Thank you very much for this interview. Firstly, I would like to ask you your real name.
My name is Gianfranco Felli, singer and lyrics writer.

Can you tell me who Felli is?
Born in 1955 in the south of Italy, came to north at four, the fifth of six brothers, all family interested in music.

When did you start to have an interest in music? – writing lyrics, music....
Before the disco music I was a singer at 360 degrees (folk, rock, pop,etc..etc)

How did you start making italo disco songs?
Adriano was the keyboard player in a band I used to sing with. In ’82 he had some material he made for the new born genre of the italo dance. Knowing the knowledge that I have with the english languange, He asked me if I could write some lyrics, so I did.

You released only three songs in the 80s – 'Diamond In The Night', 'Greatest Mind' and 'Flying' (which is on the B side of 'Greatest Mind'). Why is that so?
We worked together for few time, writing a bunch of songs. Then after the issue of “Diamond in the night” Adriano proposed to the record company “Greatest Mind” that I never liked so much. I’d preferred another number at the level of the first, (like “Music Man” or “Pretty Girl”) That was the cause of the discussions that made me give up.

Who is the female voicalist in "Diamond In The Night" song?
The female voices (two) were professionalist and I don’t remember the names.

How did you get in contact with Discomagic?
We took the demos to Lombardoni of Discomagic who was known by Adriano and he liked them.

When you were creating songs in the 80s, did you have contact with other italo disco artists? If so, with whom, and can you tell me more about it?
In that period I had a lot of gigs all around of Italy with some of the most popular protagonists, getting on the stage with Den Harrow, Albertone(Jock Hattle), Joe Maran, J.D.Jaber, Angie Care, Savage, P.Lion, Novecento, Raf and others.

'Greatest Mind' is your second song. Can you tell me more about this song?
About Greatest Mind ain’t much to say ‘cept that never gave chills. That’s why I wanted Flying on B-side to increase the level of the quality With few results, I think.

On this song, you had help from Vincent McMaffy and Bruno Bergonzi. Vincent McMaffy was also part of the song 'Sunny' by Sir J. and Bruno Bergonzi on Sheik Sphere – 'Deep Freeze'. Can you tell me more about these guys and about their work?
About the people that you asked me I’v et met anyone of them ‘cept Bergonzi that I consider a great drummer (he did one number in Sanremo’s festival with “Duo” called “Walking Around”)

What have you been doing during that period of silence between 1985 and 2007. I know it's huge period to describe, but just in short please.
I am still singing and writing songs, in these years I made some productions for me and others.
An album of pop-italian music called “Lontano da qui” with a guitar teacher (Marco Cases)
I wrote the lyrics in two albums of the rock band the “Freedom” recorded in Switzerland (Bastard son of Blues and Crossfire).
Now I’m the singer and the songs writer of a band called “Black Sheep” that made two albums: Blues it!...Alien (2004) and In U$ Age (2007).
This year I also released with Adriano two productions for the “Flashback Records” with the material that was in the shelf since ’83 (two vinyls).
“Diamond in the night” started with the words of the riff that I thought sounded good and the rest came out easily.

In 2007, you released a great new song called 'Shadows Of The Night', for Flashback Records (owned by Kimmo Salo). How did you met Kimmo Salo and can you tell me how you started cooperation with him?
Kimmo asked Adriano if he had some unmade material of the 80s italo disco and if i’d like to sing them, I think you know the rest.

The new song has been released in two versions – Vocal Mix and Wizard Mix. It's interesing that for the Vocal Version of the song, you choose Bruna Mazzucchi, and for Wizard mix, Lorella Panizzoli to sing. Why two different vocals for two versions of the same song? And can you tell me a bit more about these girls please?
About the female voices of “Shadows”, they are both very good friends of mine that’s why I envolved them. Lorella is a melodic singer with a warm voice and she sings mostly italian songs while Bruna is a jazz-singer, born in England and married in Italy (such a great voice!)

Your impressions on italo disco music please?
I’m proud that I’ve had a little part in the phenomenom of italo dance.

Who is your favorite italo disco artist(s)?
My favourite is Savage.

Italo disco song(s)?
My favourite song is “Fall in love” (Ryan Paris).

Where do you live today and what is your occupation?
I live in Corrido (Como) near the lake of Lugano (CH). I’m an operator on a Psychiatric Centre.

Your plans for the near future regarding your music career, and generally in your life?
I hope to keep singing and writing songs

I wonder, are you surfing on italo disco web sites, and are you looking for any italo information these days? ? Or maybe you're a member of some italo disco forums under a nickname we don't know?! ?
Now I’m a little too busy for surfing on web but sometimes I do it.

Thank you again for this interview and for your time, and especially for the great songs you made for all of us! Ciao.

Additional info: Felli remembered, aftere the interview, that one of the vocalists in the song "Diamond In The Night" was Clara Moroni!!!

BIG thanx to Kimmo "King-O" Salo and to his Flashback Records!
BIG thanx also to my italo friend Paul Ritchie from London!!!

© Zeljko Vujkovic - September 2007