The Haunting Music of Italian Artist Elisa
Italian singer Elisa Toffoli, known simply as Elisa, was discovered by Caterina Caselli at the age of 16, and released her first album in 1996. Her songs often go platinum within a few weeks, many reaching charts in Europe, Japan, and Canada. This soulful singer-songwriter spent a great deal of time in America and is one of the few Italians to write her lyrics in English. She wanted to appeal to audiences outside of Italy's borders and clearly, she has accomplished this goal. The soundtrack to Django Unchained, includes Ancora Qui, a haunting song that can move you emotionally, even if you don't understand the words.
Most of Elisa's music is produced in the studio. This year will see Elisa launching her In the Clubs tour. The tour includes several cities in Italy, with additional stops in Brussels, Madrid, London, Zürich, Stuttgart, and Paris. Elisa plays several instruments, and her live shows offer a unique opportunity to become acquainted with this multi-platinum superstar.
2009 was a very special year for Elisa. In April, she joined 55 Italian artists in Milan to record a single song titled Domani, which was dedicated to those affected by the earthquake that hit Italy earlier that month. She and her husband, Andrea Rigonat, welcomed their first daughter, Emma Cecile, the same year. Becoming a mother infused Elisa's music with what she calls a soulful simplicity. In 2006, Elisa wrote and produced Teach Me Again, which she sang with Tina Turner. The song was released to raise money for abandoned children and became the theme of the film All The Invisible Children. In 2002, Elisa was honoured to be a part of the Winter Olympics' closing ceremonies.
Elisa often works with different producers and musicians. Her husband, Andrea Rigonat, serves as her guitarist and drummer. She worked with producer Glen Ballard on Pearl Days. The album featured an appearance by musicians Matt Chamberlain and Tim Pierce. Elisa's most recent release, Steppin' On Water, released earlier this year, features the Italian children's choir, Artemìa di Torviscosa, on three tracks.
Though Elisa was well known in Europe, her big American break came in 2007, when her song Dancing was featured on the reality show So You Think You Can Dance? and hit iTunes Top 20 Singles in the U.S. and Canada. In 2008, Elisa began a 16-city tour to promote Dancing.That same year, the Dancing album reached number five on the Billboard chart.
Elisa's first album, Pipes & Flowers, was released in 1996, when she was just twenty, and won the prestigious Premio Tenco award (Best Record of the Year) and the PIM, the Italian Music Award. To date, two of Elisa's albums have reached the European Top 100 Albums chart. Several singles have hit the European Hot 100 Singles, Japan Hot 100 Singles, and Hot Canadian Digital Singles. The singles, Millenario and Realism, stayed on the Japan Hot 100 Singles chart for 55 and 95 weeks, respectively.
Though she's been on the music scene for nearly 20 years, she's toured only twice. Her Dancing tour happened in 2008, and now the In the Clubs tour begins this year. If you're a fan, this event is not to be missed. Those with Elisa tickets should expect a show that puts her powerful voice and moving lyrics on display, and combines them with an intimate setting.
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