Pingo: Ryan – your first super-hit was Dolce Vita, released in 1983. It was written and arranged by Pierluigi Giombini. Can you describe how that song was created and how that co-operation with Giombini started?
Ryan Paris: Pierluigi Giombini was producing and writing songs for Gazebo and one day Gazebo said to Pierluigi: Why don’t you write a song which title is Dolce Vita?
I met Pierluigi Giombini because I was searching for a keyboard player and I was astonished by his new sounds and productions (Masterpiece, You are a danger). Pierluigi liked my voice and I wrote a song (You gonna save my love) and Pierluigi started to work on it. One month after that, he presented a new song to me, written by Pierluigi. That song was Dolce Vita.
Pingo: Dolce Vita was a huge hit all over Europe – number 5 on the UK Singles Chart. Did you expect it to be that big hit? What did it mean to you that it was so successful?
Ryan Paris: If I have to tell you the truth: yes! I don’t know why, but my heart told me when I heard the song as a demo in Pierluigi home studio, that this was beautiful! It was my first record so I didn’t know very much about the music business but the song for me was SUPER NICE!
To me the success of the song meant realisation as a singer and happiness, because the song brings happiness to the listeners.
Pingo: During the 1980’s the Italo Disco scene was huge all over Europe, and also in other parts of the world. Can you describe the situation, which clubs was most important and how the collaborations between artists worked?
Ryan Paris: I didn’t have many cooperations in the 80’s, more in the 90’s. It is true that the Italo Disco was really a big phoenomena. I also didn’t do many shows in the 80’s.
Pingo: Can you describe your other albums and songs? What tunes meant the most to you – except from Dolce Vita?
Ryan Paris: The LP was done with BMG Italy, but it was quasi done as “contract” and not for the music. I love all my songs, the new ones are very nice for me and actual. The song until now that I love the most after Dolce vita is “I wanna love you once again”. The 80’s version was done in cooperation with Eddie Miami from “I venti d’azzurro”. Eddie did a really a beautiful remix in 2009 which became a cult song in mexico, Poland, and East Europe.
Pingo: Which Italo Disco artists did you work with or meet frequently?
Ryan Paris: I meet P. Lion sometimes, very good person. I worked with Alberto Styloo for a medley of the 80’s and I worked with Enigma for a song of mine. I still work with Pierluigi Giombini which still is a very good composer and always innovativ in the music.
Pingo: Today you are still making music – what style do you like the best today? When not making music yourself – what do you listen to?
Ryan Paris: I love all the work of David Guetta which has brought the music back and the POP dance very high. I love all kind of music and I listen to modern music like Tajo Cruz, Florida, Ryhanna, Bob Sinclair, Avicci and all the new pop, in particular Coldplay.
Pingo: You also made apperances in films! You had a role in Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. How did that happen? Did you do any other work in the famous action films from Italy of the 1980’s?
Ryan Paris: A friend of mine, Catherine Ventura, which did the casting for the film in Roma invited me on the stage and I was filmed in two-three scenes. It was very nice . I was already working in the 70’s with Renato pozzetto and maria Schneider and the 80’s with Angela Molina in the film LA BELLA OTERO.
I love acting and my last appearance is in the short film LA MALAPINTURA, from Carles Congost, done in Barcelona.
Pingo: Anything else you want to add to your fans on SouthPole Radio?
Ryan Paris: Have fun in life because life is fun. Have fun with music! I love you!
Pingo: Thank you very much for doing this interview with SouthPole Radio!
Be sure to visit his Official Website and check out what he’s doing right now! Also, go to Ryan Paris’ Facebook! As always – get back to SouthPole Radio to see the current updates of our Italo Disco Spotify Playlist!
The pictures/photos are Copyright © Ryan Paris. This interview is Copyright © SouthPoleRadio.com, 2012, and may not be reproduced. You can LINK TO IT if you want though.
Pingo: How did it all start? Can you describe how you got into the whole Italo Disco scene, and why?
Linda Jo Rizzo: I sang with the girl group “The Flirts” in the early to mid 80’s. While I was on tour in Europe with The Flirts in 1984 I met Fancy at a concert. He gave me his number telling me he was interested in producing a single female act. He told me to call if I ever left The Flirts.
I did leave them a half year later and started producing Italo Disco with Fancy in 1985!
Pingo: Your super-hit “You’re My First, You’re My Last” is one of my favourite disco hits of all time (it is of course also featured in our Spotify ItaloMIX playlist). Can you tell us anything about the background of this song?
Linda Jo Rizzo: That was and still is a great song – one of my favourites. I always wrote my texts so the words always told a story about me. I was single at the time and I wrote about finding that big love and the innocent pure feeling that it gives you. When it is over and your heart broken, you close up and never want to feel that way again. I had that experience.
Linda Jo Rizzo: I was born and raised in NYC but all my grandparents come from Sicily so I was brought up very Italian! I really had the pleasure to work with lots of stars over the years. I was the opening act and on stage with CC Catch, Dieter Bohlen’s Blue System, Mel and Kim, Evelyn Thomas, Billy Ocean, Limahl, George McCrea, Weather Girls, Two of Us, Francesca Napoli, Albert One, Patty Ryan, Scotch, Fancy, Mike Mareen, Grant Miller, Gazebo, Bad Boys Blue – is that enough?
Pingo: Which is your own favourite of your tracks?
Linda Jo Rizzo: My favourite from text is “Perfect Love”. My favourite music is “You’re My First, You’re My Last”.
Pingo: For a long time you’ve operated a restaurant in Germany (which I understand you sold a few years ago) – what did you bring with you into the restaurant business from your music career?
Linda Jo Rizzo: My father was a great cook. He opened the first Sicilian Pizzeria in New York 50 years ago. We all grew up with a love for the kitchen. I love to cook. It is my second passion after singing! My restaurant was the first in Munich with live music every day. I also offered jam sessions for artists, open mike evenings for new song writers and performers. I gave young new artists a chance to do a real show in front of a live audience. I was sort of the “Godmother” for young musicians here in Munich. It was great fun.
I sold after 8 years because between the restaurant, my concerts and shows and two kids at home I just worked and slept! I do miss it though!
Linda Jo Rizzo: Yes I do only music today. I do my Italo Disco concerts around Europe plus I also have a live band with whom I do events performing more mixed music like soul, pop and rock.
I have just released a new CD “Day of the Light”, with remakes of my Italo hits of the 80’s., three of my hits with The Flirts plus many new songs including a duet with Ryan Paris and Saragossa Band. Click here for the single!
Pingo: There are still a lot of Italo Disco fans out there. SouthPole Radio started as a pure Italo Disco-radiostation, but today we’re releasing music
as well as trying to compile a large Italo Disco Spotify playlist, write news on the disco scene etc. Is it important for you that the fans are still there? What do you want to say to them? Anything fans can do to help you and other musicians from that era to “comeback”?
Linda Jo Rizzo: I am of course happy and honored that after more than 20 years i still have fans all over the world! I get requests for autograph cards every single day per email or on Facebook. They come from all over the world! It is a great feeling and I do personally answer each one of them. It is so important for me. Without them, I would not be! The only thing that my fans can do to my comeback is to buy my new CD, request for it to be played in clubs or on the radio and keep the old music alive!
Pingo: Looking back at your career – what was most fun? Do you remember any specific episode?
Linda Jo Rizzo: I think the most beautiful and facinating experience in my music career was when I did concerts in Kenya for the SOS Kinderdorf. We were five artists on tour with Manfred Sexaur (from SRF, Musikladen, Beatmusik) to raise money for the children there. We all cried to see for the first time where the monies really go, how the children live, how our shows helped them! The food, the music, the culture, the geography… Oh God it was like paradise. I will never forget that trip.
Pingo: Anything else you want to add?
Linda Jo Rizzo: I would just like to say to all of my fans that I thank you all for making my career possible over so many years and having given me the chance to travel, experience different people, foods, languages and much more. I also raised my three children alone through my music and they too had the chance to travel the world with me, learn and speak three languages and be schooled in Europe. I thank you with all my heart. You made my wonderful career possible and I hope I can continue to give you all many more years of great music!
All pictures/photos were sent to us by Linda herself.
You can also listen to Linda on Spotify. She also has a few videos and other interesting info on her website, so be sure to check it out!
This interview is Copyright © SouthPoleRadio.com, 2012, and may not be reproduced. You can LINK TO IT if you want though. 😉