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      Daniela Nardi’s Espresso Manifesto

      May. 11, 2012

      Toronto singer/songwriter Daniela Nardi is set to launch an ambitious album. Ambitious in that she is taking on the music and words by the great Italian artist Paolo Conte.

      Was she nervous about attempting such a project? Absolutely. Even intimidated? Without a doubt. In the end she realized that rather than try to channel Conte, she would make the songs her own.

      “I had to tap into something within me, an energy that had to stand up to his very big male energy. I thought about the Italian women I admire like Anna Magnani or even Sophia Loren. That big, beautiful very feminine and yet very strong energy. That is the only kind of woman that could stand up to him! I had to find that energy within myself and come from a place that was real for me – not from a place that was trying to be like Conte. That was the only way I was going to find my voice and find an approach to the music that would make them first of all my own and second of all, a unique listening experience,” she explains.

      “For a couple of years I was throwing around the idea of doing a collection of Italian songs but I didn’t want to do the usual repertoire. I didn’t want to just look back and record songs from nostalgia. I really wanted to make a contribution somehow, to showcase the wonders and beauty of the Italian songbook. Generally when people think of Italian music, they think of opera or Louis Prima. I mean generally of course. Unless you are aware of the Italian music scene, you don’t really know how rich and diverse it is, how comparable it is to let’s say Brazilian music or even French chansons, as examples. I wanted to showcase this repertoire, this rich, dark, complex, elegant repertoire and to me Paolo Conte was a logical starting point. He embodies all the elements we associate with being Italian. His music, his lyrics, the experience – as Italian as espresso,” Nardi continues.

      Nardi began studying music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto at the age of five. Her love of classical music would soon be replaced by the British pop invasion of the 1980s, influencing Nardi to take a stab at the bass guitar and at songwriting.

      Nardi’s debut album, One True Thing, received critical acclaim and attention on an international level. Her 2008 album, The Rose Tattoo, showcased not only her musical maturity but also her personal growth and reflection. The album was an ode to her mother, Rose, who was battling cancer at the time.

      How does one label her music? Nardi calls it “EarthyModernPopJazzWorldCool.” Her voice is emotional, her influences are global and her talent is undeniable.

      Nardi admits that she did not grow up listening to Italian music, but rather the music of Englebert Humperdink, The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

      “I didn’t come to Italian music until much later in life and actually Paolo Conte was my first introduction,” she explains.

      “Right now, Italian music is all I listen to. From jazz to pop to the classics.”

      Daniela Nardi’s The Espresso Manifesto CD launch will take place on Tuesday, May 15 at 8:30PM at Lula Lounge in Toronto (1585 Dundas Street West). Admission is $15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door.

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