songs at the age of 12 and began producing her own tracks in her teenage bedroom. In 2020, she published her first single ‘Mille Scatti’.
In 2021, all of Italy got to know the 'Piccola Peste' (little brat), her nickname and the title of her second single, a track combining trap and pop that she released with the label Honiro Rookies, who spotted her talent. In the fall of 2021, her personality stood out in the casting of the TV talent show Amici, which she joined by interpreting ‘Malefica’, an original song that speaks with irony of the fact of protecting oneself in the face of life. If the Amici adventure was short-lived, it allowed Flaza to release ‘Malefica’ as a single, as well as ‘Nuvole’ , another unreleased track in the same trap-pop vein.
Flaza kicked off the year with ‘Crisalide’, a surprising, distinctly pop and oddly 70s sounding single about breaking out of your cocoon and freeing yourself from a toxic relationship. Crisalide also shows an evolving artist, and we look forward to seeing Flaza assert her style in the months to come.
Rayan & Intifaya
Born in 1993 and 1998, Rayan and Intifaya are two brothers who became passionate about hip-hop at an early age. As teenagers, they scoured the freestyle battles in the Padua and Venice area, sometimes even as opponents. Although they released their first project together in 2016, the two brothers also operate as solo artists, developing their respective careers in parallel over the years.
In 2018, after a series of concerts with the Yang Attitude collective in the north of the country, Rayan was spotted by Vicenza-based producer DJ MS, who integrated him into his label, Gold Leaves Academy, and had him produce several hits like the laid-back track ‘Piccolo Bastardo'.
Intifaya joined the label too in 2019 and together they signed the EP “4Blood”. In 2020, after several singles whose trap efficiency makes them gain in popularity, they signed their first album “&”.
2021 was a great year for the duo, who were supported by new heavyweights of the Italian rap scene. The Milanese VillaBanks joined them on ‘Dope’, whose video has been seen more than 1.5 million times, while Touché contributed on ‘Sa7Bi’, a track that now exceeds 7 million streams. At the end of 2021, Rayan and Intifaya released the single ‘Moonlight’, in anticipation of the imminent release of a new album.