Francesca Michielin – Fiesole – 8 settembre 2020
Francesca Michielin (Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃeska mikjeˈlin]; born 25 February 1995) is an Italian singer and songwriter. She rose to fame after winning the fifth series of the Italian talent show X Factor. Her first single, "Distratto", debuted atop the Italian FIMI Top Digital Downloads chart and was certified double platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Michielin's debut studio album, Riflessi di me, was released in October 2012, preceded by the single "Sola".
She also appeared as a featured artist on Italian rapper Fedez's singles "Cigno nero" and "Magnifico", both of which achieved commercial success in Italy. Michielin's second top-ten solo single in Italy was "L'amore esiste", which preceded the album di20 in 2015. di20 was re-released in February 2016 as di20are, with the single "Nessun grado di separazione". The song topped the Italian singles chart, placed second in the 66th Sanremo Music Festival and represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. In January 2018, Michielin released her third studio album 2640, which was preceded by the singles "Vulcano" and "Io non abito al mare".
Michielin was born in Bassano del Grappa, to Vanna Moro and Tiziano Michielin. She has an older brother, Filippo. Her first experience with playing music came from studying piano, and she later started studying bass. At the age of fourteen, she started singing in her hometown's gospel choir. Thanks to her brother, she developed an interest in rock music, and she later focused on artists like Bon Iver, Jeff Buckley and Damien Rice.
After listening to Adele's debut album 19, Michielin started writing her own songs on piano.
Michielin auditioned for the fifth series of X Factor in 2011, singing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". Mentored by Simona Ventura, during the live shows she performed songs including Adele's "Someone Like You", "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors, and Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground".
On 29 December 2011, during the semi-final, Michielin premiered the song "Distratto", written by Elisa and Roberto Casalino. In the final on 5 January 2012, she was announced as the winner, beating runner up vocal group I Moderni. With her victory, she won a recording contract with Sony Music, with a stated value of €300,000.
Her debut single "Distratto" was released as a digital download EP on 6 January 2012. On 12 January 2012, the song debuted at number one on the Italian Singles Chart, and it was later certified double platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry, for domestic downloads exceeding 60,000 units.
The song was included in Michielin's debut EP, Distratto, which was released on 24 January 2012. The EP includes re-recorded versions of some of the songs she performed during the live shows. On 17 February 2012, Michielin appeared as a guest during the fourth night of the 62nd Sanremo Music Festival, performing the song "Al posto del mondo" with contestant Chiara Civello.
Michielin's second single, "Sola", was released on 31 August 2012. The single preceded her debut studio album, Riflessi di me, featuring collaborations with producer Andrea Rigonat and singer-songwriters Elisa and Roberto Casalino. Michielin has writing credits on three songs on the album, including the title-track, co-written with Elisa and Virginio Simonelli. Riflessi di me later spawned the singles "Tutto quello che ho" and "Se cadrai".
In March 2013, Michielin was featured on the song "Cigno nero" by Italian rapper Fedez. The song, co-written by Michielin herself, was included in Fedez's album Sig. Brainwash − L'arte di accontentare and was released as its second single.
In 2014, Michielin took part in the theatrical performance La ragazza con l'orecchino di perla, with music written by Franco Battiato. The show was held at Teatro Comunale di Bologna on 19 and 20 January 2014.
On 28 March of the same year, Michielin released a new single, "Amazing". The song, entirely composed in English, was written by Michielin with Fausto Cogliati and Negin Djafari for the Italian version of the soundtrack of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
In 2014, Michielin appeared on Fedez's track "Magnifico" for his album Pop-Hoolista. After being released as the album's second single, the song reached the top spot of the Italian singles chart, and it was certified triple platinum in Italy.
In April 2014, Michielin confirmed she was working on new material. The single "L'amore esiste", produced by Fortunato Zampaglione and Michele Canova, was released on 6 March 2015, ahead of her second studio album, di20. The song achieved commercial success, entering the top ten of the Italian FIMI Top Digital chart, and receiving the Lunezia Pop Award.
"L'amore esiste" was followed by "Battito di ciglia", released on 10 July 2015, and "Lontano", released on 25 September 2015.
To launch di20, Michielin performed at the Unicredit Pavilion in Milan on 21 October 2015, four days before the official release of the album.
In January 2016, Michielin also embarked on her first concert tour, titled Nice to Meet You. A live extended play was recorded during the show and released exclusively to digital stores on 30 January 2016.
In February 2016, she competed in the 66th Sanremo Music Festival, performing the song "Nessun grado di separazione". The song placed second in the competition, behind Stadio's "Un giorno mi dirai". The band was then eligible to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, but they declined, stating they would be on a previously planned tour in May 2016. Their decision led RAI to select Michielin as the Italian entry for the 61st edition of the European competition.
Michielin's entry was a new version of "Nessun grado di separazione", featuring an English-language chorus and titled "No Degree of Separation". In the final she placed 16th out of 26.
"Nessun grado di separazione" debuted atop the Italian singles chart and was included in di20are, a new edition of Michielin's second studio album.
On 3 June 2016, "Un cuore in due" was released as the album's fifth single. The music video was directed by Giacomo Triglia and was released on 13 June 2016.
On 23 September 2016, "Almeno tu" was released as the album's sixth and final single. It was also included in the soundtrack of Piuma. A music video featuring Michielin as well as segments from the film was released on 24 September 2016.
In January 2017, Michielin announced through her Twitter account that she had started working in the studio on her third album, the title of which was later announced as 2640. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Michele Canova.
The album's lead single "Vulcano" was released on 21 July 2017, along with a music video directed by Giacomo Triglia and filmed between 10pm and 5:30am in Berlin. The song achieved a platinum certification in Italy.
On 1 October 2017, Michielin performed "Vulcano" on Che tempo che fa and announced the album's release date as 12 January 2018. The album was made available to pre-order on 22 December 2017, with the song "Tropicale" as a pre-order bonus.
"Io non abito al mare" was released as the album's second single on 17 November 2017. Its music video, filmed at Cretto di Burri, was directed by Giacomo Triglia and released on 20 November 2017. Lyrically, the song speaks of the difficulty of communicating, the difference between feeling and listening and the desire to embrace, not to be afraid of showing that side of feeling that is pure tenderness. The song achieved a platinum certification in Italy.
"Bolivia" was released as the third single from the album on 16 March 2018. The music video was released on 20 March 2018. It was directed by Giacomo Triglia and the screenplay was written by Francesca Michielin. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Michielin said that the song is a criticism of people who chase change and run away to exotic and remote places with the idea of living a more genuine life and making a difference, without realising that the problem to be solved is often within them.
"Tropicale" was released as the fourth single on 15 June 2018, along with a music video.
In May 2018, Michielin also provided featured vocals, together with rapper Fabri Fibra, on the single "Fotografia" by Italian recording artist Carl Brave.
On 16 November 2018, Michielin released a new song, "Femme", written by Michielin and Calcutta and remixed by Bruno Belissimo. A vinyl edition of 2640 was released on 7 December 2018, including the original 13 tracks as well as "Femme", "Fotografia" and the demo of "Tropicale".
Michielin composed the original soundtrack for the short film A Cup of Coffee with Marylin, which was directed by Alessandra Gonnella and which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.