This biography has been written starting from other biographies found in the web, from what is reported in the books Il piviere and Per rabbia e per amore and from personal knowledge. Only at a second time it has been assumed (with little modifications, particularly about the activities following Marco's retirement in 2001) by MBO Music and Mamadue Records as the official biography, so that now you can find a part of it also in many official sources.
Marco Masini is born on 18th September 1964 in Florence. His mother, Anna Maria, sings and plays the piano after leaving teaching (she was a teacher at the elementary school) for her family. His father, Giancarlo, works as a representative of products for hairdressers.
When Marco is three years old, he receives an organ-toy as a present for Christmas: he puts his hands on it
and he soon succeeds in playing by ear some Christmas songs. Because of the advise
of his uncle, some years later Marco begins to have lessons of music, studying Bach, Chopin
and Mozart, although he loves also Pop, Rock and Italian music.
When he is eleven he has the oportunity to play at a carnival in a little town near Florence. In those year he plays every kind of music, from liscio to revival and to disco music.
During secondary school, together with some friends he founds a band called “Errata Corrige”. The incompatibility between the tiring life of the musician (which makes him go out every night and to come back home very late) and the life of a student makes him leave school during the fourth year of school of accountancy, causing a first contrast with his family, but also with his friends.
For a while Marco works with his father as a representative. In 1980 his family opens a bar in Florence, where Marco helps with his sister Susanna. But the precariousness of the profession of a musician that Marco would like to go in for causes tough quarrels with his father, who would prefer him to stay behind a desk, therefore leaving his mother in severe sorrow.
Some years later she takes a tumour and her husband is forced to sell the bar: Marco leaves to serve in the army (in the military aeronautic of Florence) and, the day after his return, on the 22nd of August 1984, his mother dies and Marco suffers a lot, because he couldn't be near her in the last moments of his life.
His engagement in the music increases: he goes back to Modena for three years, making arrangements for disco-music in a recording studio, then he comes back to Florence because he has to continue his studies of composition, harmony and melody, while he makes piano-bar whenever he can. He has as a teacher Walter Savelli, the pianist of Claudio Baglioni and the teacher of many other famous musicians.
Although he has composed a lot of pieces (including a them song for a discotheque), Marco runs into many difficulties when he tries to present them to record companies, which accuse him not to have &lquo;the right face for an artist” and to write songs with too much atypical lyrics comparing to those that the public expects to hear.
Thanks to Roberto Rosati, who makes arrangements and is the proprietary of a studio in Sesto Fiorentino, Marco begins to make his first auditions: he meets Beppe Dati, a composer and a poet, with whom he writes some songs. In 1986 he has an important meeting with Giancarlo Bigazzi in his studio situated in Settignano, where Marco makes him hear some try-outs. Bigazzi helps him to increase his talent: Marco participated in the realization of some movie soundtracks (Mary per sempre, Ragazzi fuori), he is the guide voice of Si può dare di più (sung by Morandi, Ruggeri and Tozzi at Sanremo Festival) and he plays in Umberto Tozzi's tour date at the Royal Albert Hall in London (Marco makes the arrangements, plays the keyboards and remixes Immensamente). He leaves for his first tour in 1987, when he plays with Raf and takes care of the realization of his album Cosa resterà....
In 1988 he makes a record called Uomini (published by CGD), thanks to the initiative of Mario Ragni, with which he has to take part to Sanremo Festival, but that year Charlie Deanesi participates instead.
Marco doesn't give up! After his reconciliation with his father, he begis to write
Disperato, working together with Bigazzi and Dati
on the lyrics. In 1990 he takes part to Sanremo Festival with this song, arriving at the
first place in the section of “Young Artists”. Coming back from America
(where he participated to “Sanremo in the World”), Marco begins the realization of his first
album, Marco Masini (published by Dischi Ricordi), for which there were
just Disperato and
Dal buio (previously written for Massimo Ranieri) ready.
When he finishes his first album, he starts soon to work soon on his second one to participate to Sanremo ’91. He prepares a song entitled Ossigeno, but then another song (Perché lo fai) is chosen, with which he gets to the third place after Riccardo Cocciante (with the song Se stiamo insieme) and Renato Zero (with Spalle al muro), while the single sells more then any other in Italy in 1991.
A new album is released with the title Malinconoia, a new word coined by Marco which indicates a mix of melancholy and paranoia and that could then be found even in the Dictionary of Italian Language edited by G. Devoto and G. C. Oli. Marco begins to prepare his first tour with the friends with whom he has played and realized some discs: Mario Manzani (guitars), Massimo Rastrelli (guitars - he played with him also in the “Errata Corrige”), Marcello De Toffoli and Bruno Illiano (keyboards), Alfredo Golino (drums), Andrea Corsellini (phonic). In the same year he takes part to Festivalbar and he wins by having the best album of the year, while the video clip of Malinconoia, recorded during a concert at Palaeur in Rome, wins as the better live video of Riminicinema '91.
After being closed in a record studio near Orvieto, on the 14th of January
1993 Marco releases T'innamorerai,
an album which opens him the doors of the world, but also an album that scandalizes, because it
containes a song titled Vaffanculo (“Fuck off”), which arises bitter
controversies and gets censored on TV and on the radios.
Meanwhile in Spain, where a collection of some songs taken from the first two albums entitled Marco Masini had already had a great success, he obtains the Golden Disc with this album published in Spanish (as Te enamorarás).
T'innamorerai is released in Germany and France too, confirming the great expectations and obtaining another Golden Disc.
As already said, the song Vaffanculo, contained in this album, is particularly criticized: it is a real outburst of Masini against his denigrators, who defined him a corruptor of young people, a looser, a pessimist, a singer who brings to depression... for a lot of people Masini was only a moan. This is because he often faces social themes in his songs in a deep and direct way.
In 1995 (January) the fourth album is released, Il cielo della Vergine, in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Germany and, in a Spanish version (El cielo de Virgo), in Spain and Latin America. This album is criticized too, this time because of the two songs Bella stronza (“Beautiful bastard”) and Principessa (“Princess”), both very direct and explicit.
In 1996 he publishes L'amore sia con te, a compilation of his greatest hits, with the new song which gives the title to the album and Meglio solo, an old song recorded on the B side of Disperato single. This collection is also released in Spanish countries as Mi amor allí estará, presenting a slightly different tracklist. During the summer, instead, the tour called L'amore sia con te takes place.
In 1997 Enrico Ruggeri calls Marco to sing with him La gente di cuore, included in Ruggeri's album Domani è un altro giorno.
After almost four years of silence, on the 12th of November 1998 Marco releases the album
Scimmie, published by BMG Ricordi and the new label Ma. Ma.,
founded by himself, Mario Manzani and Marco Poggioni. This new album is a great
turning point in the production of Marco, who presented himself to the public with
a new look: white beard and hair. But, mostly, it signs the separation from Bigazzi,
Marco's old teacher, who had marked the beginning of his musical carreer. The disc style is a
harder Rock and the lyrics are in general less sentimental, but more hermetic: with
Scimmie Marco says that he wants to
revive the music of the seventies, which he had loved so much and which was returning in
fashion: the opinion of the critics was strangely positive, while, on the other hand, the opinion of
the public was negative, so the album is misunderstood and becomes a commercial failure.
But in 1999 Marco gets back to the past, maybe because of the controversies of the fans who want the old Masini, of whom they have fallen in love, together with his love songs and the lyrics which were characterized by poetry and depth. After releasing the single Il giorno più banale (“The most ordinary day”) for the Christmas of that year (a wish for the unfortunate brothers living in poor ountries), his return to Sanremo 2000, with the song Raccontami di te confirms the expectations. The song comes fifteenth, last but one: Marco accepts the result (considering the fifteenth position an honoured place, because of other important precedents), although the new criticized voting system, which had brought absolutely unexpected results.
In the same period (22nd February 2000) he releases the album Raccontami di te, containing the song of the Festival, Il giorno più banale; (here titled Il giorno di Natale - “Christmas day”), and other nine new songs, merging the new arrangements with the poetic themes and the sweet melodies that had characterized his first albums.
On 27th March 2000 the new tour Raccontami di te begins, with great success. It is divided into two sessions, one during the spring in the theatres, one during the summer in the squares of many Italian towns.
After the end of the tour, just a year after the publication of hist latest album, on the 26th of January 20001 Marco releases Uscita di sicurezza, containing fourteen new songs that are declared as written during the whole of his carreer, a sort of secret diary brought to the light. Among the pieces stands out a cover of a very famous song of the Thrash group Metallica (E chi se ne frega (Nothing else matters)) and a song dedicated to the distance adoptions, embracing the cause of children in Sudan. This new record signs the artistic reconciliation with Bigazzi, proposing modern sonorities, with a lot of foreigner influences and with themes characterized by renewed force and determination. But the ruin of the euphoria for this new songs is determined by the scarce promotion made by the record company (BMG Ricordi) and the continuous obstructionism of media against Marco, whose absurd reputation of carrier of bad luck and desperate begins to be unbearable. Sales suffer because of these reasons, as well as also because Uscita di sicurezza is an album with a lot of facets, so more difficult to understand. On Tuesday 17th of April, Marco, exhausted, announces on TV news his retirement from the carreer of singer and songwriter, in order to probably become, the producer of other young bands. Some personalities intervene, as Adriano Celentano and Maurizio Costanzo, who want him as a guest in their TV programmes to denounce what is happening, but it is useless.
However, not to cancel the engagements taken some months before, Marco on April starts a new tour in many squares around Italy.
In this way it seems to be concluded the extraordinary but brief carrier of a singer and songwriter who has certainly given very much to Italian music and who could have given it more. A sensational singer and songwriter, who made of his simplicity, of his weaknesses, but also of his artistic, introspective and provocative capacities, a winning feature, which made thousands (or maybe millions) of people remember him and his songs in their hearts, in Italy and not only.
A bit unexpectedly and on the sly, during the spring of 2002 a new tour begins: in this case, however, it isn't a promotional tour, but simply a present for his fans and an opportunity to introduce to the public the new emergent band with which he wants to collaborate as an artistic producer. This band, called Anima, is composed by the musicians that accompany him: Riccardo Cherubini (guitar and voice), Nicola Contini (bass), Filippo Martelli (keyboards), Francesco Isola (drums). The tour consists of thirty dates in central and southern Italy, during the months of May-October.
Meanwhile, his most affectionate public doesn't stop to show its closeness to Marco, in that so difficult and delicate period of his career, even organizing to make and dedicate a song to him (entitled Cosa rimane (A Marco), that is “What remains (To Marco)”) to thank him for the emotions given in the past and to exhort him to find again the stimulus to write and sing new songs.
Fortunately all this is not vain: the summer 2003 passes under banner of concerts in town squares exactly as in 2002, after which to the surprise of everybody Marco comes back on the scene in October with a new album, .. il mio cammino (“... my way”), which includes three unpublished songs (Generation, Io non ti sposerò and Benvenuta) and some rearrangements and reharmonizations of his previous successes.
Once Marco has settled (by a negotiation) the suit against BMG Ricordi, he and his executive producer, manager and friend Marco Poggioni, make MAMADUE Records live again. With the collaboration of Mario Ragni's independent label MBO Music (Ragni was Masini's original “discoverer”), Marco decides to turn page and start again almost “from scratch”, underlining his will to leave back controversies and prejudices that have made him retire. While not denying anything of his own past (except for the album Uscita di sicurezza, that was a record mainly by Giancarlo Bigazzi), Marco Masini then presents himself to the public more peaceful and jokingly than ever, with a great desire to go at it again, even without betraying his disillusioned and committed vein, as the three new songs he publishes witness. The first single, Generation, evidences how the anger and youth rebellion naturally passes (adapting themselves as times go by) to the new generations, leaving behind a more placid but still optimistic awareness: something like the attitude of the renewed and regenerated Masini.
However, although the good reception by televisions, difficulties regarding radio airplays still continue: initially broadcast by just two national radio networks, the new singles are then played by other ones only because of many and pressing requests by the most affectionate public, more determined than ever.
“Fables don't exist, but miracles, yes, may happen”: this is what Marco sings in Generation, in a so much prophetic verse... and, in fact, in Janary 2004 medias announce that the test-piece that Marco had presented for Sanremo Festival 2004 was selected among the twenty-two songs that have to take part to that famous Italian music contest. But the real deliverance, after so many years of difficulties and (artistic, as well as human) undeserved suffering, arrives in March, with the beginning, the development and the end of the most innovative edition of Sanremo Festival of the last twenty years: Marco's song, L'uomo volante (“The flying man”), is the favourite one for Italian people, who can vote from home using phones and mobiles. That is a triumph: the so called “desperate” guy becomes suddenly a real “flying man”, who can win Sanremo Festival with almost double the votes of the second placed, getting also the price for the best lyrics given by the artistic commission (first place together with Omar Pedrini) and the price given by the Radio and Private TV Broadcast commission (first place together with Mario Venuti).
Marco Masini's new career therefore seems to be started in the best way: in a music business in deep crisis, in a music environment dominated by International “use-and-trash” music, imposed to the public by the big multinational record companies and by the deejays of the most powerful radio networks, and in a music world ruled by those “young artists” that are usually replaced the following year because they are already “old”, the forty-years-old Masini succeeds in the most difficult task at all: to enter back the heart of the public! The Sanremo single and the new record Masini (a new edition of .. il mio cammino with L'uomo volante and E ti amo added) fly to the Top 10 of sales and radio airplay charts (after something like eight years from Il cielo della Vergine), while the following tour dates (March-September 2004) are almost a unique “sold out”, with multiple dates in Rome, Milan, Turin and Florence, among the others!
Thanks to Dee 2 Records, in July Masini is published in Belgium, Nederland and Luxemburg, while in September LM Live Music publishes it in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In 2005, Marco takes part again to Sanremo Festival, in spite of his victory of the previous year: this is an atypic fact, because the Festival winner seldom comes back the following year. However, thanks to the invitation of his friend an admirer Paolo Bonolis, presenter and artistic director (together with Gianmarco Mazzi) of this edition of the festival, Marco presents Nel mondo dei sogni, recording the peak of audience rating during the fourth evening, in which, as the festival regulations provides, he performs an unplugged version of this piece, sung together with Jessica Morlacchi and accompanied by Massimiliano Agati on the drums. The success is so high that the production decides to record and publish a second promotional single that contains this version of the song. Regarding the final chart of the competition, Marco takes the third place in his category (“Men”), behind Francesco Renga (absolute winner with the song Angelo) and Gigi D'Alessio (with L'amore che non c'è).
On 10th June 2005 the album that includes both versions of Nel mondo dei sogni, entitled Il giardino delle api, is released and it is anticipated by the homonymous single. From this album even six singles are extracted, among which three are for sale and three are just for promotion, including those already mentioned. In particular, the single Rimani così also includes Shaman King, used as the theme song of the Japanese cartoon with the same name broadcast by the Italian station Italia 1 of Mediaset Group, written by the same authors of the other pieces of the album Il giardino delle api, that is Marco Masini, Beppe Dati and Goffredo Orlandi, and interpreted by Marco himself. Meanwhile, Il giardino delle api is published in Belgium, Nederland, Luxemburg, Switzerland Germany and Austria, always thanks to LM Live Music.
After a two-years long tour, which took place in Italy in town squares in summer and in theatres in winter, but also in many clubs of the central Europe (Switzerland, Germany and Belgium), in November 2006 a new project keeps Marco Masini involved with Umberto Tozzi in the production of the album Tozzi Masini, which includes three new songs written by the two artits together, a duet on T'innamorerai, then six songs of Tozzi's performed by Masini and six songs of Masini's performed by Tozzi. This artistic union, that introduces itself with a visiting card of more than fifty millions of records sold by the two protagonists during their careers, is strongly desired by MBO Music artistic director Mario Ragni, coming from an idea which goes back to 1987 regarding the already mentioned Si può dare di più. The spark is given by the almost fortuitous Marco's participation in a Tozzi concert at Olympia threatre in Paris on 15th February 2006, where the french audience gets thrilled. Tozzi Masini is then anticipated on the radio by the single Come si fa...?, a modern piece that succeeds in mixing bagpipes with a pop rhythm and that captures the interest of radio networks, even those dedicated to young people and usually less inclined to play the music of the not-so-young-anymore couple (who loves to be ironically called the “bifolks” or the “duo di picche”, a pun for “due di picche” that is an Italian metaphor that refers to the two of spades, that is a card that counts for little or nothing). A tour in Italian threatres, a pair of concerts in town squares and also some dates abroad follow, making a second type of marriage possible, this time between the audiences of the two artists, joined in an only passionate chorus.
The project with Umberto Tozzi ends in summer 2007, but Marco continues his activity without rest: after a summer tour in Italian town squares, he starts a long unplugged tour in central European clubs, also promoting the compilation Caro babbo, foreign edition of Ci vorrebbe il mare, this one released on 27th October 2006 and including all the songs of Marco's first album, played and performed again, as well as, for the first time on CD, Uomini and Bugie, in addition to Meglio solo, otherwise unfindable (at least on physical medium).
In 2008, besides carrying on the European unplugged tour, Marco surprises his public again with a new initiative: a tour in theatres to present what is a real play, written together with Beppe Dati, entitled Il brutto anatroccolo (“The ugly duckling”): freely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fable, Marco runs through his own life and tells it with his songs. The result is a really intimate show with the subtitle “ugliness's eulogy”: some pieces seldom (or never) played by Marco are brushed up, all reproposed with an essential arrangement. The story is carried on by many acted parts and some songs written purposely for this show. The main actor is Marco, obviously, however the musicians (Riccardo Cherubini on the guitar and other instruments, Fabrizio Palermo on the bass and Massimiliano Agati on the drums) venture on acting and singing too, setting up a unique and fantastic show.
However, it is the following year that marks a new important stage on Marco Masini's artistic career: after the sorrowful death of Mario Ragni on 27th October 2008 due to a long illness, Marco loses the man that had been a second father for him and has to demonstrate that he can continue on his own. He does it by taking part to Sanremo Festival 2009 with the song L'Italia, a piece characterized by an extremely blunt language, although in the context of his renewed maturity, which violently brings him back in front of the television audience. In fact, L'Italia is Marco's declaration of love towards his country, a feeling that wins over a series of provocations and commonplaces that have been on most of Italian people's lips for at least three generations, and that are denounced in the lyrics of the song, together with explicit references to unpleasant historical and news facts.
The performance of the song at Sanremo Festival anticipates by few days the release of the album L'Italia... e altre storie, in music shops starting from 20th February 2009.