Hungary, Malta and Poland chose their Eurovision 2017 acts on Saturday. But Italy’s song “Occidentali’s Karma” still has the buzz. It debuted at #1 on the Italian FIMI Singles Chart, achieving a gold disc in the first week of sales, and the Italian stallion watched as his official video passed 20 million views on YouTube.

Interviewed by Radio Nostalgia recently, Francesco Gabbani talked about the Eurovision Song Contest, the musical extravaganza that will take place in Ukraine from the 9th to the 13th of May. It’s too early to call, but at the moment the odds are in his favour and Italy is ready to take the opportunity to snatch the iconic microphone made of glass with “Occidentali’s Karma”.

After talking with Francesco about Sanremo and his new album, which he’ll release in the coming weeks, the interviewer Andrea Secci asked the Italian representative which language he will sing in at Eurovision. His answer leaves little room for doubt.

“We’re still thinking about it, so I can’t give official news. The main question is: ‘Will Gabbani sing an English version of the lyrics or will he keep it in Italian?’ At this time we are more likely to stay in Italian for one reason: if I must represent our fantastic Italian music, singing in English could show me as an apple-polisher, trying to wink to the European audience. I would be proud to bring on stage these lyrics that were born and have taken root in Italy, and so I would like to sing it in Italian. Anyway, we are still under evaluation”.

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He’s listening to fans as well. After all, they are the ones who crowned him the winner of Sanremo, which has gotten him to Eurovision in the first place.

“I’m honest, I’m careful about the opinion of my fans, the people who follow me. I must say that, actually, their observations go in this direction: sing it in Italian”.

It’s time to share YOUR opinion. What’s the best choice for Italy? Would you like to hear a bilingual version of the song in Kiev, would you prefer it all in Italian or is it better to change it in English? Let us know in our poll below.

Poll: What language should Francesco choose for Eurovision?

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MARY
Guest
MARY

This song makes me angry when hearing and watching for this monkey….. OMG thats not should be on Eurovision …….. and guy looks like from PLAYBOY – so definately I will not type this one for winning song

EscAddict
Guest
EscAddict

I love the song in Italian & will support it in Italian but I must admit I liked the bit of English Francesca slipped in last year. I would like to sing along with one chorus rather than just “na na na” like I am doing now.

Voxtaylor
Guest
Voxtaylor

Every act for Eurovision 2017 so far had just been “meh.” Occidentali’s Karma, by Francesco Gabbani, however, is SUBLIME. Miles ahead of the competition. This decision of his only makes it that much better. Unless another country steps up to the plate, this man has it in the bag. Never rooted for Italy before, but that changes now. Best song from the country EVER, in my opinion.

Anton
Guest
Anton

And I don’t think everybody will really need to understand the whole lyrics. Many words are recognizable, and supported by with visual cues, this will convey a sense of familiarity to the viewers, just like it happened with Grande Amore.
I think, English was helpful for 1944, but not necessary here.

Anton
Guest
Anton

I’m in love with Italian, singing in this language can only be an advantage! And it seems all the Europeans love it too. I agree with other commenters, he might release a bilingual version of music video but please keep it entirely Italian for the actual performance. I remember Ruslana had two studio versions of her “Wild Dances”: she released them in Ukrainian first, then in English, and then blended the two on the contest.

hgj
Guest
hgj

San Marino’s Serhat return!

nordlandspils
Guest
nordlandspils

Leave it as it is. The language itself is an integral part why this song is so loved.

Though I like the idea of releasing the English version before the contest in May.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Yes, this is it!!

You’re Italy! You have one of the most beautiful languages! Apart from that, you are a country with a rich music tradition and your songs are distinctive! You don’t have to do what other countries do (maybe for the better, I don’t blame).

His answer just left me speechless! He’s so right!
Keep it real! keep it original Italy! You’ll slay!!

abc
Guest

This is so asful. I dont like hes voice, and the Song its a joke. This Song its for kindergarden. I hope its not gonna winning. 26/26

Justin K
Guest
Justin K

I like the idea of having an English version just for fun! Personally, I prefer the Italian as is–there are just enough key phrases in different languages for audiences to latch onto, so I don’t think the rest will need to be translated into English. Plus I’m sure he’d be more comfortable singing in Italian, and even with the best translations you risk losing some stuff (in this case, charm).

Escity
Guest
Escity

i really want this song’s Traditional Chinese lyrics.because it my first language .lol

Escity
Guest
Escity

maybe he can release english version at youtube.
BUT perfomence ITALIAN vision at Eurovision Final.
i am really enjoy watching and listening italian talking even i dont understand what they are talking about. Lol

Joseph Vitug
Guest

Keep it in Italian. They don’t need to explain why there’s a dancing gorilla onstage–Coldplay certainly didn’t when they featured a bunch of them in their “Adventure of a Lifetime” video, and that song has nothing to do with apes.

fikri
Guest
fikri

honestly when i listen to a song, i just listen to the beat without putting too much thought into the lyrics. currently the song sounds great and i think they shouldn’t have to change anything… just focus on shortening the song to 3-minute will do.

Escity
Guest
Escity

i think if the song sing in english it will lost it magic . i am really enjoy when watching and listening italian talking even i dont understand italian words. Lol

ESC84
Guest
ESC84

Good news. I hope them make up the decision very soon and start prepare the stage and performance.

Donna Vey
Guest
Donna Vey

Right now this ESC is for Sweden to lose.

Can you really see this beating Mariette or Loreen?

I don’t think so either.

Nadia
Guest
Nadia

Of course in italian. Great song. Francesco i hope you will win. Dont change language please

D - Australia
Guest
D - Australia

This is my favourite Eurovision song in years – why change it?

Skrim
Guest
Skrim

Italian of course!
Why do all countries always want to send songs in english? :S The essence of the festival is in culture, languages, traditions, DIVERSITY.
All the Eastern countries don’t want their language, including Germany and nordic countries.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I think Italian is the way to go.
The song is catchy and he is charismatic so I think people will like it without the lyrical change.

Alex
Guest
Alex

My suggestion is inbetween:
75% in Italian, 25% in English

Starting in English, letting audience get into the song’s meaning, and afterwards some small parts in English, like at some points singing “The naked monkey dances” instead of “La scimmia nuda balla”. Also just one chorus in English would be fine! The songwriter though has to be really careful for the song not to lose its charm with its English lyrics.

Let’s do something really good and catchy for the winning song of 2017!

Anfrers
Guest
Anfrers

Then do it!! Don’t ruin it like Francesca did!

Möhrant
Guest
Möhrant

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Am loving the song as it is so much.

Lia
Guest
Lia

Italian, Italian, Italian!

Aside from that, can you guys at Wiwibloggs please stop using the term “Italian stallion” to describe Italian acts? It’s extremely cringy.

Racal
Guest
Racal

Yes! Do it in Italian Francesco, please! 🙂 So much classier than forcing English lyrics into the song just for the sake of it…

James
Guest
James

Remember when back in the 90’s, Raf’s “Due” was a big hit in not just Italy but also overseas? Not a lot of people outside the country understood the lyrics but they like the song just the same. It had several remixed versions out but it was never had a version released in any other language but just Italian.

Being in Italian alone can give Occidentali’s Karma the edge of having an already global appeal.

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Well I hope what ever his team’s final decision will be it will pay off big time. Last year they had to shorten Degrees of Separation and cut off the bridge part where she did the adlibs. I think it was not a good move because it lowered the emotional build up of the entire song. Hope it doesn’t happen with Occidentali’s Karma. Best of luck Italia!

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Eh…I wouldn’t wanna listen to all these so called “fans” if I were him. At least follow what Bulgaria, Ukraine and France did last year. Insert some part in English just to let the viewers understand the message of the song. Its been a while now since we last had a winner who sang in their native language(Serbia 2007). That’s telling you something.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Yes, I hoped for this! This song is so awesome and has just the right hook in Italian! Good choice!

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

No need for English. Harambe is universal and in the hearts of all human.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

It doesn’t need English. The lyrics have enough hooks in that non-Italian speakers would understand (the title, “Namaste! Alé!”). And while translating “the naked ape rises” to English would give more information, a lot of audience members wouldn’t get it anyway.

Sandro Valente
Guest
Sandro Valente

Can’t they do a massiive screen with the English words coming out as he sings on the stage in Italian.

PP
Guest
PP

Italy ruin their song with some english lyrics in song , especially in 2016 . They not need english lyricis and in 2011 and 2012. Only englsih fit in song from 2012 not in 2011 and especially in 2016.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Italian.
Next story…

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

My personal preference is all Italian. I think they always lose a little something – especially if his pronunciation is a little off. However…I would rather see him sing half & half if it actually meant him getting a few extra votes. That theory is has never been proven, though, so maybe it’s better to stick to what we know works.

Olsi
Guest
Olsi

Love to hear it in Italian. Such a beauty will be killed to use another language. U put some words of foreign languages in the right places. But please don’t change it anymore.

The beautiful song need to be untouched as it is. Except to be up to 3 minutes.

12 points from Albania

Sal
Guest
Sal

Good! We already have Albania changing to English which is a shame. We need more native languages this year than last!

Hi
Guest

This is not a winner. I dint like hes voice. I be sceard off him.

GG
Guest
GG

Please, keep it in Italian! It’s such a beautiful language! I hope 2017 ESC will see more countries with entries using their own language. Diversity can help build bridges, don’t you think?

Alex
Guest
Alex

I agree with Rich.

He can release an English version of the song 1-2 weeks before Eurovision for the other markets. In case he wins the show, he will need an English version anyway.

If they want to add English to the song, they could add it towards the end but it has to flow well…

Personally, i believe it sounds awesome in Italian.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Thank you, grazie, Francesco for listening to the fans! I like Rich’s idea of him releasing an English version before the contest, but keeping it as is on the final night! 🙂

Kate
Guest
Kate

I personally would love for Francesco to keep his song entirely in Italian…but in May, most voters aren’t going to know the meaning behind the lyrics. They’re going to see a dancing gorilla onstage and won’t know why it’s there, and while televote meme value has gotten plenty of acts to the top five in the past I don’t think that televote meme value is what the Italian delegation wants to achieve this year. Maybe change just one chorus to English, like Francesca did last year.

Marc
Guest
Marc

This is Italy’s year 😀

Rich
Guest
Rich

Francesco could release an English version of the song prior to Eurovision, just to get the message across to the rest of his audience. However he should sing it all in Italian in the grand final to showcase this beautiful language we all love.

I can’t wait for the release of his forthcoming album. He is certainly building on the song’s momentum. Whatever Francesco decides to do “Occidentali’s Karma” is one of the song to beat at the moment in my opinion.

Buona Fortuna Francesco!

Aaran
Guest
Aaran

Yeeeeees!!! Keep it in Italian! Especially as Italy is a favourite to win in its current state anyway.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I’d love to hear the italian version. This language is one of the most beautiful, a specially now when almost every singer sings the english lyrics. This version of song is perfect, so there’s no need to change that. Good luck from Poland!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Keep it in Italian tbh, the song is perfect as it is now and it’s not like most people would get the message from a few lines in English.