Italian Song Challenge Day 13: Mia Martini

Mia Martini (1947-1995) was a fantastic artist, her voice was of an immense range, emotional intensity and quality. She sang well in so many genres from jazz to folk, pop and rock.

Martini’s career took her all around the world, she sang very well in many different languages, including French and English. With a background performing with her sister Loredana Berte’ in musical theatre and cabaret, her scope for performance was notable and unique.

Her performances in the San Remo song festival have created some beautiful examples of contemporary Italian song from Almeno tu nel universe (At least you in the universe) to Gli uomini non cambiano (Men don’t change) and Rapsodia. She also had a particular affinity for performing Neopolitan songs and her voice blended well with the bittersweet tone of the Naples songbook.

Mia or Mimi as she was affectionately known was considered by many experts to be the most beautiful and expressive female voice of Italian pop music ever, characterised by her interpretative intensity and her soulful performance.

She was born Domenica Berte in Calabria, southern Italy. From a young age, her musical talent and voice were evident, and she was soon discovered by several talent scouts. She recorded her first few records under the name of Mimi Berte but soon decided to change her name to Mia Martini.

Minuetto is probably the best song to show off her range and vocal charisma. It starts off almost as a whisper and builds up to tell the tale of a woman stealing moments of happiness from a cruel lover.

Unfortunately, her career was marred by misfortune, depression and drug abuse.

She died of an overdose in 1995, leaving behind many beautiful songs and a legendary voice.

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