L'essenziale

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"L'essenziale"
Single by Marco Mengoni
from the album #prontoacorrere
Released 13 February 2013
Format Digital download
Genre Pop
Length 3:41
Label Sony Music Entertainment
Writer(s) Marco Mengoni, Roberto Casalino, Francesco De Benedettis
Producer(s) Michele Canova
Marco Mengoni singles chronology
"Dall'inferno"
(2012)
"L'essenziale"
(2013)
"Pronto a correre"
(2013)
Italy "L'essenziale"
ESC2013 - Italy 04.jpg
Mengoni performing the song during the first dress rehearsal of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013
Eurovision Song Contest 2013 entry
Country Italy
Artist(s) Marco Mengoni
Language Italian
Composer(s) Roberto Casalino, Francesco De Benedettis
Lyricist(s) Marco Mengoni, Casalino, De Benedettis
Finals performance
Final result 7th
Final points 126
Appearance chronology
◄ "L'amore è femmina (Out of Love)" (2012)   
"La mia città" (2014) ►
Music video
"L'essenziale" on YouTube

"L'essenziale" (English: The essential) is a song recorded by Italian singer Marco Mengoni. Written by Roberto Casalino, Francesco De Benedettis and Mengoni himself, the song was produced by Michele Canova.[1]

After winning the Sanremo Music Festival 2013, the song was chosen by RAI as the Italian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013, held in Malmö, Sweden on 18 May, finishing 7th among the 26 finalists.[2]

Released in Italy on 13 February 2013 as the lead single from Mengoni's second studio album, #prontoacorrere,[3] the song was commercially successful in Italy, debuting at number one on the FIMI Singles Chart and being certified triple platinum for domestic downloads exceeding 90,000.[4] It also became the third best-selling single of 2013 in Italy, as well as the top selling track of the year by an Italian artist.[5]

A Spanish-language version of the song, titled "Incomparable", was released in February 2014, becoming a top-twenty hit in Italy.

Background[edit]

The song was written by Italian singer Marco Mengoni, together with Roberto Casalino and Francesco De Benedittis,[6] and it was produced by Michele Canova.[7] Casalino started composing the song in September 2011, in Fano, in the Marche region of Italy. During a break in the middle of a writing session with other authors, he started playing guitar and he wrote a first version of the music and lyrics of the song. Francesco De Benedittis later contributed to the track, and Casalino recorded a first demo of "L'essenziale". In the beginning of 2012, after hearing Casalino's recording, Mengoni started considering the track for his following album. In an interview released to TGCOM, Mengoni revealed that he was not impressed by the track. Nonetheless, he decided to try to perform it.[8] In October 2012, Mengoni met Casalino, and they rewrote part of the track's lyrics and music. During this session, Mengoni changed his idea on the track and, according to him, "it became a second skin, an obsession".[8][9]

The concept of the track was initially inspired by Casalino's personal experience. He revealed that, when he began writing the song, he was living a moment in which he had to take important decisions about his future, and he started thinking he should come back to the essential things of life, like those people he really loved and who really counted in his life. After writing down a note with the word "essenziale" (Italian for essential), he composed the track.[9] During an interview released to Italian magazine TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, Mengoni described the song as "an Italian-style ballad in the tipping point between love and social issues".[10] He later explained that the song refers to all kind of relations, and that it "is about the necessity to go back to essentiality, to open to new emotions and to overcome the difficulties of these days", expressing "the urgency to free people from the superstructures and the general crisis".[11] Casalino also claimed that the song's lyrics unwillingly reflect the problems of the Italian society during the 2010s, "without the aim to teach anything to its listeners".[9]

In February 2014, a Spanish-language version of the song, titled "Incomparable", was released as a digital single in Italy and Spain.[12]

Song contests[edit]

Sanremo Music Festival[edit]

The venue of the 63rd Sanremo Music Festival, the Teatro Ariston, during the final night of the competition.

The song was performed for the first time during the 63rd Sanremo Music Festival on 12 February 2013, as one of Mengoni's entries to the contest, together with "Bellissimo". During the same night, "L'essenziale" won against "Bellissimo" as the song to be performed by Mengoni during the next stages of the competition, receiving a score of 52.17% based on televotes combined with preferences of a jury composed of music journalists.[13]

During the final night of the song contest, held on 16 February 2013, "L'essenziale" finished in first place, receiving 36% of votes during the last round of the competition, beating the remaining top three entries, Elio e le Storie Tese's "La canzone mononota" and Modà's "Se si potesse non morire".[14][15] During the same night, an internal jury also selected Mengoni among the other participants to the competition as the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.[16]

During Mengoni's performances, the Sanremo Festival Orchestra was directed by Fabio Gurian.[17]

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Mengoni during the press conference preceding the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.

In March 2013, Rai 2 announced "L'essenziale" as the song to be performed by Mengoni during the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.[18] The last time Italy was represented in the Eurovision Song Contest by the winning song of the Sanremo Music Festival was in 1997, when Jalisse performed their song "Fiumi di parole".[18] Mengoni decided to perform the song in Italian, claiming he wanted to "export an Italian DOC product".[19] In order to fulfill the rules of the contest, the version of the song performed during the competition and included in the compilation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 was shortened to a length of 3 minutes and 11 seconds.[20] In particular, the Eurovision version does not include an instrumental part, as well as some lines of the last chorus.[20]

Since Italy is part of the "Big Five", Mengoni automatically qualified for the final of the competition, held in Malmö, Sweden, on 18 May 2013.[21] His performance was scheduled as the 23rd during the night.[22] While singing the song, Mengoni was alone on stage, performing with modest movements and colours and wearing a suit designed for him by Salvatore Ferragamo's Massimiliano Giornetti.[23][24] While commenting on this choice, Mengoni explained: "For this song, which is called 'The Essential', me and my team decided to be just like that on stage. I think it also fits with the message of this Eurovision Song Contest, 'We Are One'. Music doesn't need the spending of a lot of money, you just need the air to hear it".[23]

The song finished seventh in a field of 26, receiving 126 points, including the top score from Spain, Switzerland and Albania.[25] This marked Italy's third top ten result in a row since its comeback to the contest in 2011.[26]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was filmed in Milan and Brescia, in Northern Italy, and it was directed by Giuseppe La Spada.[27][28] La Spada also produced and edited the music video for "L'essenziale".[29] The video was released on YouTube on 15 February 2013.[30] On 28 March 2013, the backstage of the official music video was also released on Mengoni's YouTube channel.[28] In the first part of the video, Mengoni plays the song at home, while during the second half, he performs the song underwater.[31] As explained by La Spada during an interview, the music video is "a sort of escape from the world we live in, a jailbreak made of pictures, musics at the piano, water. Because water is the fundamental element that leads us back to the principle of life".[32]

Promotion[edit]

While promoting the single and launching the album #prontoacorrere, Mengoni performed the song several times. After singing it during the Sanremo Music Festival 2013, he performed an acoustic version of the song during Fabio Fazio's TV show, Che tempo che fa.[33] On 6 April 2013, he performed the song during the first episode of the talent show Amici di Maria De Filippi, as a duet with contestant Verdiana Zangaro.[34] During the last episode of the TV comedy show Zelig, Mengoni also dueted with comedian Giovanni Vernia in a parody of "L'essenziale".[35]

"L'essenziale" was also featured as the last song on the set list of his tour with the same name, preceding the encore.[36] On 13 April 2013, Mengoni sang "L'essenziale" during Eurovision in Concert, an event held in Amsterdam and preceding the Eurovision Song Contest 2013,[37] while on 11 May 2013, he performed it during Radio Italia Live, the concert featuring several Italian artists and organized by the broadcaster Radio Italia Solo Musica Italiana in Piazza del Duomo, Milan.[38]

Chart performance[edit]

The single debuted at number one on the Italian Top Digital Downloads chart during the week ending on 17 February 2013, four days after the release of the song.[39] "L'essenziale" held the top spot of the chart until mid April 2013, completing eight consecutive weeks at number one in Italy, and three weeks later it fell outside the top ten.[40] On 21 February 2013, the single was certified gold by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry,[41] while on 2 April 2013 it went multi-platinum, denoting domestic downloads exceeding 60,000 units.[42] As of January 2014, the single has been certified triple platinum in Italy.[4] "L'essenziale" later became the best selling-single in Italy during the first six months of 2013 and the third best-selling single of the year, behind "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams and Avicii's "Wake Me Up".[43][44] The song also reached the top spot of the Italian Nielsen Music airplay chart for two consecutive weeks.[45][46]

"L'essenziale" also entered the top 40 in Switzerland, and it charted on the Belgian Ultratip charts both in Wallonia and the Flanders.[47] After being performed during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013, it also debuted at number 44 on the Spanish Singles Chart and at number 69 on the Dutch Single Top 100.[48][49]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from #prontoacorrere's liner notes.[50]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download
  1. "L'essenziale" – 3:41

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Version Format
Italy 13 February 2013 Italian-language version Digital download[58]
Airplay[59]
Spain[12] 4 February 2014 Spanish-language version Digital download
Italy[12]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Italy to perform Sanremo winner in Eurovision". European Broadcasting Union (in Italian). 18 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Marco Mengoni, è '#prontoacorrere' il nuovo album: la tracklist" (in Italian). Rockol.it. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
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  5. ^ "Gli album più venduti del 2013 sono di Ligabue, Modà e Jovanotti" (in Italian). Radio Italia Solo Musica Italiana. 7 January 2014. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
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  9. ^ a b c Antonio Mustara (12 February 2014). "L'essenziale, un anno dopo: Roberto Casalino racconta com'è nata la canzone di Marco Mengoni". TV Sorrisi e Canzoni. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
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  23. ^ a b Olena Omelyanchuk (15 May 2013). "Only his fantastic Italian voice counts". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 19 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
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  32. ^ Federica Virga (20 February 2013). "Giuseppe La Spada, siciliano e art director di Mengoni" (in Italian). Balarm.it. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  33. ^ "Marco Mengoni ospite a Che Tempo Che Fa canta L'Essenziale in un'inedita versione acustica" (in Italian). LeiChic.it. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  34. ^ "AMICI 12/ Il serale, prima puntata: Chiara e Andrea eliminati. Verdiana canta con Mengoni (video)" (in Italian). IlSussidiario.net. 7 April 2013. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  35. ^ Barbara Mosconi (2 April 2013). "Marco Mengoni ospite dell'ultima puntata di Zelig. Ecco come è nato il duetto con Giovanni Vernia". TV Sorrisi e Canzoni (in Italian). Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
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  39. ^ a b "Top Digital Download - Classifica settimanale WK 7 (dal 11/02/2013 al 17/02/2013)" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
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  47. ^ "Marco Mengoni - L'essenziale" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  48. ^ "Top 50 Canciones" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  49. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Marco Mengoni – L'essenziale" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  50. ^ #prontoacorrere (booklet). Marco Mengoni. 2013. 
  51. ^ "Marco Mengoni – L'essenziale – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  52. ^ "Ultratop.be – Marco Mengoni – L'essenziale" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  53. ^ "Ultratop.be – Marco Mengoni – L'essenziale" (in French). Ultratip.
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  56. ^ "Marco Mengoni – L'essenziale – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
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External links[edit]