Roberto Casalino, the singer-songwriter who stirs the emotions

“Rather than being normal, I have chosen to be happy, and in the pursuit of that happiness I proceed by trial and error, which I have called mistakes when they have hurt me. In reality, these are necessary experiences for human, emotional and inner growth, and by making mistakes so far, I’ve learned a lot.

First of all, I’ve learnt that a mistake is never a failure but an opportunity.

I’ve learned to listen to my gut and follow my instincts.

I’ve learnt that there’s no shame in living and that if you do good, bad sometimes comes back to you.

I’ve learned that pride in love is a limitation that only satisfies for a moment, and then the hunger returns.

I’ve learnt not to promise that it will be forever, but to make every day my best day.

I’ve learnt that true love, love that’s reciprocal, says “I love you too” every day.

And again, I’ve learnt that what’s essential is visible to the eye – and how!

I’ve learnt that to decide not to understand yourself, you first have to understand yourself.

I’ve learnt the art of silence and of letting an embrace speak for itself.

I’ve learned that there’s no more effective form of expression for me than a song, and no matter how many I’ve written so far, I still haven’t composed the most beautiful one. I’ve learnt to change causes to achieve new effects, to lower my expectations and to kiss defeat on the cheek.

Finally, I’ve learnt that I still have a lot to learn and that the biggest mistake is never to have made it. So I’ll continue to take risks and collect happy mistakes, because: watch out! The invincible are pure invention, while only those who fall down and get back up are the real heroes!”

(Extract from Live Auditorium Conciliation – Rome)

On 8 September 2023, “Sei migliore o no” anticipated the release of Roberto Casalino‘s fifth album, “DIECI PICCOLE RAGIONI”, scheduled for 15 September 2023.

The single, released on the independent Casakiller label and distributed by ADA Music Italy, explores the theme of time passing and the unanswered questions that often plague our minds. A sort of letter to a loved one, it tackles complex themes such as love, doubt, forgiveness and personal evolution over the years.

The musical production is by NiccoV, who has enriched the track with typical 80s sounds, a driving rhythm and sounds that evoke a feeling of lightness, despite the depth of the themes addressed.

In “DIECI PICCOLE RAGIONI”, Roberto Casalino, with a modern sound that blends electronics and acoustic instruments, brings together his experiences and insights of recent years. Self-love through understanding, compassion and forgiveness are the themes that emerge from this masterpiece, which includes ten tracks, including previously released ones such as “L’Ultima”, “Un Giorno Tre Autunni”, Popcorn” and “Altrettanto” with Romina Falconi, as well as the single “Sei Migliore o No“.  

But let’s look back at Roberto Casalino’s musical career.

Born on 9 June 1979 in Avellino, he entered the Italian music scene in the 2000s. His passion for music was forged at an early age thanks to the invaluable contribution of an uncle who gave him a rich record collection, laying the foundations for his future career.

His musical training was influenced by Italian classics, but also by international alternative rock such as Placebo and the Smashing Pumpkins. However, his writing muse has always been the talented Italian artist Carmen Consoli.

A distinctive feature of his life is his close friendship and creative collaboration with Tiziano Ferro. This friendship helped shape his career and consolidate his role in the Italian music industry.

His artistic career began when he moved to Latina after returning to Italy from Germany, where he had spent time with his family. At the age of 20, he founded the group Equilibriolabile and had the opportunity to work closely with Tiziano Ferro, becoming his backing singer on the Rosso Relativo tour in 2002, a crucial moment that marked the start of his career and introduced him to the world of Italian pop music.

In 2008, in collaboration with Tiziano Ferro, he wrote “Non ti scordar mai di me” and “Novembre”, two hits performed by Giusy Ferreri.

In 2009, he released his first album “L’atmosfera nascosta“, but it was composing songs for other artists that brought him his greatest success.

In 2010, he wrote “Con le nuvole” for Emma Marrone in collaboration with Dario Faini, consolidating his reputation as a composer.

Over the next few years, he continued to contribute to the Italian music scene, writing songs for various participants in “Amici di Maria De Filippi“. His partnership with Emma Marrone was confirmed with “Cercavo amore“, a song that quickly conquered the charts.

In 2012, he took part in the Sanremo Festival as a songwriter for Nina Zilli, to whom he gave the song “Per sempre“. But the high point of his songwriting career came the following year with the song “L’essenziale”, co-written with Francesco de Benedettis and masterfully performed by Marco Mengoni, which won the Sanremo Festival and came seventh in the Eurovision Song Contest.

As well as being a talented writer, Roberto Casalino is also a talented musician. He explores different musical directions, collaborating with artists such as Francesco Renga and moving closer to hip hop, writing tracks for artists such as Moreno and Fedez, including the famous “Magnifico“.

His second album, “E questo è quanto“, was released in 2014, but he continued to work with various artists, including Antonello Venditti and Alessio Bernabei, demonstrating his versatility as a songwriter and composer.

In 2018, other of his songs again reached the top of the Italian charts, including “Mi parli piano” performed by Emma Marrone, written in collaboration with Davide Simonetta, and “Trova un modo” by Alessandra Amoroso, written with Dario Faini. In the same year, he released his third studio album, “Errori di felicità“, and in 2019 “Il Fabbricante Di Ricordi”, where he gathers his hit songs, revised in a new form and enhanced by duets with top artists such as Alessandra Amoroso, Emma, Giusy Ferreri and Fedez.

Collaborations with various Italian artists continued over the following years, notably with Elodie and Le Vibrazioni.

In 2022, he took part in the Sanremo Festival as a songwriter for the ninth time. Among his greatest hits were “Tutti i miei ricordi“, sung by Marco Mengoni, and the very popular summer 2023 hit sung by Tiziano Ferro, “Destinazione mare”, written by the two of them in collaboration with Davide Simonetta. A song that confirms the sincere and genuine friendship that has linked Roberto and Tiziano for 30 years.

And after the latest news about Tiziano’s private life, Roberto was quick to send him a sweet message: “And if I could put the distance back to zero, right now, I’d hold you as tight as I always have“.

In addition to these collaborations, Roberto has a rich CV of live performances in various Italian clubs. In 2019, he has the honour of being Alessandra Amoroso’s opening artist on her “10 Tour, with stops in Genoa at the RDS Stadium, Rome at the Palazzo dello Sport, and Florence at the Nelson Mandela Forum. These performances were a great success with the public, confirming her talent and her ability to involve her audience.

A memorable moment in his career comes on 23 November 2019, when he celebrates his 10th anniversary as an author with an extraordinary sold-out show at Rome’s Auditorium Conciliazione. For this special event, he is accompanied on stage by a five-piece orchestra, a string quartet and a corps de ballet of 30 dancers. The special guest on this occasion is Alessandra Amoroso, with whom he performs exciting duets on some of the songs in his repertoire.

After embarking on a career as a songwriter exclusively for Universal Music Publishing Italy, in 2020 he founded Casakiller, an independent label and publishing house that aims to give a voice to emerging songwriters and composers.

I decided to find out a bit more and interviewed him.

Talking about your latest album, “DIECI PICCOLE RAGIONI”, can you share with us the inspiration behind this masterpiece and what we can expect from it? Three adjectives to describe it?

“DIECI PICCOLE RAGIONI” is an album that sums up the last few years of my life and in which themes such as the passage of time, change, forgiveness, sharing, toxic and regenerative love recur. I’d say it’s authentic, visceral and imperfect. Just like me“.

You also have a long career as a songwriter for other artists. How do you approach writing songs for yourself as opposed to writing for others?

“I only write when I’m inspired and I have to do it if I feel I have something to say, to tell. This leads me to write for myself, regardless of the song’s final destination. So every song I’ve ever written represents me one hundred per cent, regardless of who sings it.

Your music often deals with deep, personal themes. How do you choose the themes for your songs, and what haven’t you managed to convey yet?

“I don’t choose the themes on a desk: a song is the result of a lived experience, of these emotions that settle inside me and which I then translate into notes and words. I hope to always have something to say: I talk about love, life, real life”.

What do you think music can convey to your listeners that words alone cannot?

“Music and words go hand in hand: it’s sometimes difficult to marry a beautiful melody with words that are just as strong and incisive. My aim is never to be satisfied: if I think a song still needs time to express itself fully, I leave it until what’s missing arrives. I’m never in a hurry to finish a piece: I have respect for my art and I’ve learnt to give everything the time it needs.

You’ve worked with many renowned artists, including Tiziano Ferro, Emma Marrone, Marco Mengoni and Alessandra Amoroso. Is there a particular collaboration or amusing anecdote that you remember fondly?  

“Each collaboration brings with it a magic, a more or less strong bond. With Tiziano, it’s a 30-year friendship that goes beyond the music: it was the music that brought us together, and we did the rest.

You’ve performed live in a variety of contexts. What has been your most memorable or important performance to date?

“I’d probably say the performance with Tiziano Ferro at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on 25 June. On that occasion, we played a duet on the notes of ‘Destinazione mare’, a song we wrote together. I remember all the feelings and emotions. I’m proud of one thing: I really managed to enjoy every moment of that evening. And for someone like me, who has trouble appreciating joy, that’s a great achievement.

With a successful career and constant commitment, Roberto Casalino continues to influence the Italian music industry with his talent and dedication; he will never cease to surprise us!

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