Thursday, 27 March 2014

Italian Crooner Seeks to Reinvent Himself with Kickstarter Campaign

Following the opinion of Sha Nazir during the Issue One panel, I abhor Kickstarter. I suppose it has some purpose - mainly for people who can't be arsed to do the hard work, but with honorable exceptions. But, as pointed out here, it does reveal the seedy side of human endeavour.

But I have a soft spot for this Kickstarter, because it reveals an eccentric passion in a pensioner. 

Romantic singer Gino Federici re emerges onto the music scene as his alter ego Don Gino, adopting a wiseguy persona for his new project.

After a seven-year hiatus, international recording star and Italian crooner-turned-jazz-singer Gino Federici – now known as Don Gino – has reinvented himself. With 43 total years of entertaining under his belt, Federici’s life has been anything but predictable. Now, with his new stage persona, Federici is utilizing a Kickstarter campaign ending April 17 to launch the music video, EP, and graphic novel of his new single, Kriminal Tango.

When Federici retired in 2007, ending a 23-year stage career in Las Vegas, he intended to live a quiet life. Instead, the real estate crisis hit his finances hard, and Federici began to dream of returning to the stage. “When you reach 74 years of age, having lost it all - including two wives to cancer – you realize life has not been as glamorous as some may think,” said Federici. Rather than calling his dream “impossible,” he adopted the motto “I’m possible” and has not looked back.

Okay. so the line about 'the real estate crisis' doesn't suggest a pure artistic intent, but this is manic pixie dust dreaming. Hold on tight...

The Kickstarter campaign is hoping to raise $25,000 to help fund Federici’s comeback – not as the romantic Italian crooner of his past recordings but as a totally reinvented persona, a retired Godfather of sorts. The stage persona of Don Gino has a whole backstory of trying to find a more honorable undertaking than the cement-and-seafood-business of his past.

This would so work as a cabaret persona. It is a bit Frank Sanazi

Federici’s innovative idea of a wise guy stage presence has its roots in the music of an Italian jazz composer and singer from the 1950s who happens to be from Gino’s hometown of Turin, Italy. Fred Buscaglione, an icon of Italian music and films, donned a romantic wise guy persona inspired by the New York and Chicago crime fiction stories of Damon Runyon and characters like Nathan Detroit played by Frank Sinatra in Guys and Dolls.

Some of Buscaglione’s most popular songs, now adapted by Federici into English, are part of Federici’s new album aptly called Women, Whiskey, and Wiseguys. Kriminal Tango is the first single off the album, seeking funding for a music video to be filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Funding will also help produce a graphic novel to go along with the album. “This project is truly a new kickstart to my career,” said Federici.

The only thing that worries me is that, having been in Las Vegas for so long, he probably didn't get to meet that many gangsters. 

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