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Patrizio Buanne Talkasia Transcript

Patrizio Buanne Web Transcript

LH: Lorraine Hahn
PB: Patrizio Buanne


LH: Hello and welcome to Talk Asia, I'm Lorraine Hahn. My guest today is Patrizio Buanne, a young singer who is bringing old school romance to a new generation of music lovers.

Born in Naples, to a pizza chef, Buanne grew up listening to traditional Italian songs at home -- the classics of his father's own childhood.

Although the family moved to Vienna when Buanne was still a young boy, they remained true to their Italian roots. Buanne's own style -- groomed, impeccably dressed and elegant -- harks back to the era of Fellini, Loren and La Dolce Vita.

Whilst still in his teens, he won numerous singing contests, impressed famous crooners, The Platters, with his own rendition of 'Only You', played Elvis Presley on stage and sang for the Pope.

Patrizio, welcome to Talk Asia, thank you very much for being here with us.

Block A

LH: Patrizio, welcome to Talk Asia. It's so good to see you in person, its good. Welcome, welcome to Hong Kong. PB: Thank you, Lorraine. Tell me about your new album, and the interpretation of it.

PB: The Album is called "The Italian." My name is Patrizio Buanne, the album is called "Patrizio Buanne, the Italian." It is my dream- my dream was recorded. I always dreamt about doing an album with the songs which I was bought up on, the songs that my parents would play at home while I was playing with my toys. My parents would record songs for the Italian restaurant that they had, and I would sing along to them because they were so easy-listening, so catchy. So I found the right producer that I was looking for, who realized my dream, and we started to record in Abbey Road studios, in London with the Royal Philharmonic orchestra.

LH: You sing a lot of classics, what is the allure of these songs?

PB: It's all about being passionate about something, about singing beautiful melodies, about sharing memories. That's me - I love this kind of music, I love this kind of style. As a teenager, I remember my classmates; the girls listening to boy groups, the guys listening to metal music. And I remember my classmates really couldn't identify myself with these two genres, so I started listening to a lot of music from the 50s and the 60s -- Chuck Barry, Fats Domino, Little Richard- and of course the romantic songs from Elvis Presley, or Frank Sinatra. So it's all about being passionate about something, and the dream of performing with an orchestra on the stage.

LH: So you never felt, sort of, that you didn't belong to this generation?

PB: In a way that's true, yeah- yeah. I'm very nostalgic, nostalgical? Sorry for my English -- about the era where the big long Cadillacs, and the lady's dressed very elegant and the men was a gentlemen. One positive thing about today's generation -- or about the new age and new centuries -- is that we are allowed to wear what we want, wear what makes us feel good. We can do what we want. But I miss a little bit the respect that the men should give to the women. So I decided not just to record an album, but its more of a mission to bring back the romance.

LH: Now, I read you also sang for the former pope (PB: Yes, that's right) Yes, you were what, 17 years old? (PB: I was 17, that's right) That must've been an amazing experience, how did that come about?

PB: Well, yes I talked to my manager who asked me if I would imagine performing in front of the Pope a song that's half polish, half Italian. I studied languages so I thought this would be great. Not only because it would be a challenge for me to learn my part in polish, but because I'm a spiritual person. It's nothing to do with being Catholic or not, it's just a spiritual thing for a person to sing... not only for the pope, who I respect so much, but for 85,000 people who are there with the same energy, with the love, they want to share something with you. So you are suddenly there, and you perform and the people applaud they give you so much love. You can't buy that.

LH: You weren't nervous at all were you?

PB: Oh yeah, I'm always nervous. I'm nervous every day if I have to perform (LH: Really?) but that's the adrenalin that makes you happy. But if I wouldn't have that, that would mean that I would not feel honest, and honored, and serious about what I'm doing. That's the little spark - I'm even excited now that I'm talking to you.

LH: Oh, thank you, haha. Now, television- you had a career in it, you gave it up for music?

PB: I gave it up for a dream. I was co-hosting, I was entertaining, I was doing a lot of things in Italy. But it wasn't like being focused on the Patrizio Buanne, the artist, I was sort of part of a cast. I was supposed to become a TV personality, kind of a v-host for this channel. But that wasn't me, I wanted to be a recording artist, I wanted to play everywhere in the world! I want to play in Las Vegas! So I had to change something about that, and find the person who would believe in me and realize my dream of recording the most beautiful songs that are the most beautiful songs to me.

LH: Patrizio we are going to take a very, very short break. (PB: Yes) Stick around, Talk Asia will be right back.

Block B

LH: Welcome back to Talk Asia. Patrizio, you grew up in Vienna (PB: that's right) Austria (PB:Yes). How did that influence you at all, being the Italian that you are?

PB: Vienna is a very melancholic, nostalgic city, very romantic city. So in a way, it influenced me even more to be romantic. I think Neapolitan people are very, very romantic in their songs, in their culture, but Vienna even more. The City of the vaults... The City of.... Austrian people are very, very -- we're closed, reserved, introverted people, very sweet people. Italians are more open, Neapolitans are loud people. Kind of gave me an idea of, not being perfect, but to be both. And I think that helps me now a lot traveling, because I understand what it means to be sometimes less, and sometimes more.

LH: Right, but still very much the Italian at heart right?

PB: Always! (LH: Always!) I think integration is very important but don't forget about where you come from, and your tradition. And I would say that I am more Italian than any Italian who lived all his life in Italy, because I'm always thinking about the country, keeping the traditions, and the proudness.

LH: Your father was a huge influence on you. (PB: Yes) What is the biggest influence he has had on you?

PB: Well he played me the old records and he always gave me advice 'Look, don't do this, don't do that'. Although he wasn't a singer, he always told me 'Look a singer, when you are on stage. You shouldn't wear torn up jeans or swear on the stage. So for me, it's a respect that I am giving to people, and because it makes me feel better to be just clean, and prepared to meet someone. That's the respect I am giving. So, he was kind of telling me these things, also my mother she said 'You know, make sure that you give the people the reason to buy a ticket',

LH: I was going to ask you about your mother, so she's (PB: Yes) still very much an influence on you?

PB: Yes, very much. Well, my mother is -- apart that she is my mother "la mamma"- she's a wonderful woman, she's a very strong woman. I think that she influenced me a lot, even maybe more than my father. My mother is my best friend. When I am off, when I don't have a tour I am seeing my mother quite often. And we have a love, and we watch the videos, and she is still criticizing me.

LH: I was just going to say...

PB: Yes, biggest critic in the world. (LH: Well, that's good, that's good for you) I think so, yeah I think I never lose my head or something, I always have my feet on the floor.

LH: Now, when you got popular in Poland (PB: Yeah) you had to commute right, (PB: Yeah) back and forth, Vienna (PB: That's Right) Poland. (PB: Yeah) I mean, wasn't that tiring I mean you were going to school still (PB: Yeah, yeah well) how did you manage all of that?

PB: Well, my friends they were going on weekends to discos, and making first experiences with alcohol, or whatever. I did the same experience, but I was on Friday evening taking my train, and going to Poland doing 2 concerts on Saturday and 2 concerts on Sunday, and making sure to take the last train back to Vienna arriving morning Monday, and going straight to school. But I have done my homework exercises on the train because it was a long trip, and I had my first pocket money, and I watched "Pretty Woman" with Richard Gere having strawberries and champagne -- I had the same. It was fun! And I enjoyed it.

LH: When did you first realize that the stage, was really something for you?

PB: Probably at the age of 11, 12. I had my first performance on the 7th of June 1991, I remember that at 3:30, it was in the school. I was singing "Only You" by the Platters (sings) 'Only you'- you know? It's my favorite song, and I did that, and it was a big, big applause and I felt this magic -- and this love and that's what I want to do. Though actually my parents they never understood that singing could be a profession, so actually I am an interpret- I studied languages. But music was always my hobby, my passion- which became my profession.

LH: Right. Were you always so determined to do it, or was there a point in time where you'd said to yourself -- maybe this is too difficult?

PB: So far not. I mean, I'm maybe brave and I'm working hard for it. I'm lazy if it comes to go to gym generally, or something like that. I mean, talking about that, I want to be remembered as a great performer, as a singer, as somebody that records beautiful music. I don't care what other people say, if they find it whatever, what. It's for the people who like this kind of music.

LH: Its for a new generation of people too, isn't it?

PB: It is, it's nice that the music is connecting generations. The ladies and gentlemen who remember the original recordings, and for the young people who are hungry for something new -- that are burnt out by all of these pop rock groups, or RnB groups -- who want something new. 11:45:15

LH: The fame that you have achieved thus far, has it changed your life at all?

PB: No, yes- it changed my life, it didn't change me! What I mean is, well I don't have time to do regular stuff that I used to do before- which is meeting friends, having a girlfriend. I'm single now, there is no time -- I don't have time to go out with friends and to do really things because I am busy, busy promoting. And some territories people recognize me, so I can't be really as free -- but I enjoy that!

LH: So what is the hardest part of what you do now?

PB: The hardest part is to eat regularly- that's very important for an Italian. The hardest part is to get a good sleep- and the rest is a lot of fun, and I'm enjoying it very much.

LH: You were telling me earlier that you travel so much. Your itinerary for this year (PB: Yeah) sounds unbelievable (PB: Yeah that's right). Shanghai, Johannesburg, etc. -- do you enjoy that, is that fun?

PB: Absolutely yeah, yeah. I learn to rest and sleep on the plane. That's probably, I learned that probably on my trips from Vienna to Poland in the train. But it's so exciting, why? Because you learn so many cultures. You know my first single, actually the single -- the song that made me known is called 'Il Mondo' and 'Il Mondo' means the world- and I'm indeed traveling the world now.

LH: When you sang 'Il Mondo', when I happened to hear you sing that at your concert, it looked to me -- forgive me for saying this -- that you were very touched (PB: Yes)- almost to the point of tears.

PB: It reminded me- reminds me of the loss of my father. So the songs that I am singing is not just promotion of a new record, and something that is selling- it's I relate to the song personally. With every song I have somewhere a story, so I'm very passionate about that, and I wouldn't be what I am -- I need to be real.

LH: And you need to feel the songs that you sing. (PB: Yes) So lyrics are very important to you?

PB: Everything is very important. It's important to be real- my real name is Patrizio Buanne, and I am Italian. And I wouldn't be as good as I am now, doing an American songbook, because I was never brought up in America, so I leave the job to others. I'm doing the Italian songbook, in Italy they call me the Italian- the Ambassador for Italian song. I'm sharing the culture with people, because people think that Italian is just classic like Bocelli or Pavarotti or maybe pop-music. But that's the original music style that I'm doing, the Italian style, is maybe nothing more Italian, or actually nothing is more Italian than 'The Italian'- the album, the Italian self. It's like Spaghetti Napoli in the Italian restaurant.

LH: Right, I agree with you definitely. Patrizio we are going to take another very, very short break. Don't go away, we'll be right back.

Block C

LH: Welcome back to Talk Asia. My guest is Italian singer Patrizio Buanne.

Patrizio, there are many singers here who mimic, and they copy famous, famous singers. Is there a line that you draw, or where is the line that you draw between mimicking a singer, and lets say following in the style of somebody?

PB: I was influenced by many artists and I think every artist was influenced. Like Frank Sinatra was influenced by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley by a lot of American blues singers or Dean Martin. Everybody, this is look up to somebody is very important -- learn from the best, but change it. Just be yourself and don't think about anything, if you come on stage you don't go 'Oh, I have to do this like Frank, or like Elvis', just do it from the heart. And we're all different- and if it happens to be that you sound like somebody, then it can only be a compliment because we are talking about legends.

LH: Patrizio, people often comment about your looks- and some of them have labeled you as this sort of new sex symbol (PB: Oh). Are you comfortable with (PB: No...) you know, comments like that?

PB: Not really, because all I'm doing is, as I said before, I try to look good, because it's the respect that I am giving people, and that's how I was brought up. I'm not spending more time in the gym or on my looks, than I want on learning my songs or preparing myself for a concert. But of course, that's a compliment. But...Oh, God! I don't know what to say -- you make me blush. (LH: ha ha ha) It's a...Thank you for the compliment, but you know -- I don't really care!

LH: Patrizio where did you learn this art of treating a lady? I mean, there are many 20-year olds out there who really haven't learnt the skill, and many even double your age who are still learning the art.

PB: Inspired by the parents, two words- tolerance and respect, maybe third word, integration. Life is too short, we have to give these values to people, to each other. And for me, romance is a very, very important issue -- seeing how men treat women, or women treat men -- it's very important. So I just love to see all these movies, when Humphrey Bogart or Carey Grant, or whoever- nicely dressed and treat the ladies nice. We don't have to do it the old cheesy way, but we can kind of connect with the new generation and make it cool. It's not just drinking beer, and being fast food and one night stands. That's not life, there must be passion in the life -- I call it 'Dolce Vita'.

LH: So what makes you happy these days?

PB: A smile, and the applause.

LH: That's it, so simple? (PB: Well) What about in your time off, do you...I mean now travel is like work isn't it, I mean do you ever...?

PB: Yes, but again because I studied languages I'm a interpreter. I speak Italian, obviously, German... (LH: 6 languages. Right?). Yes, Italian, German because I went there for school, hopefully English, French, Spanish and I studied Polish. Singing was my hobby, my passion -- became my profession, so I am doing something that I would've done for relax. Now I'm going for a swim, if I have time. But it's great to make people happy, to achieve hearts, to read on my forum on my website all sorts of wonderful messages. What can I wish more?

LH: What is next for you, aside from the touring?

PB: You know, next for me is to make sure that my album- the second album, gets ready. Because there is a lot of stress while I am traveling and promoting my record in some territories, in other territories I'm already touring.

LH: Is there anything you would like to do, that you haven't done yet? I know you talked about you having great writers, song writers, have you tried your hand at writing some of your own songs?

PB: Yeah, there will be some songs that I've written. One song is called, well I shouldn't' tell you this, but it's called 'Smile'. It's nothing to do with the Charlie Chaplin song, it's all about smile -- giving smile, you know. So thinks giving people this positive energy, I'm an optimist, and I want to give people a lot of positive energy.

LH: Well Patrizio, we well- wish you all the very, very best. Thank you very much for spending the time with us. (PB: Thank you; God bless you. Thank you very much) And good luck to you (PB: Arrivederci). And that's Talk Asia this week, my guest has been Patrizio Buanne. I'm Lorraine Hahn; let's talk again next week.

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