Sanremo 2024, BigMama: “I transformed anger into a dream”

The rapper at the festival with a song of revenge on bullying, body shaming and violence

“This is a piece that closes a circle of revenge and the message behind it that I dedicated to myself is: don’t be afraid to believe in yourself, don’t believe too much in what others say, always put your projection of yourself in the future first “. The rapper BigMamaborn Marianna Mammone, brings a very strong song to the Sanremo 2024 competition ‘Anger is not enough for you‘, which is both a dedication to little Marianna and a universal message for those who fight against bullying, violence, inner darkness, and seek strength and redemption, which must be found in the idea one has of oneself and not in the words of others. “If you get lost follow me”, sings BigMama.

Bullying, physical and psychological violence and cancer (which BigMama calls that, without sweetening terms) have marked the adolescence of this 23-year-old artist: “I have suffered violent bullying, even from a physical point of view, even sexual violence, nothing is really missing. And to make sure we don’t miss anything, when I was twenty I discovered I had cancer. I’ve had 12 chemotherapies and now I’m fine and I’ve also discovered that I feel good with short hair. Let’s say that all these moments have helped me and still help me today to understand that if I want to do something I can. Having overcome all these things led me to understand that if I want to dance, I dance”, as he sings in the Sanremo song which combines rap with dance and which goes: “if you want to dance, dance, you can’t disappear“.. “AND I’m happy to be able to shout it on the Sanremo stage“, she adds.

The song tells of a change of perspective of the artist: “Me for a long time I responded to hate with hate, my primary vector was anger. In my first lyrics you can really feel the anger. My first song was about self-harm and suicide, thoughts that a little girl shouldn’t have. With this song I wanted to say: all this anger is of no use to you, anger is not enough for you, you can do more to feel better. My life changed when I realized that I could transform all these negative energies to feel better. I understood that I am beautiful as I am and that if you love yourself little, others will love you little, if you love yourself, others see it and treat you accordingly”, she says.

The message of the Sanremo song, he is keen to underline, is “for everyone, not just for minorities”: “Think about what you want to do when you grow up, think about how you want to do it and don’t think about everything around you “. ‘Anger is not enough for you’ was written straight away: “In one session, it was really a very quick outburst, almost as if I were going to apologize to my little girl: they say you can’t do it because you’re fat, you can’t do it because you come from a very small reality (BigMama was born in a small village in the province of Avellino, ed.), you can’t do it because you’re a woman, you can’t do it because you’re queer, and instead you believe it anyway because sooner or later you’ll do something great. And bringing this song to the most important stage in Italy is exactly the answer I was looking for”, he underlines proudly. While recognizing the editorial coherence of the festival Amadeus: “He really lets himself be guided by the piece as he says. I also sent a piece last year but he didn’t like it enough. This year I presented two pieces for Sanremo Giovani, one of the two was the one I would have brought if I were then arrived among the Bigs by winning he liked this song and put it directly among the Bigs, avoiding the ‘meat grinder’ of Sanremo Giovani”, he says.

BigMama he would like ‘Anger is not enough for you’ to be heard not only by those who suffer the bullying but also by those who do it“so that I can reflect on the fact that maybe the little girl who bullies today will become the artist most loved by her sister tomorrow“, as he says in one of the songs he wrote in the past.

At the first try with the orchestra she was overcome with emotion: “I cried as soon as the violins started playing. That was the moment I really realized that I was in Sanremo and that I deserved it. After the announcement of my participation, there were those on social media who said that I didn’t deserve to be among the Bigs and unfortunately I still give too much weight to what others say. But the Orchestra’s applause made me understand that it wasn’t like that, that I was in the right place.” The biggest fear linked to participating in the festival? “Disappointing my expectations. But I’m getting ready, I’m very studious”, says BigMama, who also made precise choices for the outfits and in line with the message he wants to bring to the stage:”Inclusive and queer brands, not ones that ask us to fit into their sizes“.

On the evening of the Sanremo covers he will bring with him on stage Gaia, La Niña and Sissi, “three young women” with whom he will sing the iconic ‘Lady Marmelade’: “In the charts and in the rap scene there are men and then some women. For me, the stage presence of women on that stage was fundamental. I wanted to demonstrate that three young women like me can do a lot and know how to tackle a stage of that magnitude. And I was also happy to show it the magic that is created between us, that we are friends, on stage. And I chose a piece that everyone sings together. It is not a random choice, because often, precisely because of the few places for women, there is great competition. And instead – I will say something that should be obvious but isn’t – unity is strength”, she concludes.

(Of Antonella Nesi)