What do the Gipsy Kings “Un Amor” and an Italian Canadian-American musician and composer have in common? Much more than one may think. To mark the 34th anniversary of the release of the famed song named after the Gipsy Kings’ self-titled second studio album, the digi single of 'Na Muri (Un Amor) will drop on Spotify and all major digital streaming platforms of August 5 with a cover that pays a loving tribute both to the legendary Gitano band and to the artist’s Italian (Calabrian) roots.
Castaldo’s 'Na Muri version of Un Amor, which translates to “ONE LOVE,” is no doubt the most non-conventional ever, as it’s sung in the Calabrian language, yet it keeps the vibes and influences of the original song. “My Calabrian translation remains true to the meter, rhyme, and beat of the original,” Castaldo notes, “and the groove is undeniable.”
Known for his crossover Italian ballads and Italian versions of popular hits from various genres, Castaldo and fellow Berklee alum, Rap/Hip Hop award-winning remixer John Fig have created a hypnotic remix dance groove that highlights the Rumba Flamenco beat veering away from the originals’ more legato tempo. The song, produced by Majestic Castle Music Productions, features Italian Flamenco guitarist, Francesco Grant-Energipsy.
The reimagined 'Na Muri track brings a blend of musical cultures: Andalusian, Arab, and Calabrian. John Fig’s engineering touch makes the track hauntingly exotic.
The original Spanish lyrics, written by Andre Reyes, Francois Canut Reyes, Jacques Paco Baliardo, Maurice Diego Baliardo, Nicolas Reyes, Patchai Reyes, Paul Reyes, and Tonino Antoine Baliardo, is about unrequited love with a beautiful Gitano woman. The flamenco flavors add to the history of Spanish dominance in southern Italy (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.)
The Calabrian Language
Italy is made up of 20 regions and each region has its own language. When the regions/kingdoms were unified in 1861, the Florentine language was chosen to be the official Italian language.
“My recordings of Flamenco Pop songs are sung in Calabrian; it’s my way of preserving the language and telling my stories,” noted Castaldo. “My hope is that those who know and love the Gipsy Kings will enjoy my cover song 'Na Muri and learn a little bit of my beautiful native language in the process.”
About the Recording Artist
Michéal Castaldo was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy, and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. He studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a vocalist, he has toured North America and Europe, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Rainbow Room, Shea Stadium, Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and Italy’s Teatro F. Cilea and Pescara Opera House.
About the Cover Image Artist
The cover image of 'Na Muri was created by Mark Kostabi. He is best known for his paintings of faceless figures. Beyond traditional art world exposure, Kostabi has designed album covers for Guns N' Roses (Use Your Illusion) and The Ramones (¡Adios Amigos!). He has designed numerous products including a Swatch watch, Alessi vases, and a Giro d’Italia pink jersey. Kostabi’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery in Washington D.C., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
About the Engineer
John Ficarrotta (aka John Fig) is a record producer/engineer and mixer who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens N.Y. Throughout the late 80s and 90s, he worked with an array of artists including Kid n Play, Salt n Pepa, and Markie Mark Wahlberg. In the early 90s, he co-produced and mixed MC Shan from Queensbridge N.Y. and the platinum-selling artist SNOW from Toronto, yielding a Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit “Informer” for eight weeks.
He continues to record, produce, and mix a wide array of artists and has been mixing live shows for legendary classic rock artists Mickey Dolenz, Bad Finger, and Al Jardine at the newly revamped Legendary club, My Father’s Place, in Roslyn, Long Island, N.Y.
Music for 'Na Muri was written by Andre Reyes, Francois Canut Reyes, Jacques Paco Baliardo, Maurice Diego Baliardo, Nicolas Reyes, Patchai Reyes, Paul Reyes, and Tonino Antoine Baliardo. Calabrian lyrics were written by Michele Castaldo. It was produced by Stein Berge Svendsen and Michéal Castaldo. This digital release of 'Na Muri is credited to John Fig + DJ MC Cell, with engineering by John Ficarrotta. Additional engineering by Stein Berge Svendsen, Francesco Grant, and Ric Schnupp.
Flamenco Guitar accompaniment was performed by Italian musician Francesco Grant-Energipsy. The 'Na Muri CD image was created by Mark Kostabi. 'Na Muri CD cover was designed by Sitka Creations, and Michéal Castaldo’s “Silhouette” photo credit by Mark Kopko.
'Na Muri is available at digital online music e-tail stores worldwide and to stream on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, and YouTube.
Follow Michéal Castaldo on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/Follow-Castaldo-Spotify, where his recent popular single releases “Baila Morena Remix” and “Hotel California Remix” were included in Spotify’s prestigious “Discover Weekly Playlist.”
For further information and to book Michéal and his La Dolce Vita Band, contact: Majestic Castle Music Productions at MajesticCastleMusic@yahoo.com or call toll-free at 877-642-7271.
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