Italy once again selected its Eurovsion representative through  Sanremo festival 2019, which this year saw the New Artist category  being removed and the introduction of Sanremo Giovani festival, which determined two spot in the Sanremo festival. Among 24 contestants Mahmood was crowned winner with his entry “Soldi” and will represent Italy in Tel Aviv at the 64th Eurovision Song Contest.

A few words about Mahmood

Mahmood ( or Alessandro Mahmood as his full name is), was born in  1992 in Milano and comes from an Egyptian father while his mother is from Sardinia. His fame arouse after his participation in the Italian   X-Factor, and he has competed in  Sanremo Giovani  2016 with the song “Dimentica”. In 2017 he works with the superstars Fabri Fibra and Michele Bravi. A year later he collaborates with  Dardust on the hit single “Nero Bali” by Elodie and Michele Bravi (Platinum), and he composed the music of a new album entitled  “Atlantico” in collaboration with Marco Mengoni , which includes the song “Ηola” with Tom Walker, while he released the song “Doppio Whisky” witht the rap star  Guè Pequeno. In 2018 o Mahmood his first  EP Gioventù Bruciata is released under  Island Records, producers of which are Ceri, MUUT and Katoo, including the duet Anni ‘90, another collaboration with Fabri Fibra.

In December of  2018 he wins Sanremo Giovani  2018 with the entry Gioventù Bruciata , victory that secured him a spot in Sanremo festival 2019 which he also won with his song  “Soldi” earning the right to represent the country in Tel Aviv.

The entry “Soldi”

The song  Soldi is a result of the collaboration with  Dario “Dardust” Faini and Charlie Charles. Produced  by  Faini and Charlie Charles, the song was written by Mahmood himself. It was included in his album entitled  Gioventù bruciata EP.  Most of it is written in Italian while it included a line or two in Arabic, becoming the 3rd entry in history to have Arabic lyrics in it after Morocco’s participation in 1980 and Israel’s in 2009. 

“Soldi” is an autobiographical song referring to Mahmood’s irregular family status. The lyrics refer to the act’s relationship wit his father, who had abandoned the family when he was a child. The entry pictures a false, controversial and unreliable father who put money first than his family. 

Money

It’s really hot down in the suburbs
Mama don’t worry I’m on my way home
You will be upset by a liar
It looked like love to you, it was something else
 
He’s drinking champagne during Ramadan
On tv they are airing Jackie Chan
He’s smoking Shisha and asks me how I’m doing
 
He asks me how I’m doing doing doing
You alredy know how things are going going going
I think faster to try to figure out if you’re going to fool me tomorrow
I have no time to clear things up ’cause I finally found out what you are
It hurts to be alive
When you lose your pride
You leave home out of the blue
 
You, tell me if
You only cared for the money money
As if you had any money
Tell me whether you miss me or you don’t give a fuck
 
You used to ask me how I was doing doing doing
Now how are things going going going
What you’re supposed to say you haven’t said yet
Betrayal is a bullet in your chest
 
Keep all the compassion to yourself
You keep lyin’ at home but you know she knows
Sittin’ there she’ll be asking me
 
Asking me how I’m doing doing doing
She already knows how things are going going going
I think faster to try to figure out if you’re going to fool me tomorrow
I have no time to clear things up ’cause I finally found out what you are
It hurts to be alive
when you lose your pride
I figured it out in one second, from me
 
You only wanted the money
As if I had any money
Back then you would talk to me till late
 
You used to ask me how I’m doing doing doing
Now how are things going going going
My son, my son, darling, come over here [Arabic]
You used to tell me while playing your games with pride
My son, my son, darling, [Arabic] It felt so real to me
Wanting to bring things back to what they were
 
I didn’t ask you for your money…
It hurts to be alive
When you lose your pride
You leave home out of the blue
 
You, tell me if
Only cared for the money money
As if I had any money
 
You leave the city without anybody knowing
Yesterday you were here, where are you now, papa?
You ask me how I’m doing doing doing
You already know how things are going going going
 

Arabic,Italian

Soldi

In periferia fa molto caldo
Mamma, stai tranquilla, sto arrivando
Te la prenderai per un bugiardo
Ti sembrava amore, ma era altro
Beve champagne sotto Ramadan
Alla tv danno Jackie Chan
Fuma narghilè, mi chiede come va
Mi chiede come va, come va, come va
Sai già come va, come va, come va
Penso più veloce per capire se domani tu mi fregherai
Non ho tempo per chiarire, perché solo ora so cosa sei
È difficile stare al mondo
Quando perdi l’orgoglio
Lasci casa in un giorno
Tu dimmi se
Pensavi solo ai soldi, soldi
Come se avessi avuto soldi, soldi
Dimmi se ti manco o te ne fotti, fotti
Mi chiedevi come va, come va, come va
Adesso come va, come va, come va
Ciò che devi dire, non l’hai detto
Tradire è una pallottola nel petto
Prendi tutta la tua carità
Menti a casa, ma lo sai che lo sa
Su una sedia, lei mi chiederà
Mi chiede come va, come va, come va
Sai già come va, come va, come va
Penso più veloce per capire se domani tu mi fregherai
Non ho tempo per chiarire, perché solo ora so cosa sei
È difficile stare al mondo
Quando perdi l’orgoglio
Ho capito in un secondo che tu da me
Volevi solo soldi, soldi
Come se avessi avuto soldi, soldi
Prima mi parlavi fino a tardi, tardi
Mi chiedevi come va, come va, come va
Adesso come va, come va, come va
ولدي, ولدي, حبيبي تعال هنا1
Mi dicevi giocando, giocando con aria fiera
ولدي, ولدي, حبيبي2 sembrava vera
La voglia, la voglia di tornare come prima
Io da te, non ho voluto soldi
È difficile stare al mondo
Quando perdi l’orgoglio
Lasci casa in un giorno
Tu dimmi se
Volevi solo soldi, soldi
Come se avessi avuto soldi, soldi
Lasci la città, ma nessuno lo sa
Ieri eri qua, ora dove sei, papà?
Mi chiedi come va, come va, come va
Sai già come va, come va, come
 

THE EUROVISION STORY SO FAR

Italy has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 44 times since making its debut at the first contest in 1956.  After a 14-year absence from 1998 and on, the country returned to the contest in 2011. Italy has won the contest twice  in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti and her song “Non ho l’età”.  Italy’s second victory in the contest came in 1990 with Toto Cutugno and the song “Insieme: 1992”.

Italy’s come back to the contest has proved to be very successful, the country having finished in the top ten in six times of the last seven contests (2011–2018), with Raphael Gualazzi second in 2011, Nina Zilli ninth in 2012, Marco Mengoni seventh in 2013 and Il Volo third in 2015, Francesco Ghabbani 6th in Kiev.

In this year’s Eurovision Song Contest the winners of Sanremo 2018 ,Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, represented Italy in Eurovision in Lisbon with their song “Non mi avete fatto niente”. The Italian duo achieved an honorable 5th place in the Grand final with 308 points and a remarkable 3rd placing in the public voting.