Michéal Castaldo, known for his crossover Italian ballads and Italian versions of popular hits from various genres, has turned his attention to an original song he co-wrote after winning the Abe Olman Award for promising songwriters as presented by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The fresh interpretation in the Calabrian Language pays homage to the mighty Amazon River (Rio) and its profound impact on the world. We call our planet mother earth, but the Amazon River, basin, and forest in Brazil are the lungs of the earth.
Riu is the story of unrequited love with mother earth. The reimagined track brings a blend of musical cultures: African, Andalusian, Calabrian, Anatolian, Brazilian, Norwegian, Canadian, and Louisianian. Thus, Tribal + Mysterious + Exotic + Amazon = Riu.
“My Calabrian translation remains true to the meter, rhyme, and beat of the original,” says Castaldo. “The original English lyrics, written by Keith Edwards (son of the famous Tony award-winning Broadway composer Sherman Edwards) talks about unrequited love with a beautiful Brazilian woman. In reality, that love affair is with Mother Earth and taking care of its beating heart, The Amazon. The dance groove highlights the African influence on Brazilian musical culture. The flamenco flavors add to the history of Latin exploration in South America.
The Calabrian Language
Italy is made up of 20 regions and each region has its own language. When the regions/kingdoms were unified in 1861, the Florentine language was chosen to be the official Italian language.
“My recordings of Flamenco Pop songs are simply sung in Calabrian; it’s my way of preserving the language and telling my stories,” notes Castaldo. “My hope is that those who know and love “The Amazon River” will enjoy my song Riu and learn a little bit of my beautiful native language in the process.” At one time, in 1905, the largest Italian-speaking country outside Italy was Brazil.
About the Artist
Michéal Castaldo was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. He studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a vocalist, he has toured North America and Europe, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Rainbow Room, Shea Stadium, Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and Italy’s Teatro F. Cilea and Pescara Opera House.
Michéal’s work stands on the shoulders of distinct projects such as Sting’s work with French-Algerian vocalist Cheb Mami on the song Desert Rose, Peter Gabriel’s work with Pakistani Qawwali vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Hans Zimmer’s work with Australian Glossolalia vocalist Lisa Gerrard on the Gladiator Soundtrack.
Credits: Music for “Riu” was written by Michele Castaldo and Lyrics by Keith Edwards. Calabrian lyrics were written by Michele Castaldo. It was produced by Stein Berge Svendsen and Michéal Castaldo. This digi release of “Riu” is credited to Mystr E + DJ MC Cell, with engineering by Elliott Thomas, Stein Berge Svendsen, Francesco Grant, and Ric Schnupp. Flamenco Guitar accompaniment was performed by Italian musician Energipsy. Cante Flamenco was tastefully executed by Spaniard, Alfonso Mogaburo Cid. Riu CD artwork “Temptation” was created by Keith Edwards (originally from Parsippany, NJ). Riu CD cover was designed by Sitka Creations (from Shirley, MA), and Michéal Castaldo “Silhouette” photo credit by Mark Kopko (from Riverhead, NY).
“Riu” is available at digital online music e-tail stores worldwide and to stream on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, and YouTube.
Follow Michéal Castaldo on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/Follow-Castaldo-Spotify
For further information and to book Michéal and his La Dolce Vita Band, contact: Majestic Castle Music Productions at MajesticCastleMusic@yahoo.com or call toll free at 877-642-7271.