“Love is Requited” is the title of Elisa’s latest single, from the new album “Stepping on Water” released in the US on March 13, and it also represents a perfect metaphor to describe her new American adventure.
Multiplatinum singer and a household name in Italy, Elisa Toffoli is entering the US music world with the confidence and kindness of those who are at peace with their accomplishments, and happy enough to try and embark in something so overwhelming like approaching America.
“I did not expect at this point to have a record deal with Decca, a company I respect a lot and that manages artists like Annie Lennox, Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Andrea Bocelli,” Elisa told i-Italy, and she explained that she was really looking into other things when the opportunity of recording with Decca turned up: “To be honest, I was not prepared for this. I was getting ready to be settled in my country, I have a young daughter now.”
But then, the Vice-President of Decca fell in love with her soundtrack songs for Roberto Faenza’s movie “Some Day This Pain Will Be Useful To You,” still to be released in the US, and then with “Ivy,” Elisa’s last album, an acoustic project whose style was as raw and natural as Decca’s music.
“These things together made it happen. I’m very happy and grateful, and yesterday has been an amazing day,” says Elisa, referring to the jam-packed “Living Room” she enchanted with a very intimate and intense live performance, and to her first appearance on American TV on Fox 5’s “Good Morning New York” show.
With a big smile and a stunningly powerful voice, Elisa brings all her requitable maturity and passion to the “new world,” that after all is not that “new” to her.
The peacefulness and lightness of “Stepping on Water” is just another stage in Elisa’s musical evolution, which somehow started in Berkeley, California, where she retreated to write the songs for her first album, “Pipes & Flowers,” published in 1997 when she was only 20.
From pop to electronic music, Elisa has written her songs in English since the very beginning, transitioning to Italian as her evolution as a singer-songwriter, and as a person, gave her the confidence to share more of her true world with the audience: “I was a teenager writing my songs in English because everybody around me did not speak English, and that allowed me to express myself but still not really do it. Growing up, I was ready to share more of what reality was. I build everything around a message. That’s the core of things.”
The road from metaphoric lyrics and sound experimentation to the organic and natural feeling in “Stepping on Water” is an exciting journey in the life of a woman, who has expressed herself in music in all the phases of her growth. “I’m very eclectic, I like to change and I need to change all the time,” she said, and her new sound is definitely the one of an established artist, reconnecting with that nature she has always been very tied to: “I’m very drawn to nature, and when I work on acoustic projects this connection gets deeper and deeper.”
Reaching a global audience has always been on Elisa’s wishlist, with the ambition of bringing Italian music out of Italy’s borders, something that never really happened after artists such as Domenico Modugno, Gino Paoli or Luciano Pavarotti. When she least expected it, the dream to break barriers with her music is finally being given a chance to come true.
Honored to present her album at the Italian Cultural Institute In New York, where we met her, Elisa performed live and answered questions from the audience. New Yorkers were visibly curious to get to know her as a person and as a singer, two sides of a coin that are progressively becoming inseparable as music and life go on.