Mahmood and Blanco, two young superstars who won the Sanremo Festival 2022 with their ballad Brividi, represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin in May 2022. They placed sixth, while Ukraine won the contest thanks to a tidal wave of public support.
Who is Mahmood, the charismatic artist? How did he rise to international fame in 2019? What is known about his private life? Discover 20 facts about Italian singer Mahmood.
(This article, which was first published on 6 February 2022 and updated ever since, is a shorter new version of our first article 27 Facts About Italian Artist Mahmood.)
Mahmood, whose real name is Alessandro Mahmoud, was born on 12 September 1992 and grew up in a district on the outskirts of Milan.
His Egyptian father abandoned Alessandro and his mother when the boy was five years old.
Mahmood mentions his father in at least four songs, especially in his smash hit Soldi. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della sera, the artist said: “The Arab sentence waladi habibi ta’aleena in the song Soldi refers to my father, he used to say it when we had to leave the children’s playground at Gratosoglio to go home. It means: Come on son, my love.”
Mahmood is very attached to his mother Anna, who’s originally from Sardinia. She raised her son alone. She was his mother and his father.
Mahmood started taking music lessons as a child. As a teenager, he took singing classes with Italian baritone Gianluca Valenti.
Mahmood auditioned for the TV talent show X Factor Italia in 2012, made the cut, but was eliminated the night of the third show.
Before rising to fame, Mahmood worked several years as a bartender in Milan.
Even though he had obtained a baccalaureate in languages, he wasn’t interested in going to university.
In 2016, he performed Dimentica in the newcomer category of the Sanremo Festival, Italy’s most important song contest.
Three years later, in January 2019, Mahmood won the Sanremo Festival with Soldi.
In May 2019, the singer rose to international fame when he performed Soldi at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. He placed second and started a successful concert tour through Europe.
Soldi by Mahmood is the second most streamed Eurovision song of all time on Spotify.
Mahmood was inspired by hip-hop, rap as well as ryhtm and blues. The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Frank Ocean, Jazmine Sullivan, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles are some of this favourite musical artists.
Mahmood is not only a singer, but also a songwriter. He wrote most of his songs and also songs for a few Italian artists like Elodie (Nero Bali, Andromeda), Marco Mengoni (Hola – I Say) and Michele Bravi (Presi male).
Brividi, which already topped the charts in Italy, will be Italy’s competing song at the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2022 in Turin. Expectations are high for the performance of Mahmood and Blanco at the ESC, especially after the international success of Maneskin.
Mahmood is very interested in fashion. In the last few years, he attended several fashion shows in Paris (Valentino), London (Burberry) and Milan (Prada).
In 2019, Mahmood posed for Burberry’s Christmas campaign (photos).
He always wears an earring on his left ear.
The artist used to live in a luxurious apartment of the Torre del Moro skyscraper in Milan. He said that it was his dream flat. On 29 August 2021, the 20-storey building was completely destroyed by the flames.
Mahmood is a very corteous and reserved person. He keeps his private life largely private and never speaks about his relationships.
He speaks Spanish and English fluently.
Mahmood has 1,7 million followers on Instagram (on 6 February he had 1,5 million).
Unfortunately, Mahmood doesn’t have a press agent, which makes it nearly impossible to get an interview. Our international magazine requested several times extremely difficult for international magazines to get an interview or a photoshoot with him. The only possibility is to contact his music label Universal Music.
MAHMOOD AND BLANCO VIDEO INTERVIEW IN ENGLISH
MAHMOOD AND BLANCO INTERVIEW IN SPANISH
MAHMOOD SHOWS SOLIDARITY WITH UKRAINE
FIRST INTERVIEW OF MAHMOOD AND BLANCO AFTER WINNING SANREMO
THE MOST STUPID QUESTIONS MAHMOOD HAD TO ANSWER IN 2019
Cover Photo: Marco Piraccini (Imago / Zuma Wire)
Photos: Courtesy of RAI press office / Universal Music Italia / Bogdan Chilldays Plakov