Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bella Farfalla (Beautiful Butterfly) - Amana Melome

Ciao a tutti,

A while back I had a title to a post that read something like "Two for the Price of One." It seems to be a recurring theme in my life lately, not just two, sometimes three and four. I have often heard said that you take one step and God takes two for you, and so it is.

This time I am referring to my interview with Italian Music Producer Saverio Principini. It has been an interesting road to this interview with him, and when we finally got together, I got to not just interview him but the up and coming artist Amana Melome who I will tell you more about in just a minute.

On the road to interviewing Saverio... we were trying to figure out how exactly we actually came to meet about twelve years ago or so. I think a mutual acquaintance introduced us when the acquaintance, then Italian radio disc jockey Luciano Palermi, heard that I was to record my first CD. I think he might have referred me to Saverio to see if recording in his studio was the right thing for my project, which ended up being my debut CD "REEL ITALIAN - Love Songs From the Silver Screen."

At the time we met, my hair was not very long and his was all the way down his back. Which if you look at the pictures, now mine is a lot longer than his since he is sporting the cool shaved look. At the time he was working on more rock and heavy metal recordings and was also very involved in his rock band, and we didn't end up working together.

Funny too how I met him when I had just moved to Los Angeles and was living in a city called Burbank. To visit Saverio's studio I remember driving for almost a half hour and going to this whole other city north of my house. When I moved years later I moved to Sherman Oaks and have been living here for a few years and would run into Saverio at the post office and stores etc.

This Holiday, during one of these run ins, we were both standing in line and he looked at me and smiled like he knew me and I politely smiled back and turned back around. Thinking how this person acted like he knew me, but recognizing that it happens more often now with people knowing me from my singing and the Filippo and the Chef Show, etc.

But something told me I might know him too, and that it might be Saverio. So I turned around and said, "Saverio?" And he smiled and said, "Si Filippo, come, non mi riconosci? (Yes, Filippo, don't you recognize me?)" And the truth was, no, not with his shaved head. We then began to talk about our latest projects and I decided we just had to interview him for our show.

When we set up the interview he invited me to his home which was the same place he lived in all those years ago when I had to drive for miles to get to him. Well, when he gave me directions, wouldn't you know it? All these years I have been living two blocks away from him and his studio.

Who knew that all these years, all these famous Italian singers and musicians like Adriano Celentano, Vasco Rossi, Gino Vanelli, and for that matter famous American singers all probably drove passed my house to go to his house to record or hear tracks or something.

Life is funny. So here we are finally set to do this interview with him, and I was hoping with Amana Melome as well. But Amana was on her way to Italy to record with another Italian famous singer, Giovanotti. Saverio didn't think we would be able to get her with her schedule being the way it was before she left, but we were both hopeful.

Well, I took one step and God took two and delivered Amana right into the studio while we were recording Saverio's interview as she ended up needing to do one last thing before taking off for Italy.

And so you will hear on one of our shows the interview with Saverio and on the one after, the interview and the song called "Bella Farfalla" off her just released debut CD "Indigo Red," which is being sold, among so many places, in Whole Food Stores.

Actually, from my understanding, she is the only independent artist being sold there, pretty cool huh? I wouldn't expect anything less than success from all my guests and now my friends. Go to to hear the interviews and learn about Amana's rise from model to starlet, and Saverio's connection with "Who Wants to be the Next Pussycat Doll?"

A presto,


P.S. Among other fine qualities in Amana's voice, she occasionally sounds like one of the greats of the past like Sarah Vaughn or Ella Fitzgerald. When you hear the interview with her, you will hear it in her voice and also learn of her connection to Italy and hear her speak Italian so beautifully. You can see a video of Amana on her website as linked above.

And speaking of greats, and Italian connections, here is a video of Ella Fitzgerald singing in Italy as recorded by RAI and posted on It makes me think that there is always an Italian connection with everyone. Enjoy. (Introduction in Italian, sung in English)

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