Just when a climate of racism and fear grows in Italy, and the migrants flow increases, Ghali (24) is becoming one of the most popular singers on the web; his YouTube videos collect millions of views in a few months, sometimes in a few days. Ghali’s biography is enclosed in a verse of ‘Ninna Nanna’, his songs viewed more than 50 million times on YouTube: “I came out of the slime, from a stall to a star, son of a janitor, with dad in a cell.”
An only child of Tunisian parents, 100% Milanese, Ghali (his real name) grew up in a difficult environment, but he managed to pick up the right inputs to make the best of his talent. For this, he thanks his mother, who prevented him to follow in his dad’s steps, and passed him the passion for music raising him with Michael Jackson’s videos; his attachment and respect for her are evident in his lyrics.
Ghali changed the trap, the last evolution of rap, freeing it from the gangsta’s constraints; he does not need to do bad or violent, but he does not fear facing tough themes. He sings in Italian with a Milanese accent, in French with a Maghrebi accent and in Tunisian with an Italian accent – a unique language, a blended mix that naturally rolls of his tongue from phrase to phrase, from language to language. Ghali’s poetry is the first mass and playful encounter that the new Italian generations have with Islam, but there is no programmatic intent, Ghali simply tells himself.
One of the most beautiful verses in ‘Dende’ is: “Industry is a meat grinder, I’m halal,” or sacred meat. He made more information about the differences between Islam and Isis with ‘Wily Wily’ (19 million views) than hundreds of lectures in schools. He also writes about immigration with undisturbed poetry; his song ‘Mamma’ is perhaps the most important text written in Italy so far on the drama of migrants.
Ilona Catani Scarlett