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17 November 1953

Nada Malanima was born in Gabbro, Livorno. Her musical debut was at the young age of fifteen, at the 1969 San Remo Festival with the song ‘Ma che freddo fa’ ('But how cold it is'), which gave her a sudden success, also with the Spanish language version ‘Hace frío ya’,. The year later she participated in the festival again, singing ‘Pa' diglielo a ma' ('Dad tell it to mum') together with Ron (at his debut as a singer). She also took part in Canzonissima, a then popular tv programme, with ‘Che male fa la gelosia’.

In 1971, entering for the third time, she finally won the Sanremo Music Festival with ‘Il cuore è uno zingaro’, together with Nicola Di Bari. It was then that she also got her nickname 'Il pulcino di Gabbro' ('The Gabbro chick'). In San Remo again in 1972 she was third with 'Re di denari'. In 1973 she releases the album ‘Ho scoperto che esisto anch'io’, a project made together with songwriter Piero Ciampi. This was the first album that gave Nada some critical acclaim next to commercial success. The next project ‘1930: Il domatore delle scimmie’, made together with the Reale Accademia di Musica, tried to persue this more serious career move. In 1978 she switched from RCA to Polydor who hooked her up with songwriter Mauro Lusini. With him she has commercial success with songs like  ‘Pasticcio universale’ (1978), ‘Dolce più dolce’ (1980), ‘Dimmi che mi ami’ (1981) and ‘Ti stringerò’ (1982). Although her singles turn out to be successful her albums never sell very well. In 1983 Polydor’s contract ends and Nada is picked up by EMI. Again a career move results in to more synthesizer filled albums starting with ‘Smalto’. In 1983 she was voted 'singer of the year' and she won the festival Azzurro with her song ‘Amore disperato’. The follow up albums turn out be more or less flops. In 1987, she tries her luck again at San Remo with ‘Bolero’.

Without a contract Nada starts touring around the country with only a guitar and a microphone. The experience seems to be rewarding when a new and mature Nada releases ‘L'Anime Nere’ in 1992. The more mature and folky line is continued in 1997 with a collaboration with members of the Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel called 'Nada Trio'. In 1998 the italian band Super B gained a notable success with a cover of Nada's song ‘Amore disperato’. In 1999 she again goes to San Remo. The song ‘Guardami negli occhi’ does not win but got the attention of Adriano Centano who asked her to record a duet for his album ‘Il figlio del dolore’.  

In the new millennium Nada starts working together with Mauro Pagani and John Parrish (known for his work with PJ Harvey). Her album ‘Tutto l'amore che mi manca’ was awarded as best independent album of the year. In 2007 she participates again in the San Remo festival with the song ‘Luna in piena’.

On the web:

- Nada's website: http://www.nadamalanima.it

What do we think:

PR: Nada is the queen of Italian underground pop scene. Being a popular artist at such a young age must have had it´s effect on her and no doubt that she must have encountered some hard times when succes declined. But the experience made her stronger, at least as an recording artist. She composed many of her own songs and developed a style that at the same time unique, charming yet very uncompromising. It is pop music with a sharp, dark edge, never making it easy on its listeners. But when you take the effort, you will discover some true musical pearls. Her best album, 'L´anima nere', is almost impossible to find (check eBay), but her latest record, 'Luna in piena' is also a great introduction to this very interesting Italian singer/songwriter.

DB: Nada took a long time to get from a teenage starlet to serious performing artist. You cannot compare her sixties material to her work in the nineties. Besided the complete style change her voice has turned from sweet to dark and raspy. Too much cigarettes I guess. I would mark her old stuff as nice (typical Italian sixties pop) and her more recent work as excellent.

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Nicoletta (France)

Catherine Lara (France)

Recommended albums:

♪♪ - Nada - 1969

♪♪♪ - Io l'ho fatto per amore - 1970

♪♪♪♪ - Ho scoperto che esisto anch'io - 1973

♪♪ - Ti stringero - 1982

♪♪ - Smalto - 1983

♪♪♪♪♪ - L'anime nere - 1992

♪♪♪♪ - Nada Trio - 1998

♪♪♪♪ - Dove sei sei - 1999

♪♪♪ - L'amore è fortissimo il corpo no - 2001

♪♪♪ - Tutto L'Amore Che Mi Manca - 2004

♪♪♪♪ - Luna In piena - 2007

♪♪♪ - Live stazione Birra - 2008

♪♪♪♪- Vamp - 2011

♪♪♪♪- Occupo poco spazio - 2014

♪♪♪- L'amore devi seguirlo - 2016

♪♪♪ - È Un Momento Difficile, Tesoro - 2019

Further listening:

1930: Il domatore delle scimmie - 1974; Nada - 1976; Nada - 1979; Noi non cresceremo mai - 1984; Baci Rossi - 1986; Malanima (successi e inediti) - 1994; Nada live Brescia 21.03.04 - 2005; L'apertura (with Zamboni) - 2005; Le mie canzoncine - 2006

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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