words by Carol King
Rapper Jovanotti has moved from his native Italy to New York City for what he has described as a “period of study”.
Born Lorenzo Cherubini, Jovanotti has achieved superstar status in Italy where his concerts are a sell out. Yet he is a relative unknown in the USA where he has released a compilation album ‘Italia 1988-2012’ that has sold approximately 1,000 copies. His wife and daughter have accompanied to New York where they are living in an apartment in Greenwich Village, fulfilling a dream to live in the city – the home of hip-hop – once in his life.
Jovanotti told a BBC interviewer that he hoped the experience would feed his energy and enable him to return to his homeland with something new: “In Italy I am blessed I’m playing in football stadiums, here I am Mr. Nobody and I like that too.”
Inspired by American hip-hop and in particular that of New York City band the Beastie Boys, the singer-songwriter burst on the music scene in the 1980s. He released his first studio album ‘Jovanotti for President’ in 1988. It proved a big success, selling more than 400,000 copies, and Jovanotti is arguably the most important figure to emerge in Italian pop during the decade.
Since then, Jovanotti has gone on to sell more than five million albums and his music has incorporated other influences such as rock, funk, ska and Latin. He has collaborated with some of the world’s top musicians including Ben Harper, Pino Daniele and the late Luciano Pavarotti.