issue #22: Inner landscape
Caleido’s interview with Santi Francesi, winners of X Factor 2022, is the cover story of Issue #22, entitled: Inner landscape. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here.
Diary of: @santifrancesi
Interview by Marco Cresci
1. Alessandro De Santis @aledeisanti and Mario Francese @acerboo, aka Santi Francesi: your synth-pop genre has a strong songwriting component, what is the music that shaped you?
MF: I grew up into music thanks to my father who put a stereo system on my buggy when I was a child. Until I was 13 if there wasn’t an electric guitar it wasn’t music for me, I came from a metal school. Then when I realised I wanted to make music in life everything changed, Alessandro and I grew up together and we opened up both in terms of listening and producing. The general reference we can both give is @twentyonepilots, with them it was love at first listen, they influenced our writing a lot.
ADS: I had a prog band, we played @genesis_band and @pinkfloyd, then I met Mario and that world fell apart, but those influences are always part of us. As far as songwriting is concerned, maybe we say just a few things to define ourselves as such, our songs are more composed of many fragmented images rather than a single story.
2. We are close to the release of your new ep ‘In Fieri’. How personal is there in your lyrics?
ADS: A lot, a lot, but it’s a personal that is ambiguous for me too, in the sense that when we are composing a song and writing lyrics, I often discover something about myself that I didn’t know. I don’t use music as an outlet to say something to people, but as a means to understand what is happening to me. Music is the only sincere way I can communicate.
3. In your private life, do you consider yourselves solitary people or do you like to be sociable?
ADS: We are quite solitary people, we are shielded in our private life, but if you ask me today who I am, I honestly wouldn’t know what to answer because we are people in constant conflict with ourselves, I change my mind every twenty minutes. But I find it a normal process to come to understand what you want. Maybe we try to censor our private lives because we don’t understand ourselves, at the moment music is the clear constant in our lives.
4. What is your relationship with social media?
ADS: Very bad, in fact we can’t wait to go on tour so we can thank everyone in person.
5. If you are so shy, how did you manage to participate in @amiciufficiale in 2017 and @xfactoritalia 2022?
ADS: For @xfactoritalia they called us scouting… At first we were hesitant, we didn’t like the idea of being judged by four people, let alone being filmed. We were certainly among the most experienced, so we took it very lightly, even putting some restrictions in place: one of them was to use social media very little.
6. Do you have a place where you like to take refuge to think?
ADS: Costa Rei in Sardinia where my grandparents live. If I need a week to think about nothing, I take the plane and fly there, where there is no one… And the few inhabitants mind their own business. Lovely!
MF: I don’t have a specific place but I have a strong connection with the mountains: I snowboard and being at high altitude in silence makes me feel calm.
7. You have said that your songs are made up of many images, what is your favourite film?
ADS: “Like Thunder” by Derek Cianfrance with Ryan Gosling.
MF: “The Graduate” by Mike Nichols.
10. What is one object in your house that you would never give up? And what is the memory attached to it?
ADS: We’re bad at this, sorry, but when we don’t have to talk about music we’re boring as hell… Actually, on second thought, I could tell you a sponge ball I used to play with as a kid! But I don’t know where it is…
MF: My computer, because it contains everything we’ve ever done. But I don’t have a connection with a particular object, because we are not materialistic people.