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Music has always been my refuge: Eugenio Bennato

EntertainmentMusic has always been my refuge: Eugenio Bennato

The legendary Italian folk musician and songwriter Eugenio Bennato is currently in India, and he recently performed at New Delhi’s Bikaner House along with his band and the folk musicians from Rajasthan. The living icon sat down for an interview with The Sunday Guardian to share his insights on the importance of preserving Italy’s rich musical heritage. Noted Italian journalist Rita Cenni volunteered to be the interpreter for the interaction. Expressing great enthusiasm and gratitude, Bennato rejoiced, “The experience of performing in India along with the incredibly talented folk musicians from Rajasthan is truly magical. India has always held a special place in my heart, and so performing in New Delhi’s Bikaner House is like a dream come true. The energy and passion of the Indian audience are unlike anything I have ever experienced before. The warmth shown by the people here is overwhelming, and it has made me feel an instant connection with them.”
Eugenio Bennato, who also performed at the Embassy of Italy in New Delhi on the occasion of Italian Day 2023, further added, “This collaboration with the Indian musicians has come out exceedingly well. The high level of expertise, skill, and deep understanding of their musical heritage is awe-inspiring. It has been a new learning experience for me to be introduced to their fascinating rhythms and melodies. This unique fusion of our musical styles has created a synergy, breaking all kinds of cultural boundaries and touching the hearts of everyone present.”
Bennato got nostalgic while talking about his childhood. Growing up in Naples, the vibrant music that echoed through the streets became his source of inspiration from a very young age. “As long as I can remember, music has always been my refuge. It has carried me through thick and thin and has also made me more aware of our cultural heritage,” revealed Bennato. Even as his talent for crafting melodies started blooming, his musical journey had its share of hurdles. But he was committed to his vision of embracing innovation while simultaneously respecting tradition. “Right from the beginning, I wanted to honour our heritage while breaking free from its constraints. So, the key was to achieve this delicate balance,” explained Bennato.
What makes Bennato’s feats remarkable is his deep desire to preserve and promote Italy’s musical heritage. Throughout his illustrious career, he has been championing good causes like educational programmes and workshops, as well as festivals dedicated to promoting traditional Italian music. “Our cultural legacy must be nurtured, and so it’s of paramount importance to make the youth cherish our musical heritage. Our music is a living entity, and that’s how it must be seen by the new generations,” asserted Bennato.
Vincenzo de Luca, the Ambassador of Italy to India, is delighted to have Eugenio Bennato perform in India. Praising Bennato’s musical genius as well as his artistic legacy, which of course goes beyond mere entertainment, Ambassador de Luca explained, “Eugenio Bennato’s music embodies the true essence of Naples. Through its vibrant rhythms and soul-stirring melodies, it has the remarkable power to bridge barriers and unite people from different backgrounds.
He reminded us that Bennato’s artistry transcends the quotidian notions of entertainment. “ Eugenio Bennato represents a cultural heritage deeply rooted in the rich traditions of the region. His music serves as a bridge, inviting listeners to explore and appreciate the diverse beauty of the real South. It is a testament to the transformative nature of music, reminding us of the universal language that connects us all,” summed up Ambassador de Luca.

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