- Elisa (singer)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Elisa
Img_capt = Elisa live at Club Therapy in 2008 - NYC
Background = solo_singer
Born = birth date and age|1977|12|19
vocals, piano, guitar
Genre = Pop, rock, soul, neo soul, ambient
Voice type= mezzosoprano
Years_active = 1996 - present
Label = Sugar srl
URL = [http://www.elisatoffoli.com/ www.elisatoffoli.com]
Elisa (born Elisa Toffoli
December 19, 1977) is an Italian singer and songwriter. Her music includes a variety of genres: rock, blues, souland ambient. Her voice is recognisable by the frequent use of her high-pitched head voice.
Elisa Toffoli was born in
Trieste(north-eastern Italy). Early in life, Elisa showed great artistic ability in dancing, painting, acting and writing. Her love for art grew as she was introduced to the poetry of Rudyard Kiplingand the lyrics of Jim Morrisonof The Doors, but her talent was most evident in music. She began writing songs at the age of 11. At 15 she appeared in a televised karaoke program.
When she was 16, she met
Caterina Caselli, who one year later signed her to the record company Sugar. At 18 she left for Berkeley, California(U.S.) where she started working on songs for her debut album with Corrado Rustici, producer of artists such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklinand Zucchero.
"Pipes & Flowers" and "Asile's World"
In May 1997 her first single "
Sleeping in Your Hand" was released, followed by her debut album " Pipes & Flowers" on September 22. All songs were written or co-written by Elisa. The album soon went triple platinum in Italy.
Four singles from "Pipes & Flowers" were released: "Sleeping in Your Hand", "Labyrinth", "A Feast for Me" and "Mr. Want". These led to winning both the Targa Tenco (Tenco Plate) and the Premio Italiano della Musica (Italian Musical Award) at the end of 1997. She proved herself an excellent live performer at the "
Imola Heineken Jammin' Festival" and as a special guest on Eros Ramazzotti's European tour. In Ocober she recorded another single, "Cure Me" produced by Darren Allison, who has worked with Skunk Anansieand Spiritualized. The track appears on the re-release of "Pipes & Flowers".
May 5, 2000she released the follow-up " Asile's World" ("Asile" being "Elisa" written backwards). The album featured songs produced by Darren Allison, Howie B, Roberto Vernetti, Mauro Malavasiand Leo Z. Singles from this album were: "Gift", "Happiness Is Home" and a remix of the title track "Asile's World".
The 2001 Sanremo Festival
In September 2000 Elisa recorded her first song in Italian, "
Luce (tramonti a nord est)". The song was initially written in English, but was translated in collaboration with Elisa's mother and Zucchero. The song was presented supported by her band and the Solis String Quartet at the 2001 Sanremo Festival, and won her the critics' award and the whole Festival. "Luce" and the original "Come Speak to Me" were later included on the re-release of "Asile's World".
November 26she was awarded three prizes at the Italian Music Awards: Best female artist, Best single and Best song.
Third album and international release
November 9, 2001the release of her third album " Then Comes the Sun", again produced by Rustici. Four singles were released: "Heaven Out of Hell" (dedicated to her mother), "Rainbow" (reaching #5 on the Italian charts), a remix of "Time" and "Dancing". The album went triple platinum.
At the closing of the 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah Olympics, Elisa performed a jazzy version of the Italian national hymn after the passing of the Olympic Flag to Italy for the Winter Olympic Games in 2006. The following she performed both at the
May 1celebration in Romeand at the 2002 "Pavarotti and Friends" concert, singing "Voglio vivere così (col sole in fronte)" with the world famous tenor. She also received two more awards, Premio Italiano della Musica's best female artist and best single (for "Luce").
In August 2002 Sugar released an International album simply entitled "Elisa". The album is a collection of the best songs from her three first albums and "Come Speak to Me", the original English version of her hit "Luce", received high rotation on
MTV Europe. The single received fair airplay and moderate attention in several European countries, but failed to establish Elisa as an international artist.
In 2003 Elisa recorded her second song in Italian, a cover version of "Almeno tu nell'universo", originally performed by
Mia Martiniin 1989. The track was featured in the Italian motion picture "Ricordati di me" by Gabriele Muccino.
Acoustic album and "Pearl Days"
Later the same year Elisa released the album "Lotus", an acoustic album featuring new, stripped-down versions of some of her best songs as well as a handful of new ones. She also did a cover version of
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". The singer did not see "Lotus" as an ordinary album, but regarded it as "a photograph, a captured moment in which I felt lost, like a bottle at sea". Two original singles were released: "Broken" and "Electricity".
September 14, 2004, after an extensive acoustic tour supporting "Lotus", Elisa released "Together", her first single from the album " Pearl Days" released one month later on October 15. All tracks were produced by Glen Ballard, known for producing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pilland tracks for artists such as Anastacia, Michael Jackson, Shakira, Christina Aguileraand The Corrs. The album was more rock-influenced and sported more electric guitars than her earlier records. Two more singles were released: "The Waves" and "Una poesia anche per te", the latter being a translation of the track "Life Goes On". The Italian version was not originally included on the album, but was included on a re-release. "Una poesia anche per te" reached #1 on the Italian sales charts and it was the most selling single in 2005 by a female artist.
In the summer of 2005, Elisa appeared at the
Live 8concert in Rome, alongside Zucchero, Luciano Ligabueand other major Italian artists. Later the same year she is awarded prizes for best lyrics and best video for "Una poesia anche per te".
New singles and best-of compilation
After a massive "Pearl Days"-tour, Elisa returned with a new single in 2005. "Swan" was written the for the film "Melissa P", based on a book by Italian writer
In early 2006 she released a self-penned duet with
Tina Turnerentitled "Teach Me Again", recorded for the film All the Invisible Children. The single was published not only in Italy, but also in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Luxembourgand Spain.
At the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in
Torino, Elisa performed her song "Luce". Other artists performing include Andrea Bocelli, Avril Lavigneand Ricky Martin.
November 17, 2006" Soundtrack '96-'06" was released, a collection of hits through her first ten years as a recording artist. The album also contains four new songs, three of them in Italian (" Gli ostacoli del cuore", " Eppure Sentire (Un Senso Di Te)" and " Qualcosa Che Non C'è") and one in English (" Stay"). The first single, "Gli ostacoli del cuore" is written and composed by Luciano Ligabue, who also appears on the recording. The other three new songs of the record have also been released as singles. The album has gone diamond in Italy, selling more than 650,000.
The first single from "
Soundtrack '96-'06" was "Gli ostacoli del cuore". The song peaked in Italy at number one staying 14 weeks in that position. Also the album reached number 1 beginning the third most selling album of 2006 in Italy.
The second single was "Eppure sentire (un senso di te)". This song is the soundtrack of the film "Manuale d'amore 2-capitoli sucessivi" and there also the English version : "One step away" and Spanish version : "Sentir sin embargo", sold on iTunes.
The third single was "Stay", and the fourth "Qualcosa che non c'è".
In 2007, there has been a resurgence in interest in the singer, especially in the US, where the single "Dancing" was featured in the hit TV show "
So You Think You Can Dance" on the June 13episode. The song broke in the iTunesTop 100 Chart for the first time ever right after the show.
The first Elisa live CD/DVD was released in Italy on
November 23, 2007. The record includes 15 live songs, while the DVD features the entire sold out concert recorded in April 2007 at Datchforum in Assago (Milan) during the first part of the Soundtrack live '96-'06 tour.
Elisa in the US
Elisa's debut in the United States was scheduled for
February 26, 2008, but was cancelled due to complications with the singer's Visa. The premiere was further postponed to April 8, 2008at Joe's Pub in New York City. As well as another appearance in New York, she will be performing in Los Angeles as well. Her future appearances in America are a project to further expose herself to popularity within the United States.Elisa's US debut album DANCING is scheduled for release on July 15, 2008. The song "Rainbow" will be played on American radio stations from July 14, and will be supported by a viral video with dancer Lacey Schwimmerand singer-songwriter Vinnie Ferra.
* [http://www.elisaweb.net Official website] it icon
* [http://www.elisatoffoli.com Official International Website in English, Spanish, and others]
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* [http://www.elisafunclub.it Official fanclub] it icon
* [http://elisatoffoli.de Unofficial German website] de icon
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