There is a knock on the door: a messenger hands us a vinyl adorned with a rose taped to the cover. “From a Neapolitan admirer”, he blows before disappearing. We note that the rose is already withered. Perhaps because of the trip from Naples, cradle of the Liberato phenomenon, mysterious singer who since Valentine’s Day 2017 releases his music by turning his back on the cameras but by uniting with the Neapolitan youth, kissing his language still little heard in the current pop. His high-speed serenades, sometimes rather trap, sometimes completely house, are certainly at odds with folklore, but he associates his concealment with a tarantella (ritual dance of southern Italy), and keeps in his game the romantic card tearful. Its co-editor, Tebwa, is Parisian and intends to import the phenomenon into France by publishing his first album released in 2019 in Italy.
Sometimes called Elena Ferrante of music (in reference to the mysterious author also native of Naples) and already the subject of a book of inquiry, Liberato is certainly anonymous but emblematic of his time, feeding his Tumblr with photos of the Bay of Naples with a tightly packed joint in the foreground, erotic GIFs alongside images of Maradona and the series Atlanta. In one of the cradles of violence and gangster fantasies that feed part of the international trap scene, he sings above all his amorous sorrows, inventories the villages where he has pinned memories of his tender. Arrived after the wave of neomelodici, Variety singers from the cities where the working class is gathering, he has succeeded, with his popular songs, in finding an echo throughout Italy. Because he hides but shows those who are invisible: his videos watch with tenderness the scooter youth, the hero packing an Italian woman in the cafe while keeping an eye on a match, the beaches filmed lovingly.
His clips, which panic viewers, and more recently a series also published on YouTube, were filmed by director Francesco Lettieri, whose aesthetic fusion between music and images is reminiscent of that of the French duo The Blaze. On the very club Me Staje Appennenn’Amò, the production takes the Neapolitan dialect into a club while the video follows the transvestite youth, a beautiful rebirth of the famous femminielli from the city. The song and clip were received as an LGBT anthem, although the phrase “I never wanted to hide”, who opens the video, contradicts the character again.
Liberato Liberato (The Tebwa).