nice to meet you
Meet Sfera Ebbasta, Italy’s Superstar-in-Waiting
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Rapper Sfera Ebbasta, Italy’s musical prodigy, was born Gionata Boschetti in the Lombardy region. With nearly 4 million followers on Instagram and over 1 billion streams, The 28-year-old has claimed his rightful and bejeweled crown as Italy’s brightest rising star. Now, with his latest and most successful album to date, aptly titled Famoso, Ebbasta is aiming for world domination. His collaborations—with Offset, J Balvin, Diplo, and Steve Aoki to name a few—are proof of his tremendous talent and unshakeable confidence. To celebrate the latest release of the five-time platinum recording artist and his Amazon Prime documentary Famoso, Interview spoke with Ebbasta from his home in Milan, about being inspired by Frank Sinatra, his favorite piece of bling, and pizza the Italian way.
On his favorite piece of jewelry: Just one. [Points to his watch covered in diamonds] With Arabic numbers. I feel like a sheik. It’s heavy, and you can’t even read the numbers [because of the diamonds]. That’s the funny thing. I don’t even know what time is it, bro.
On the success of his latest album Famoso: I feel great. This is my biggest album yet. I wasn’t expecting all this attention, all these interviews. It’s one of the first times that I take an interview in English. For the name of the album, I just think about my situation, and the only word that can describe my situation was famoso.
On the inspiration behind his song “Giovanni Re”: It’s a generational song. I don’t know if you can get the idea. The meaning of “Giovanni Re,” it’s like the young kings. The song talks about all the people like me who start from zero and become someone. Some days, I feel I am like a young king because of my job. And these songs talk about all the people who can achieve their dreams.
On starting his hip-hop career as a teenager: I was listening to hip-hop music every day, and one day when I was 13, I started to write my first rhymes. I was a little kid rapping, but just for fun. After 10 or 12 years of playing with it, music became my real work.
On the universal language of music: I think the music speaks for itself. Not just my music, but all music. You hear music and whether you like it or not, but you can’t explain it.
On his album cover inspired by Frank Sinatra: I think the music is the food but the cover is the restaurant window. The cover was inspired by a Frank Sinatra shot. He took this picture maybe 50 years ago outside of a cinema or a club, he was surrounded by girls and fans screaming his name. I saw this picture casually on Instagram.
On believing in a higher power, but not astrology: I believe in something bigger than us. I believe that if you focus on something, it will come to you.
On his love for food and pasta: I’ve got two, almost three health restaurants in Italy. I love food. I’m Italian, I eat pasta and pizza—the Italian one—almost every day. One of my friends, he’s got one pizza shop in Brooklyn and he’s Italian. It’s called Bravi Ragazzi, and it’s typical Italian pizza if you want to try it.
On his day-to-day during COVID: I wake up, I train for one hour a day. Then I chill for three to four hours at home. Then I go to the studio at the night.
On working on new music, always: I don’t know if I’m working on the new album or what, but I’m always working on new music. I would say with the COVID it’s different, but at least with or without, my typical day is the same.
On his song “Hollywood”: Hollywood—it’s not just a city, it’s a status. It is like an idea. In the hook, I’m saying something like, “I used to have a lot of problems, but now I don’t have them anymore. I’m just looking at the sky because I’m happy.” Because when you are in Hollywood you can really feel the American dream, even if you are not American. That city inspired me a lot. I was in a dope house, with a dope view of the Hollywood sign when I wrote that song.
On his favorite thing about making music: I like that feeling when you start to hear the beats and you already start to write the song. In your mind, you already know that the things that you are writing will become something super fire, maybe because you already got the melody or something. I like the feeling of creating something. Something that five minutes before wasn’t here and now it is.
On his favorite designer right now: I think right now, one of the best is Virgil Abloh.
On his favorite film, Training Day: You know that scene when Denzel Washington and the other guy jumped on the car and he said, “that’s my office”—that scene, bro. When I was a kid, I couldn’t believe it. I remembered at the same time, the soundtrack was Dr. Dre. So I was stupito [amazed] by that scene and it became my favorite movie.
On never working: I don’t really feel my job is work. It’s what I like to do. Even when I go on holiday, I always find a way to go to the studio, to go meet some new artists or new producers. I like this life.
On world domination: I think this album is just my first step for being an international artist. My next move is to work harder than ever to keep expanding my name and my music all over the world. Keep collaborating with different artists, make some new connections. I want to push my music and my country all over the world.