Patrizio, “Why Did You Have to Be,” So Darn Charming?

Thursday, November 10, 2011 17:07

An Interview with Patrizio Buanne

by: Casey Pukl

I hope you’re all sitting down and comfortable, because you’re in for a long, slow, and wildly entertaining treat today. I’ve never hung up the phone after an interview with an artist blushing and giggling uncontrollably… that was until I spoke with the one and only Patrizio Buanne. What can I say? I’m an American girl with an affinity for accents and men who sing love songs. Aren’t we all?

Buanne is currently touring the US promoting his new album, Patrizio, and he has titled this his, “Up Close and Personal” tour. Coming from playing 5,000 to 10,000 seat venues throughout the world, Buanne expressed his excitement for his upcoming intimate performances. The smooth talking gentleman was so much fun to speak with, and even ended the interview by telling me that instead of an interview, this felt like more of a chat with a friend… perhaps even a flirtatious chat. [Insert a blushing Casey here] But Patrizio is far more than a charismatic crooner with a gorgeous face. He’s a man who is passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about his work, his roots, and getting to know his steadily growing fan base. He also happens to have a great sense of humor, which is also a bonus in my book.

CP: Tell me a little about your latest record. It seems to be a bit of a departure from your previous releases.

PB: Yes, this album incorporates a lot of things that I love and many different pieces of myself and who I am. From the beginning of my career, I’ve been called the “Ambassador of the Italian Songbook,” which is a great honor. I think some people have no idea what the Italian Songbook really is. It’s not just opera or music that has been performed classically. It’s much more than that. I love to educate people about this great music.

You know, in the 1960’s, so many of the great stars of the day sang songs from the Italian Songbook in English, and a lot of people don’t realize that. The song, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” by Dusty Springfield was actually an Italian song called, “lo che non vivo (senza te)” written by Pino Donaggio and Vito Pallavicini. A lot of people don’t know that. They’ve been hearing these songs but don’t know where they came from.

CP: I had no idea that’s where that song came from!

PB: Yes. Many people don’t know that. So that’s where I started from, but on this album, I wanted to incorporate a few different parts of me and what I love. The new album, Patrizio, has three parts. First, it has the original songs that were written for me. Second, it has the songs that I love that I wish had been written for me that I took and made my own. Third, it has the Italian Songbook aspect that my fans have come to know. I love those songs, and I don’t want to alienate my original fans, but I also want to show that there’s more to me than that.

CP: Absolutely. Now, I know that you were born in Vienna, and your parents are Italian. You’ve got a very rich cultural background.

PB: Yes. You know, I spent half of my life in Vienna, about twelve years. Then I spent about fourteen years in Italy. It’s very important for me to showcase that. It’s part of who I am. I grew up with Italian parents in Vienna, Austria. It was very difficult to integrate into Austrian society having a southern Italian name and looking Italian. I went to school and spoke German, then came home and spoke Italian. When I got to a certain age, I started to ask questions about that. That was when I really started learning about the Italian culture. I still remember my father put all of his records onto cassette tapes and he used to play them in the restaurant he owned. I remember singing along to them, and that’s how I started to sing. It’s the nostalgia for me. I have such a passion for both cultures that I feel like I was brought up for it.

There’s always the stereotypes that people have. Oh, he’s Italian, he eats spaghetti. Or Americans only eat hamburgers. I have problems with the stereotypes because they don’t define who I am. I’m a lot more than Italian. I’m Patrizio. I’m the guy who isn’t perfect. I get up and have my coffee or tea in the morning, and I sing. I’m more than just someone who sings songs from the songbook or has good looks. Yes, I’m Italian, and I am loud, and I use my hands a lot, but there’s so much more. That’s why this album is so important and I’m so proud of it. It’s all three sides of me— it’s the Italian songs that I love, it’s the songs that I love singing and making my own, and the original songs that were written for me. Those three things define one word: Patrizio.

CP: I’d love to get into some of the songs on this album for a minute.

PB: Absolutely. Which ones?

CP: Well, being a lifelong Dianne Warren fan, I’ve got to ask about, “Why Did You Have To Be?” Did you get to write with her, or did she write the song specially for you?

PB: She wrote the song. You know, this album is really my dream come true. It has all of the pieces that I wanted on the record, and I was able to produce the record, but I also wanted to work with some amazing producers. I always wanted to work with Humberto Gatica and Tony Renis. They’re really the masters of the genre. So we were meeting and they suggested that we get some original material. I was really excited about that, and then they suggested we talk to Dianne Warren. I remember thinking, “Are you joking?” (laughs) It’s Dianne Warren! But they knew her, so we were introduced. When I first met her, we really got to know each other. I remember she and I talked for a bit and she said, “Ok, so you’re good looking, but can you sing?” I was a little offended, because of course I can sing! So I just started singing for her. Then she asked me what kind of song I was looking for (laughs). I didn’t want the typical love story or broken heart song. They’ve been written already. So I outlined the story, and two days later she called me and had the song. I absolutely loved it. There are just some people who are born to write songs. She’s just unreal.

CP: You’ve had so many amazing collaborations in your career. Are there any that stand out, or any you’d like to have in the future?

PB: You know, they’re all amazing. I could never pick a favorite. I’ve been so blessed to be able to choose my collaborators, and it’s been so great. As for who I’d like to work with in the future, you know, there are always the expected ones like Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand, but I listen to a lot of stuff. I like a lot of edgy rock and pop. I think it would be really cool to do something with Rhianna or Lady Gaga.

CP: I actually was just thinking about this on my way in this morning, and Radiohead came to mind. I think that would be a really interesting sound with your voice.

PB: I love Radiohead. That would be a really cool project. I love rock. I listen to a lot of different stuff, like I love Brian Setzer, and Elvis. That’s one reason it’s been really exciting to be in the US. It’s the entertainment capital of the world. There are so many great musicians here all taking a bite out of the apple. I’d like to give them a piece of my apple! Watch out, America!

CP: (Laughs) That’s awesome. I love it. Tell me about what our Anthology audience can look forward to at your show.

PB: Well, for starters, we are so excited to be playing in San Diego. It’s going to be very neat to play such a small and intimate venue. You know, I’ve played places that hold 5,000 to 10,000 people, and that’s fantastic, but this tour is the “Up Close and Personal” tour. I want people to know me regardless of whether or not they already know my music. I’ll be singing some of my favorite songs- my greatest hits. I have a fantastic band, and it’s going to be a very entertaining show. It will be very romantic. I’ll be very excited- almost horney to be on stage! (Laughs) I hope you know what I mean!

CP: (Laughs)Well you can’t ask for more than that! I’m sure the ladies will love it.

PB: (Laughs) And I love them too. I’m romantic. You know, some people have called me good looking or a sex symbol or whatever. I’m blessed- I come from two good-looking people, but I’m more than that. There’s a lot to me, more than good looks, and more than I can sing. That’s what this tour is about. Patrizio, up close and personal.

Be sure to come out next Tuesday and see Patrizio live at Anthology (especially you ladies)! This is one show you absolutely do not want to miss! Be sure to preview his new album, Patrizio, at the link below!


WHAT: Patrizio Buanne
WHEN: Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 7:30pm
TICKETS: $12-$49 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile