Paolo Conte: The Man and the Music

Robert Siegel talks with Italian singer and songwriter Paolo Conte. He's on tour in the United States. Conte is a former lawyer from the small northern Italian town of Asti. He went from being an admirer of music to a musician in 1974 when he recorded his first album. He has since made a total of 11 albums. Conte tells Robert he doesn't really like the sound of his own voice, though he feels it's important to record his songs because he is the one who will sound most authentic singing them, since he knows the secret behind every word. He also is attracted to the jazz and swing music of the 1920s. Conte says the aesthetic revolutions of that era were more powerful than anything that followed. His love of American music came from when he was a little boy. American music was prohibited by the Fascist government, but his parents kept bringing home American sheet music, and he says the musical innovations to which he was exposed were more compelling than anything he'd heard before.

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