Issue #125

Gala Rizzatto

Il Duende

Italian pop singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York Gala has sold over six million records worldwide. Her debut album “Come Into My Life” included the multiplatinum singles “Freed From Desire”, “Let a Boy Cry” and “Come Into My Life” which reached the Top 3 in music charts across Europe, South America, Russia and the Middle East. Gala has been writing and releasing new music through her independent record label Matriarchy Records as she performs around the world. In 2014 she headlined in Medal Plaza at the Winter Olympics in Sochi presenting her latest single “The Beautiful” among other songs. A new acoustic version of her hit song “Freed from Desire” is featured on the movie with Jean Dujardin (Academy Award for Best Actor for the movie “The Artist”) to be released in May 2016.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I am a singer, song-writer, performer, one of my biggest passion is dance, and living in New York I get to take some of the most fun dance classes in the world with teachers from all over the world. I love in particular Sabar dance, a dance from Senegal.

What made you leave Italy and chose NYC?

I was very disappointed with my teachers in High School, the classes were boring and uninspiring. I studied one year abroad in Boston and had a chance to study music, dance, theater, sculpture, etc…I then decided to go back to the United States to attend College. I went to Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and graduated in Photography.

Please share your best memory in the City.

The best memory would be a particular summer, the last summer I spent as a student. I decided to stay in NY to work at a dance school, instead of going back to Europe for the holidays. I danced everyday and the classes were free because I would work at the School. I met my boyfriend who was the youngest dancer of the National Ballet of Senegal…and I wrote a song dedicated to him and his community… the song sold about 6 million records…

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

Brooklyn is where I live, and the snow makes it look more magical and similar to the beautiful  mountains of  Südtirol, where my mom is from. My coat is also a mix of US and Italy. I bought it in NY but it was tailored on me by the best tailor in Milan, a nice lady who lives close to my parents.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

I like it, it makes me feel less lonely …knowing that other Italians live in USA, and made a similar choice to mine, with its positive and negative consequences… personally I miss Italy and I would love to go back, I miss my country…

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

I feel that Italians have a passion for food and in general for quality…quality of details …being restaurant service, clothing and fashion, design, architecture…I try to express this everyday, I try to choose quality over quantity, and aesthetic and poetry over being practical and efficient. US is practical and efficient, Italians love beauty, pleasure and maybe they are not as efficient, but they know how to enjoy life.

In one italian word/adjective, how would you like to be identified in ITALIANY's project website profile.

The girl who was forbidden to dance and so decided to make the whole world dance.

  • Brooklyn, NY


  • Time

    240 mins

  • Shots


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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US