Winner of the New Artist category and the Big Artists category in back to back Sanremo Contests, Francesco Gabbani will represent Italy at Eurovision 2017 with his song ‘Occidentali’s Karma’.
The song, which translated into English as ‘Westerners’ Karma’ is an interesting concept for a song. It mocks westerners who believe they can take Eastern cultures and ‘westernise’ them. In particular the songreferences how aspects of Eastern and Indian religions such as the Buddha and Nirvana and most notably man’s evolution from the ape. The lyrics are inspired from Gabbani’s interest in the British Ethologist Desmond Morris and his work ‘The Naked Ape’- which explains why he performs the song on stage with a man in a gorilla suit. Morris has praised the song for its lyricism and would love to see the song triumph in the Contest.
Lyrics mock the hipster and the reappropriation of ancient ideas in a trivial way with no meaning:
‘Intellectuals in coffee bars,
Honorary associates in the anonymous meetings of selfie-addicted
Intelligence is out-of-date
You would wonder how such ideas could possibly play out in a modern pop song, however a mixture of Gabbani’s fun loving personality, his devilish good looks, the up tempo song, and the gimmick of the gorilla in the staging has firmly placed Italy as one of the front runners for 2017. And if the bookies’ two frontrunners for the win are to be decided between, then I would much rather see Italy crowned the winner than Portugal.
My Ranking: 17th
My Prediction: Winner