|Birth name||Alessandro Mahmoud|
|Born||12 September 1992|
Alessandro Mahmoud (Italian pronunciation: [alesˈsandro ma(h)ˈmud], Egyptian Arabic: [mæħˈmuːd]; born 12 September 1992), known professionally as Mahmood, is an Italian singer-songwriter. He rose to prominence after competing on the sixth season of the Italian version of The X Factor. In 2019, Mahmood won the Sanremo Music Festival with the song "Soldi", and went onto represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, finishing in second place. His debut album, Gioventù bruciata, was released in February 2019 and reached number one on the Italian albums chart. He won the Sanremo Music Festival 2022 once again, alongside Blanco with the song "Brividi", and will represent Italy again in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 on homesoil in Turin.
Born in Milan to an Egyptian father and a Sardinian mother from Orosei, he was raised around Gratosoglio, a district of Milan. When he was five years old, his parents divorced and he was subsequently raised by his mother.
2012–2018: X Factor and beginnings
In 2012, Mahmood auditioned for the sixth season of the Italian version of The X Factor. He became part of the boys category mentored by Simona Ventura. He was originally eliminated at Judges Houses, then returned as a wildcard, before eventually being eliminated in the third episode. After this experience, he worked in a bar and attended a music school, studying piano, solfeggio and music theory, where he also started writing songs. In 2013, he released his debut single "Fallin' Rain".
In 2016, Mahmood participated in the Newcomers Section of Sanremo Music Festival with the song "Dimentica". In 2017, he released the single "Pesos", with which he participates in the fifth edition of the Wind Summer Festival, winning the third episode of the Youth section. In 2017, he was also featured on Fabri Fibra's single "Luna". In September 2018, he released his debut extended play, Gioventù bruciata. In November 2018, Marco Mengoni released his fifth album, Atlantico, which features three tracks co-written by Mahmood, including the single "Hola (I Say)".
2018–2020: Gioventù bruciata, Sanremo and Eurovision
In December 2018, Mahmood was one of 24 acts selected to compete in Sanremo Giovani, a televised competition aimed at selecting two newcomers as contestants of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival. Mahmood was placed first in the second episode of the show, with his entry "Gioventù bruciata", also receiving the Critics' Award among acts performing in the second final. "Soldi" was later announced as his entry for the Sanremo Music Festival 2019.
Mahmood performed the song for the first time during the first live show of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival, which was held on 5 February 2019. Dario "Dardust" Faini, co-writer of the song, directed the Sanremo Orchestra during his performance. During the third live show, "Soldi" was the first performance of the night. On 8 February 2019, Mahmood performed the song in a new version, featuring rapper Gué Pequeno. During the first round of the final, "Soldi" placed 7th in the televote, but was the most voted by the experts jury, and the second most voted by the press jury. As a result, Mahmood gained a spot in the top three acts of the competition and after an additional performance, the song was declared the winner of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival. Mahmood also received the "Enzo Jannacci" Award for Best Performance. and the "Premio Baglioni d'oro" award for best song voted by the participating artists.
On 22 February 2019, Mahmood reissued Gioventù bruciata as a full-length studio album, which topped the Italian albums chart. In April 2019, Mahmood was featured on the single "Calipso" by Charlie Charles and Dardust, which topped the Italian singles chart. In May 2019, he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He performed "Soldi" in the grand final of the contest on 18 May, placing second in the final ranking. The song topped the charts in Greece, Israel, Italy and Lithuania and reached the top 10 in five more countries, eventually becoming the most-streamed Eurovision song ever on Spotify, a record held until late January 2021 when it was surpassed by the 2019 Eurovision winner, "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence. Mahmood performed at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples with three of his songs "Soldi", "Gioventù bruciata" and "Anni 90".
2020–present: Ghettolimpo, return to Sanremo and Eurovision
On 11 June 2021, Mahmood released his second studio album, Ghettolimpo. The album's release was preceded by five singles: "Rapide", "Dorado" (in collaboration with fellow Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta and Colombian singer Feid), "Inuyasha", "Zero" (also included in the soundtrack of the 2021 Netflix series of the same name) and "Klan".
Mahmood made his return to Sanremo in 2022 alongside Blanco with the song "Brividi", with which they won and will thus represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin. The song reached number 15 on the Billboard Global 200 chart dated 19 February 2022.
Mahmood is a portmanteau of Alessandro's surname Mahmoud and the English expression my mood. Despite his father's origins, Mahmood does not speak Arabic but is fluent in Sardinian. Following his Sanremo win, then Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is known for his anti-immigrant views, criticized him for winning over Ultimo who received the highest number of public votes.
Mahmood has an aversion to being categorized by his nationality or sexuality. He has stated that "declaring 'I'm gay' leads nowhere" and "If we continue with these distinctions, homosexuality will never be perceived as a normal thing, which it is". When speaking in favour of a proposed law against homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, he described having been subjected to homophobic bullying during his schooling. According to Italian press, while he has refused to answer the question of whether he's gay, he has stated that he's "happy and taken".
Mahmood has described his music as Moroccan pop. According to him "what sets me apart are the Middle Eastern sounds that emerge here and there". "Soldi", which is an autobiographic song about his "unconventional family", includes a sentence in Arabic. One of his earliest musical memories is listening to Arabic music with his father, before he left the family. Growing up he also listened to Italian artists like Lucio Battisti, Lucio Dalla and Paolo Conte. He considers himself very linked to Sardinia's culture and folklore, which often acts as a source of inspiration for the composition of his songs.
Mahmood has cited American singer Frank Ocean as his biggest influence: "[His music] is very free and in which everyone can identify themselves, gay or straight, because the essential is the person and the energy that he transmits and not the sexual orientation". His other favorite artists include Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Jazmine Sullivan, Rosalía and SZA.
Author and songwriter for other artists
Mahmood during his career has written and composed songs with many Italian songwriters and producers, including Francesco Catitti, Dardust, Charlie Charles, Alessandro Raina, and artists such as Marracash, Chiara, Marco Mengoni, Fabri Fibra, Elodie and Michele Bravi. In 2019, thanks to his victory at the Sanremo Music Festival, Mogol offered the artist a scholarship to improve his skills as a songwriter at the European Centre in Toscolano for authors, composers and artists.
Awards and nominations
|2018||Sanremo Giovani||N/A||"Gioventù bruciata"||1st Place|
|2019||Sanremo Music Festival||Big Artists||"Soldi"||1st Place|
|Enzo Jannacci Award for Best Performance||Won|
|Baglioni d'oro Award for Best Song||Won|
|Eurovision Song Contest||N/A||2nd Place|
|OGAE Poll||Best Song of Eurovision 2019||Won|
|Marcel Bezençon Awards||Composer Award||Won|
|Wind Music Awards||Triple Platinum Certified Single||Won|
|Gold Certified Album||"Gioventù bruciata"||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Italian Act||"Soldi"||Won|
|2022||Sanremo Music Festival||Big Artists||"Brividi"||1st Place|
|Eurovision Song Contest||N/A||Pending|
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- "Italian Minister Pans Hit Song by an Immigrant's Son". The New York Times. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
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- Alberto Muraro (24 July 2013). "Mahmoud – Fallin' Rain (audio e cover singolo)" (in Italian). RadioMusik.it.
- "Luna (feat. Mahmood) - Single by Fabri Fibra". iTunes. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "Sanremo Giovani 2019, ecco i 24 cantanti selezionati per la finale: tanti ex dei talent". La Stampa. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
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- Giuseppe Candela (22 December 2018). "Sanremo giovani, Mahmood è il vincitore della seconda serata. Ecco il cast completo di Sanremo 2019". Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Sanremo 2019: duetti, ospiti e ultime notizie dal Festival". TV Sorrisi e Canzoni (in Italian). 8 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Sanremo 2019, la cronaca della prima serata". Rolling Stone (in Italian). 5 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Mahmood vince Sanremo 2019, l'ascolano Dario Faini ha scritto la canzone". Il Resto Del Carlino (in Italian). 10 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Sanremo 2019, terza serata: date la conduzione del Festival alla Vanoni, gli Zen Circus spaccano" (in Italian). Rockol.it. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
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- "Classifiche Sanremo 2019" (PDF) (in Italian). RAI.
- Alberto Mattioli (10 February 2019). "Mahmood vince il Festival di Sanremo, sul podio Ultimo e Il Volo". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Sanremo 2019, il Premio Enzo Jannacci assegnato da Nuovoimaie a Mahmood" (in Italian). Rockol. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Barbara Conti (12 February 2019). "Sanremo 2019: un Festival che vuole descrivere il nostro Paese". Avanti! onLine (in Italian). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Discographie Mahmood (Albums)". italiancharts.com. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 18" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- "Italy: Mahmood's "Soldi" is now the most-streamed Eurovision song on Spotify". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
- ""Arcade" passes "Soldi" as the most-streamed Eurovision entry on Spotify". ESCXTRA. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
- Graziola, Alberto (19 April 2021). "Ghettolimpo, Mahmood, album, cover, significato, tracklist". Soundsblog (in Italian). Retrieved 11 June 2021.
- "Ready for Eurovision: Mahmood & Blanco win Sanremo 2022 in Italy". Eurovisionworld. 6 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
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- "Noemi a Sanremo 2022 canta Ti amo non lo so dire". GQItalia.it (in Italian).
- "Dal Barrio ai Soldi, tutto quello che non sai (e dovresti sapere) sul miticissimo Mahmood" [From Barrio to Soldi, everything you don't know (but should) about the legendary Mahmood]. Cosmopolitan (in Italian). 24 April 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
- Lillo Montalto Monella (11 February 2019). "Winner of Italy's Sanremo song contest highlights political divides". Euronews. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Mahmood: 'Vi piace cantautore Moroccan pop?'". Vanity Fair (in Italian). 1 February 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Luigi Bolognini (2 April 2021). "Mahmood: 'Io, vittima di omofobia al liceo. La legge Zan è civiltà'" [Mahmood: "I was a victim of homophobia in high school. The Zan law is civilisation.']. La Repubblica. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
- "Lorenzo Tobia Marcucci e la storia d'amore con Mahmood" [Lorenzo Tobia Marcucci and the story of love with Mahmood]. Metropolitan Magazine (in Italian). 22 May 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
- "Mahmood, imbarazzo all'Eurovision: 'C'è il Ramadam, [sic] come fai?'. E il cantante gela così il cronista" [Mahmood, embarrassment at Eurovision: 'Do you celebrate Ramadan?'; the singer freezes the reporter.]. Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). 16 May 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
- "Forbes 100 30 Under 30 Italia 2019". Forbes. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Sanremo, Mahmood: Soldi canzone autobiografica piena di rabbia". Il Sole 24 Ore (in Italian). 11 February 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- "Sanremo Giovani, il trionfo di Mahmood: da X Factor con la Ventura ai big del Festival". Blasting News. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- "La 'gioventù bruciata' di Mahmood". Rolling Stone. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
- "40 cosas sobre Mahmood que (quizás) no sabías". Los 40. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "Mahmood". Genius. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
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- "Mahmood piglia tutto: Gioventù Bruciata trionfa a Sanremo Giovani". Spettakolo.it. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "Mahmood vince il Festival di Sanremo. Oltre le polemiche e le critiche, a Baglioni il leoncino d'oro per l'innovazione (dall'inviata L.Varlese)". HuffPost. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "OGAE Poll 2019: Italy's Mahmood crowned winner". Wiwibloggs. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "Here are the winners of the 2019 Marcel Bezençon Awards". eurovision.tv. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- "Seat Music Awards 2019, Claudio Baglioni re-bis. Sfera Ebbasta pigliatutto ma non canta". quotidiano.net. 6 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
- "Mtv Ema 2019, Mahmood vince il "Best Italian Act"". Il Corriere della Sera. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
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