Anna Oxa Bookmark and Share


28 April 1961

Anna Hoxha was born in Bari as the daughter of the ex-president of Albania. She took up playing the piano and gave recitals at home accompanied on piano by maestro Sciannelli Sabino who also lived there. At the age of 15 she recorded for a small local recordlabel a single called ‘Fiorellin del prato’. At the time she attendend the Liceo Artistico di Bari. In 1978 she gets picked up by Ivano Fossati and Guido Guglieminetti and enters the San Remo festival with the song  ‘Un’emozione da poco’. At the festival she dressed in a punk outfit which gave some surprise. She would become second and the song would become one of her greatest hits. A second song is recorded with Fossati for Festivalbar: ‘Fatelo con me’. Both singles are featured on het 1979 debut ‘Oxanna’. At the time she also starts working with Lucio Dalla but these recordings were not released untill 2008.  

In 1982, she returns to San Remo, completely transformed, with blond hair and a more sexy look. Again she makes it to the final but does not win. Her recordcompany CBS is not convinced by the new material and refuses to release her new album. Only after ‘Senza di me’ becomes a huge hit they are willing to let Anna get her way. In that same year, she marries professor Franco Ciani. From 1984 on, she would perform on almost every San Remo trying to get the first position. Each year it seems she also changes her look, from to blond to black and back again. In '85 she comes very close with a collaboration with Roberto Vecchioni performing ‘A lei’. Although again not a winner the following album is a success, as are most of her albums in the eighties.

A first step to more serious albums is taken in 1988 with the album ‘Pensami per te’ (again a collaboration with Vecchioni) and the San Remo entry ‘Quando nasce un amore’. In the same year she gets her own tv show ‘Fantastico’. 1989 is the year she finally wins the San Remo festival with Fausto Leali singing ‘Ti lascerò’. The song is featured on the 'best of' album 'Fantastico' and gains her international success. Achieving her goal it does not stop her to keep entering the next year with ‘Donna con te’, a song refused by Patty Pravo.

At the start of the nineties she takes a two-year sabbatical to spend time with her daughter, Francesca, to return in 1992 with ‘Di questa vita,’ (with the hit ‘Mezzo angelo di cielo’). In 1994 a compilation with new versions of her hits is reason to do a tour at some prestigious theatres around Italy among them the 'Teatro Sistina' in Rome. The show is recorded for VHS release and shows Anna having difficulty to sing due to a recent operation to her vocal cords. Albums and San Remo entries keep coming and in 1999 she wins for the second time with ‘Senza pietà’. Runner up, Ornella Vanoni, reacts furious and claims Oxa only won thanks to her very revealling dress. In 2004 she untertakes a theatre tour with Fabio Concato, characterized by the two singers interpreting essentially the same songs but in a complete different way.

But every success has it’s limits as Anna finds out in 2006. Her performance of ‘Processo a me stessa’ finishes last in Sanremo and her new album also fails to sell.   From here on it seems the singer excludes herself from public life only to communicate through her songs. In 2010 she returns to the scene with a brand new album, 'Proxima', released on a small indepent label. The album release will be followed by a theatre tour through Italy during winter 2010/2011.

On the web:

- Anna's website: www.annaoxa.net

What do we think:

PR: Anna Oxa's 'Fantastico' is one of the first cd's I bought from an Italian singer (back in '88). One summer long I played the album over and over again. Since than, I have a soft spot for Anna. In the first half of her career, she is really a hit artists, her records always conataining some great pop songs, but not enough to make really great albums. Therefore, I still play her best off records... After 'Senza pieta' (a great San Remo track by the way, no matter what diva Vanoni might say) she tries more and more to become a serious, credible recording artist. I respect her attempts, but personally, I like Anna best when she sings her eighties pop hits. Annyway, whatever you might think of her, with her strange voice and singing style and her very outspoken cat-like looks, she really is a unique persona on the European music scene.

DB: Thirteen seems to have been the unlucky number for this Sanremo tiger. After failing the enters the finals she allegedly complete collapsed. Musically Oxa isn’t my favourite Italian singer although she is absolutely pure pop. Maybe that’s the problem since her material is primary made to have a quick appeal and therefore very light. Have patience though, her albums do have some great tracks on them and Anna undoubtly has a great voice.

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Recomended albums:

Oxanna - 1978

Anna Oxa - 1979

♪♪♪ - Per sognare per cantare per ballare - 1983

♪♪♪ - La mia corsa -  1984

♪♪♪ - Oxa - 1985

♪♪♪ - E tutto un attimo - 1986

♪♪♪ - Fantastica (best of) - 1988

♪♪♪ - Pensami per te - 1988

♪♪♪♪ - Tutti i brividi del mondo - 1989

♪♪♪ - Oxa live con i New Trolls - 1990

♪♪ - Di questa vita - 1992

Cantautori - 1993

Dodipetto - 1993

♪♪♪ - Anna non si lascia - 1996

♪♪♪ - Senza pieta - 1999

L'eterno movimento - 2001

♪♪♪♪ - Ho un sogno - 2003

♪♪♪♪ - La musica e niente se tu non hai vissuto - 2006

♪♪♪♪♪ - Proxima - 2010

♪♪♪♪♪ = 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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