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Not only an anagram of his middle name but a Malay word for "rhythm," Irama is the nickname of songwriter Filippo Maria Fanti, who draws on a background in freestyle rap competitions for his stylized Italian pop. Born in Tuscany and based near Milan, he was raised on the popular Italian folk and pop songwriters of his parents' record collection and wrote his first song at age seven. Fanti discovered hip-hop later in childhood and started taking part in freestyle competitions with friends.
In 2014, he began the process of competing for one of the newcomer spots in the Sanremo Music Festival and was a finalist with his song "Cosa Resterà." The tune was included on his debut album, Irama, which arrived on Warner Music in early 2016. It spent five weeks on Italy's album chart, peaking at number 51. The first single from his sophomore album, "Mi Drogherò" followed in June 2017. ~ Marcy Donelson
- Tuscany, Italy
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