Meet the ESCXTRA team! Part 6 – RICCARDO

This summer, we are running a series of feature articles that is slightly different to the norm. We think this is the perfect time for you (and us!) to find out more about the ESCXTRA team! Twice a week we’ll meet two of our team members. What is our personal Eurovision story? Why did we want to be a part of this website? What are our favourite Eurovision songs of all-time? How can you get in touch with us on social media? Read on to find out!

Riccardo Maddalozzo

My name is Riccardo, but I often go by Ricky, I am 25 years old and I was born in a small town in Italy. I left my hometown when I was 17 and I have lived in different countries and continents ever since. I am moving back to Europe to continue my studies soon and I am hoping to follow Eurovision more closely then.
If you would like, you are welcome to follow me on:
Instagram: rickymadda1

Your first Eurovision memory?

I grew up in Italy during the long years of Italy’s non-participation so Eurovision was unknown to me until I moved to Norway in 2009. In 2010 the contest was held there and all my friends were watching so I joined it and loved it right away. I loved the energy, the staging and the voting, it was love at first sight.

Your Eurovision journey?

After discovering the contest it became a tradition to watch it every year but it was only in late 2013 that it became a super fan. I started following national finals and Eurovision related news on a daily basis. Actually what drew me closer to the contest was following Songvakeppnin, the Icelandic national selection. I am a huge fan of the Icelandic language and love listening to and learning to sing new Icelandic songs. Watching it drew my curiosity to other national selections and it was easy to get hooked to all afterwards. I always look forward to national selections, they always spice up my weekend and I look forward to May as a child looks forward to Christmas.

Why is Eurovision special to you?

I am a huge fan of geography, music, languages and cultures so Eurovision really matches all my interests. I also love how Eurovision brings people from different geographical areas together with the shared love for music. I have lived in a multinational setting for years, so the contest almost feels like home. I’m also thankful to Eurovision because it gave me the opportunity to discover more about countries I had little knowledge of and to discover their music. I would have probably never listened to Armenian or Ukranian music on my own, but I would have missed out. Additionally, Eurovision always brings different styles of music and it is perfect for me as I enjoy quite a few styles of music.

What attracted you to escXtra?

I joined the team this past March. I discovered escXtra by watching Wivian’s interviews with the Icelandic selection participants and I then started following the website, becoming a regular follower. I also really liked the live stream. It gave me the opportunity to feel there with the artists even though I was far away. After following Eurovision news so frequently I figured it was about time to join a group of passionate fans. I was always eyeing the opportunity to join escXtra so I decided to give it a go and here I am! I am looking forward to contributing more as I move back to Europe.

And finally your top 5 Eurovision songs of all time?

5. A Monster Like Me (Norway 2015) – Mørland and Debrah Scarlett

I lived in Norway for 2 years and this song brought back a lot of memories from my time there. Also, I am a fan of duets and this is my kind of duets.

4. The Voice (Ireland 1995) – Eimear Quinn

I love Irish and folklore music and this songs just blows my mind.

3. If Love Was a Crime (Bulgaria 2016) – Poli Genova

Before Poli, I never really liked a Bulgarian entry but this song changed it immediately. More than a year later I still listen to it on a regular basis.

2. LoveWave (Armenia 2016) – Iveta Mukuchyan

I absolutely love Armenian music (also thanks to Inga and Anush). I loved this song before the contest but Sacha Jean-Baptiste’s staging elevated this for me and Iveta is a true diva.

1.Rhytm Inside (Belgium 2015) – Loic Nottet

The only year I could immediately pin point my favorite entry was 2015 and while I liked a lot of other songs that year, none could get close to Belgium. I love everything about it. Loic’s voice, the mysterious nature of the song, teh quirkiness of the song. I think it will be a while before a song can beat this as my favorite.
Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Sunday we will meet Hlynur! Remember you can share your Eurovision stories with us in the comments section below or via the comments sections on our Facebook page @ESCXTRA. We would love to hear them!

Riccardo Maddalozzo

Born in Italy, I have lived in 5 countries in 3 continents. I discovered Eurovision by accident in 2010 and became a superfan in 2013. I attended both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision events and covered several national finals on the ground and hope to continue doing so for a long time!

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