The Grammy Awards, Los Angeles, 2012
January 14, 1978 |
|Genres||Dance, pop, rock, opera, Balkan, trance|
|Associated acts||Shaggy, Bob Sinclar, Faydee, Mario Winans, Mohombi, Kat DeLuna, Pitbull, Andrea, Galena, Viki Miljković, DJ Spaz, Shahzoda, Nikol Bulat|
Costi Ioniţă Known mononymously as Costi (born January 14, 1978) is a Romanian singer, songwriter, and record producer, regarded as one of the most celebrated ethnic Romanian vocalist of muzică orientală (manele).
Born in Constanţa, he began his musical career by singing Romanian traditional music. He however achieved fame as a member of the pop boy band Valahia, launching several hits. In 1999 he started to experiment with manele, a composite Balkanic musical style, and in 2000 he collaborated with acclaimed manele singer Adrian Minune on Of, viaţa mea ("Oh, my life"), one of the first mainstream successes of the genre in Romania. Following Valahia's dissolution in 2002, he started a solo career, concentrating on manele. In this period he collaborated with several well known manele singers. His success is considered unusual, as he is one of the few ethnic Romanian in a genre perceived as Gipsy. Also, unlike his Gipsy counterparts, Costi Ioniţă does not use a nickname. Despite his success in manele, he also experimented with other musical styles, such as rock, dance or opera, avoiding to be identified with manele or to be too closely associated with the Romani culture.
In the late 2000s Costi Ioniţă extended his act in the Balkans and Middle East, achieving success in Turkey and Saudi Arabia with the song Ca la Amsterdam ("Like in Amsterdam"), a tune included in the 2010 compilation issued by Café del Mar. He also launched several hits in Bulgaria, in collaboration with local singers.
Since 2008 Ioniţă acts as producer and songwriter for the pop/rock girl band Blaxy Girls. In 2009 he reached the finals of the Romanian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest with three songs he composed, one sung by himself, one by Blaxy Girls, and the third by another group, IMBA.
In July 2007 he launched a music channel, Party TV, and in October that year his company received licence for another two music TV channels, one of them, Mynele TV, dedicated to promoting manele.
He is also involved together with Bulgarian singer Andrea in the Sahara music band, a group that has released several hits and singles featuring Bob Sinclar and Shaggy and another one featuring Mario Winans. In 2011-2014 he featured with Serbian singers Ana Kokić in her single Idemo na sve, Sandra Afrika in her singles Devojka tvog druga, Bye bye and Devojački san and Viki Miljković in her singles Rumba, Čiki liki lajla and Dosada (featuring DJ Spaz) and Croatian singer Nikol Bulat in her singles Strašno ti stojim and Hajde opa, respectively.
In 2011, he co-wrote the song "Zaleilah" together with Ionescu Elena and Secada Dihigo Omar. The song represented Romania in 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and was sung by Romanian Latino band Mandinga. It finished 12th overall, but was a great commercial success.
In 2014, Costi Ioniță had an international hit with the multlingual song in Arabic, English and Spanish titled "Habibi (I Need Your Love)" co-written by him and Australian singer of Lebanese origin Faydee (full name Fady Fatrouny). The song by Shaggy, Mohombi, Faydee and Costi has charted in Romania and many other radio charts. A Bulgarian version was performed by Bulgarian singer Galena and Faydee and a Russian version by the Uzbek singer Shahzoda with Faydee and Dr. Costi.
- Margaret H. Beissinger, "Muzică Orientală": Identity and Popular Culture in Postcommunist Romania, in Donna A. Buchanan (ed), Balkan popular culture and the Ottoman ecumene: music, image, and regional political discourse. Scarecrow Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8108-6021-6. pp. 125-126
- (Romanian) Costi Ioniţă împlineşte 32 de ani. Ziare.com, January 14, 2010. Accessed on January 22, 2010.
- (Romanian) Mediafax, O piesă a lui Costi Ioniţă va apărea pe compilaţia "Cafe del Mar". Gândul, January 22, 2010. Accessed on January 22, 2010
- (Romanian) Costi Ioniţă a manelizat Bulgaria!. Academia Caţavencu, January 28, 2009. Accessed on January 22, 2010
- (Romanian) Manelistul Costi Ioniţă, responsabil pentru succesul trupei de pop-rock Blaxy Girls. Antena3.ro, October 3, 2008. Accessed on January 22, 2010.
- (Romanian) Costi Ioniţă are trei piese în finala Eurovision. Gândul, January 31, 2009. Accessed on January 22, 2010.
- (Romanian) Costi Ioniţă la cârma postului Party TV. Evenimentul Zilei, August 2, 2007. Accessed on January 22, 2010.
- (Romanian) Mihaela Minune Costi Ioniţă a obţinut licenţă pentru posturile Mynele TV şi Musiklub. Mediafax, October 9, 2007. Accessed on January 22, 2010.