Mahmood will represent Italy at Eurovision 2019 with ‘Soldi’. Here are 10 Things About…Mahmood!
1. Alessandro Mahmoud was born on 12 September 1992 in Milan and goes by the stage name Mahmood. He is an Italian singer-songwriter.
2. His mother is Italian and his father is Egyptian.
3. In 2012 Mahmood competed on the sixth series of the Italian reality television singing competition X Factor.
4. His first audition saw him take on the Sam Sparro song ‘Black and Gold’. He received a yes from all four judges and progressed to the Boot Camp phase of the competition. Here he sang Adele’s ‘Turning Tables’ which secured him a spot at Judges’ Houses.
5. At Judges’ Houses he sang Burt Bacharach’s ‘Walk On By’, but lost out to Nicola Aliotta. Despite this Mahmood won the wildcard on 1 November making him a finalist. Only to be voted out the following week.
6. After his participation in X-Factor, Mahmood launched his music career including the singles ‘Fallin’ Rain’, ‘Dimentica’, ‘Pesos’, ‘Uramaki’, and ‘Milano Good Vibes’.
7. In December 2018, Mahmood competed in the Newcomers section of the Sanremo competition. He won Sanremo Giovani with the song ‘Gioventù bruciata’. The song went on to chart in the Italian top 40 singles chart.
8. Winning Sanremo Giovani earned Mahmood a spot in the 2019 Sanremo Music Festival which he won on 9 February 2019 with the song ‘Soldi’. As a result he will represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
9. ‘Soldi’ recounts Mahmood’s childhood and focuses on his relationship with his father. As well as singing in Italian, he includes some Arabic phrases in his song.
10. Mahmood’s win angered Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. The politician who represents the far right populist League party took to Twitter in a racist fuelled rant calling for the decision to be overturned and for a more ‘Italian’ song to be given the opportunity to represent the nation at Eurovision.