Paola Turci (born 1964 in Rome), is an Italian singer, songwriter, performer and author.
Turci's musical debut was in 1986 when she participated in Festival of Sanremo with the song L'Uomo di ieri (Yesterday Man), written by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco The song appeared in her first album Ragazza sola ragazza blu (Lonely girl, blue girl). In the three following years she participated again in the Festival of Sanremo, winning the critic's award in 1987 with the song Primo tango (First Tango). She participated again in the Festival with the song Saró bellissima (I'll be beautiful), and in 1989 she returned with Bambini (Children). Thanks to this song she comes first in the Emerging artists category of the Festival of Sanremo. Bambini is the song that clearly established Turci’s popularity.
In 1990 Turci graced for the fifth time the Festival of Sanremo stage, with the song Ringrazio Dio (I thank God); meanwhile she issued the album Ritorno al presente (Back to the present) which included the song Frontiera (Frontier), that she promote during the summer music competition Festivalbar. In 1991 Turci promoted Candido (Candide), as for Voltaire’s 1759 novel, and, in the same year, Turci won the Cantagiro, a music competition. A few weeks later, her song E mi arriva il mare (And the sea comes to me) performed with Riccardo Cocciante, hit the Italian playlists. In 1993 the artist participated for the sixth time in the Festival of Sanremo, with the song Stato di calma apparente (State of apparent calm) Stato di calma apparente is an autobiographic song, where, for the first time, Paola Turci emerges as author. In 1993 the album Ragazze (Girls) was published. On 15 August 1993 Paola Turci, whilst touring, was involved in a terrible car accident that has changed forever her life, marking her career and private life. Despite the traumatic consequences of the accident, a few weeks later Turci decides to fulfil her professional commitments, continuing exhibiting in numerous concerts. In autumn 1993 Turci sings Io e Maria (Maria and me) written by Luca Carboni, a song that approaches, for the first time in Italy, the theme of a sapphic liaison. During the same period, she participates with other artists to a collective experience called Innocenti evasioni (Innocent escapism), a Lucio Battisti tribute where she re-interpreted the song Ancora tu (You again). In 1995 Turci returns with a new album Una sgommata e via (A screech of tyres and go). which is also the name of her new single written by Vasco Rossi. This album is characterized by ‘90s acoustic background and rock-pop sounds. This album also included a cover of Luigi Tenco's, E se ci diranno (And if they tell us), re-arranged to empathize a rock character. With this album she started cooperation with R. Casini (previously - Steve Rogers Band), cooperation ending in 2000. 1996 saw the issue of the anthology Volo cosí (I fly like this) 1986-1996, the name coming from the successful song presented in the Festival of Sanremo in 1996. The same year Turci participated in Festivalbar with La felicitá (The happiness), another unreleased track recorded for the anthology.
In 1997 was published Oltre le nuvole (Beyond the clouds), this is the only Turci’s album entirely compounded by covers. The album is characterized by Anglo-Saxon sounds winking at ‘80-‘90 rock-pop international scenario. Tracks of the likes of: Missing You by John Waite, You Don't Understand Me by Roxette and I'll Stand by You by Pretenders. The aim of the album was to experiment translating into Italian the most captivating sounds of the Anglo-Saxon world. The album first single was Sai che è un attimo, a Jude Cole cover of Time for Letting Go. It is a success achieving over 150,000 copies; the album went platinum. In 1998 the album was reissued adding 2 more songs and one of the two, Solo come me (Alone like me), an unpublished work was presented in Festival of Sanremo 48th edition.
Following the success of Oltre le nuvole, in 2000 Turci was asked to try again the same formula for a new album Mi basta il paradiso (Paradise is enough for me), where, together with covers, there are a number of previously unreleased songs such as Sabbia bagnata (Wet sand) and Saluto l’inverno (Goodbye winter) both singles written together with her friend, the singer Carmen Consoli. Saluto l’inverno was presented at Festival of Sanremo in 2001 were it reached 5th place. The third single of Mi basta il paradiso was Questione di sguardi (A matter of gazes), Faith Hill’s cover of This kiss. In 2002 Turci decided to turn to an independent music label in order to freely perform as a songwriter. Questa parte di mondo (This part of world) marks the change to a more intimate musical experience, where this work of art shows a new artistic dimension. The new single Mani giunte (Joined hands), sung with Articolo 31 singer, was published in Articolo 31’s album Domani smetto (I stop tomorrow) with the title Fuck You.The second single, Questa parte di mondo, that gives the title to the album, is a song written with A. Rizzo, the author of the song Bambini. In 2004 Turci published Stato di calma apparente, an anthology recorded entirely live. In this album the singer interpreted the most significant songs of her career with intimate and mature arrangements and her unmistakable captivating vocal colours. The anthology brings bridges substantial human experiences: from love to sorrow, passing through social commitment. This project also included new songs: Paloma negra Chavela Vargas’s cover, and two new songs: Il gigante (The giant) and La tua voce (Your voice). Turci subsequently declared that, through this album, she wanted to put an end to all she did until that moment in order to be free and allocate time to new projects. 2005 saw the release of her 15th album, Tra i fuochi in mezzo al cielo (Among fires in the sky) where the singer collaborated with C.U. Rossi for the production. The first track, Dimentichiamo tutto (Let’s forget everything), is a confirmation of the artist’s creative capabilities. The whole album explores socio-political matters with songs like Troppo occidentale (Too westernized) and human troubles, with extreme thoughtfulness. In the songs Quasi settembre (Almost September) and Lasciami credere (Let me believe) she approaches the sorrow of the death; in L’inverno senza neve (A winter without snow) she speaks of abandon; while in Rwanda she speaks about the tragedy of war and genocide. With this song she won the Amnesty Italy award in 2006. At the same time Paola Turci engaged herself in supporting the NGO Ucodep that implements projects for Vietnamese children. In 2006 she performed with the dancer Giorgio Rossi a piece called Cielo-voce danzante e corpo sonoro (Sky - dancing voice and sonorous body) a performance where live acoustic songs are interpreted in movements by the dancer. In this theatrical performance, Turci leaves her impetuous biting rock soul sound to perform smooth and embracing sounds, accompanying sometimes the songs by classic guitar or just with her intense voice. The repertoire of this performance goes from her songs to reinterpretation of other famous artists such as Léo Ferré, Caetano Veloso, Domenico Modugno, Patty Pravo, Francesco De Gregori and Chavela Vargas.
In 2007 Turci, together with Max Gazzé and Marina Rei performed in a tour named Di comune accordo (On common agreement), where she plays electric guitar, Max Gazze plays bass and Marina Rei plays drums. The artists are accompanied throughout various cities of the tour by the violinist Andrea Di Cesare. During the same period Turci starts her writing experience that will lead, in 2009, to the publication of the novel Con te accanto (With you by my side).
In December 2007, the singer participated in Premio Tenco(Tenco award) where she re-launched one of the most popular Tenco songs, E se ci diranno (And if they tell us) and her song Quasi Settembre (Almost September) in an acoustic version. In 2008 she is back in the Ariston theatre supporting, with Marina Rei, Max Gazze competing in the Festival of Sanremo with the song Il solito sesso (The usual sex). From July 2008 she is again on stage with a double commitment: a rock tour and again with the theatrical performance Cielo. In December of the same year her book Con te accanto is released. The novel outlines the sweet – bitter experience of a friendship between two women; they met by accident in a hospital and, step by step they, they sort out together their physical and psychological pains. From April 2009 Paola Turci directs a Radio Due broadcast La mezzanotte di Radio Due (Radio 2 Middle night),. In this broadcast, Turci is able to interweave interaction with listeners and live music performed alone or with her guests. She plays her songs and interprets songs of other artists. In June 2009 La mangiatrice di uomini (The man-eater) written by F. Bianconi, Baustelle frontman. Became the first single of the new album Attraversami il cuore (Go through my heart). The new album is the first episode of a trilogy where the artist consolidates her authorial capacity in the form of an intimate and refined musical project. Nevertheless, there are some deem influences due to the cooperation with M. Murru and the jazz composer Paolo Fresu. Paola Turci is also took part in the special charity event organized by Laura Pausini, Amiche per l’Abruzzo (Friends for Abruzzi) organized following the L’Aquila earthquake. Social commitment is again the focus of the 20 December fundraising event, the Watoto Festival at Brancaccio theatre in Rome where, the roman artist, performs together with F. Mannoia and Noemi for Kenyan children. In April 2010 the second volume of the trilogy was released, Giorni di rose (Roses days). The new album is entirely dedicated to the female universe. The album includes an I.Fossati cover, Lunaspina (Moonthorn) performed with Fiorella Mannoia, and seven new songs written for Turci by 7 famous singers namely: Carmen Consoli, Nada, Marina Rei, Chiara Civello, Naïf Hérin, Grazia Verasani and Ginevra Di Marco. Danza intorno al sole (Dance around the sun), single of the album, is edited by Nada and Carmen Consoli. In the same year Turci is invited to participate in MTV days.
In July 2011 the first single of the last chapter of the trilogy was published: Utopia a Giorgio Gaber song re-interpreted with a rock touch. In November of the same year Turci broadcast on the online version of Il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian newspaper, the song Devi Andartene (You must leave) a song written by M. Murru that speaks about the Italian socio-political crisis that echoes another 2002 Turci song, Un bel sorriso in faccia (A nice smile on your face). Devi andartene and Utopia were included in her new album Le storie degli altri (The stories of others), which is also the name of another single of the album, released in April 2012. In May 2012 Turci participated in Stile libero (Free style) a radio broadcast of R101 in a hilarious contest, Maffoni & Lontani Conoscents (Maffoni & acquainted) promoting together with several Italian singers the song: We are the Maffons – a parody of We are the world. In May 2014 she cooperated with Laura Pausini in Stasera Laura: ho creduto in un sogno (Tonight Laura: I believed in a dream), a one-man show broadcast on TV, accompanying the singer in the song Con la musica alla radio (With the Music Playing on the Radio). In September 2014 her autobiography Mi ameró lo stesso (I’ll love myself anyway) was published where she speaks in first person about the main personal and professional events of her life, her troubles and her beliefs. Turci declares that the book is a present for her 50-year birthday: "the motive for me writing this book is disclosed in the title… to forgive myself for the mistakes and accidents, actual and metaphorical, that I caused to myself". In November 2014 Francesca Rava Foundation (NPH), an Italian NGO that promotes children care, organized in cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute an event/benefit concert where Turci was the testimonial, and in that circumstance Turci performed with Karlex, an Haitian singer. Of particular importance was her acoustic version of Halleluiah by Leonard Cohen. In April 2015 she issued her 19th album, it is an anthology with 3 new songs: Io sono (I am) which gives the title to the album, is again a collaboration with M. Bianconi. The album explores new sounds, adding an electronic touch to her best repertoire. In the album there are two other unreleased songs: Questa non é una canzone (This is not a song) and Quante vite viviamo (How many lives we live) written with M. Murru’s contribution. These songs revert to Paola’s most intimate musical experiments.
In a recent interview Turci declares that most probably her next album will have an anarchic touch: "the result of what today I am able to be and I couldn't be in the past"
The songs (abstracts)
From: Stato di calma apparente /.../guido piano riflettendo sul bisogno ricambiare che c'è in me fuori e dentro me e ricordo da lontano la solitudine di ieri un continuo adattamento alle curve, al sentimento all'universo che non si muove dentro me fuori e dentro me é uno stato di calma apparente é un forma d'amore costante in questo mare negli occhi tuoi nella tempesta degli occhi tuoi"
/.../I drive slowly thinking about the need to change that’s in me, outside and inside myself and I remember from far away yesterday loneliness, a continuous adjustment between curves, sentiment and a universe that does not move in myself, outside and inside myself, It is a state of apparent calm, it is a sort of constant love in the sea in your eyes, in the thunderstorm of your eyes/.../
From: Bambini /.../Crescerò e sarò un po’ più uomo ancora un’altra guerra mi cullerà Crescerò, combatterò questa paura che ora mi libera. Milioni sono i bambini stanchi e soli in una notte di macchine, milioni tirano bombe a mano ai loro cuori ma senza piangere. Ragazzini corrono sui muri neri di città, sanno tutto dell’amore che si prende e non si dà/.../
/.../ I’ll grow up and I’ll be a man and another war will cradle me again, I’ll grow up and I’ll fight this fear that now it relives me. Millions, are the children tired and lonely in a cars night, millions they throw hand grenades to their hearts without crying. Kids run on black city walls, they know all about love, that’s something to be taken and not to give/…/
From: Le storie degli altri /.../ la vita è una domanda la fuga è una risposta tra giorni di vuoto difficili da colmare e giorni di piena carichi da sprofondare ma le storie si sa sono i nostri sogni e i nostri sogni si sa sono la nostra vita. C'è qualcosa di me che non ti so rispondere c'è qualcosa di me che ti parla d'amore non c'è distanza, non c'è assenza soltanto voglia di ritorno come di luce dentro un giorno /.../
/…/life is a question escape is an answer between meaningless days hard to fill and overflow days full to sink for, but stories as we know, are our dreams and or dreams we know, they are our lives. There’s something of me that I cannot answer, there’s something in me that it speaks to you of love, there’s no distance, no absence, only willingness to come back as the light in a day /…/
In the nineties Turci had a relationship with the tennis player Paolo Canè. In 2010 She married the journalist Andrea Amato, their wedding was celebrated in Haiti, Francesca Turci and Francesca Rava NPH foundation volunteers attended the private ceremony. Paola and Andrea broke up in 2012.
Turci has a long history of cooperation with NGOs and social commitment. Her sensitivity, in particular concerning children, has led her to engage herself in several volunteering experiences, namely: in Viet Nam with the NGO Ucodep and in Haiti with the Francesca Rava foundation. She speaks broadly of her experiences in the autobiography Mi amero’ lo stesso, edited by E. Rotelli, Mondadori 2014.
- 1988 - Ragazza sola ragazza blu
- 1989 - Paola Turci
- 1990 - Ritorno al presente
- 1991 - Candido
- 1993 - Ragazze
- 1995 - Una sgommata e via
- 1996 - Volo così 1986-1996
- 1997 - Oltre le nuvole
- 2000 - Mi basta il paradiso
- 2002 - Questa parte di mondo
- 2004 - Stato di calma apparente
- 2005 - Tra i fuochi in mezzo al cielo
- 2009 - Attraversami il cuore
- 2010 - Giorni di rose
- 2012 - Le storie degli altri
- 1997 - Oltre le nuvole
- 1996 - Volo così 1986-1996
- 2015 - Io sono
- 2004 - Stato di calma apparente
Turci has also edited the preface of Ventitré secondi – L’Aquila (twenty-three seconds – L’Aquila) by A. Aquilio, this book narrates L’Aquila 2009 earthquake.