Who hasn’t hummed the tune he does at least once www.mipiacitu, you you you …? It was 2001 and Gazosa they were the youngest and most promising band back then. In a few years of career, they have faced many important stages (one above all? That of the Ariston of Sanremo) and have sold hundreds of thousands of records. Today, the voice of the group, Jessica Morlacchi, is 32 years old, took part in Now or never and is currently one of the most talented and respected contestants of Such and Which Show. We met her and talked about the present, the past and the future.
Pop interviews: Jessica Morlacchi, success, panic attacks, rebirth
Before taking a step back, let’s start from the last piece, in chronological order, of your career: Such and Which Show. What experience are you having?
An extraordinary experience, very different from how I imagined it. The audience only sees what happens on Friday night live, but we start work on Monday morning, we have singing lessons, acting, long make-up sessions. It is a program that absorbs you completely and takes all of your everyday life. More than a talent, it looks like a reality show! We don’t sleep in Rai, it’s true, but sometimes we leave the rehearsal room at midnight! It is a tough program, but at the same time very entertaining, we are many, we are good together.
Are you having any difficulties?
None in particular, certainly you have to study a lot, you have to work hard. I am lucky because I sing, I think it is more difficult for those who do not and are not used to the stage.
If you weren’t a contestant on the show, who would you be cheering for?
I’ll give you two names: Davide De Marinis and Agostino Penna.
Before Such and what show, you participated in Now or never and you finished second.
It was a wonderful experience, certainly simpler than the one I am living now. At now or never I was myself, with my voice, my clothes and my personality, at such and what I have to step into someone else’s shoes and it’s not always easy. I have a recognizable voice, this is a problem because I risk coming out instead of the character I’m imitating. When there is a song that particularly appeals to me, it is difficult to keep my voice and my way of singing at bay. Sometimes I say to myself “Holy shit, Jessica, remember you’re imitating another person!” (laughs, ed). For example, it happened to me when I imitated Laura Pausini, I liked the song so much that I often let myself go, but I enjoyed it to the fullest.
When you took your first steps into the world of music you were just a teenager. If you could talk to Jessica from twenty years ago, what would you tell her?
I would tell her to live her age, not to grow up too fast. I was little more than a child and I was leading an adult life, I had responsibilities that shouldn’t be had at that age. Here, perhaps I would tell you this, to slow down, not to rush too much.
What are the pros and cons of achieving success so young?
I can tell you the cons: too many responsibilities, some smaller, others enormous. Travel, concerts, meetings, contracts, experiences that are exhausting as adults, let alone when you are under fifteen. Not to mention the Sanremo Festival. For heaven’s sake, I’m not the only one to have faced it as a young man, but it’s a fact that marks you and puts you in front of a huge responsibility from the moment you receive the call that tells you that you are in the cast. All this to tell you that at some point I felt suffocated and panic attacks started.
How did you deal with those moments?
It was hard, it was a very tiring thirteen years. I have suffered from agoraphobia, I have lived with panic attacks, I have struggled so much to be able to get out of it. I could no longer do anything, I could not travel, take planes, go up on stage. Things that used to be normal and were part of my daily life have suddenly become impossible. I no longer had a life, then I was just eighteen but I could no longer do the things that everyone does, let alone be a singer. When I got on stage, I couldn’t wait to get off.
How did you come out?
It was not easy to find the right doctor, someone who understood exactly what I was suffering from and what the remedy for my problem was. Four years ago, then, I met the psychiatrist Paolo Girardi and he helped me out. Slowly I started to do the usual things again, I took the train again, then the plane. It was not easy, nor was it immediate.
Was there a time when you thought about giving up?
I didn’t just think about it, but I did. At one point I went to be a secretary, I did it for nine months. That experience was important, enlightening, it made me understand that I could not give up music, I had to take care of myself and start over. Sometimes, hitting rock bottom is necessary to start over.
In 2013, you participated in the talent The Voice Of Italy. If I went back, would you do it again?
This so clear “no” leads me to ask you why …
I wasn’t ready yet. I made The Voice because I was afraid of being forgotten, of not being able to regain my place in the world of music, but the truth is that I was still not well. To get on stage I had to take some tranquilizers, I couldn’t stay on it. I think that the stage lived in this way is of no use at all. Here’s why I wouldn’t do it again.
Is your approach to music more disillusioned today?
Surely. At that time I was much smaller but also more strict with myself. Today I know how to be self-deprecating, I enjoy myself, I am lighter. It’s very simple: I like to sing and sing, without thinking about it too much, without excessive expectations. And then, who knows, I could also express myself in another way, not just through music. In recent weeks, it has happened that many have said to me, “Jessica, why don’t you try to throw yourself into the world of acting?”.
Let’s take a step back and open an important parenthesis in your life, the one you lived with Gazosa.
They are my brothers, we always see each other, we are often together. We live two kilometers away, we continue to share many things, to tell each other about our lives. We support and give ourselves strength in the face of every new challenge that we happen to face. When we started we were very young; we were small as well to argue. Our relationships are excellent.
You get a call to offer you a duet, who would you like it to be?
You get another call, but this time from an actor or a director who wants you in one of his films, who do you dream of?
Carlo Conti or Amadeus?
No, I just can’t answer this! (laughs, ed)
We always end our interviews with this question: we call ourselves Digital Global Times, and for us the term POP represents something attractive, captivating, trendy. What is POP for you?
Pop is the music, pop is the colors, pop is the songs.
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