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Captivated by music while studying engineering at Rome's House of the Student, Italian singer/songwriter Franco Simone introduced himself in a new talent festival called Castrocaro in 1972. He won the Best Singer and Best Songwriter awards and had the opportunity to make his first record, titled Se Di Mezzo C'E' L'Amore, which featured innovative pop ballads. In 1974, Franco Simone joined San Remo's Festival with a song called "Fiume Grande." After issuing 1976's Il Poeta Con la Chitarra and 1977's Respiro, his music started climbing charts in Europe and throughout Latin America with songs performed in Italian, French, and Spanish. In 2000, convinced that artists need to understand how technology works for great opportunities, Franco Simone became involved in a European multimedia forum called Giving Rhythm to Europe, looking for a consensus about technological improvements in music. That same year, composer Nikos Papakostas joined him to produce Eliopolis — La Citta' del Sole, followed by the greatest hits compilation Deseo, released in 2001.