Home Art & StyleMusic Paoletta – “I am definitely a radio woman: radio is my love!”

Paoletta – “I am definitely a radio woman: radio is my love!”

Written by Monica Landro

Paoletta from Radio Italia represents much more than just a radio personality. With her warm voice, she is certainly an iconic figure who has won the hearts of listeners with her passion for music and her talent for communicating. Thanks to her tireless work and dedication, she is one of the most loved and respected female voices in the Italian radio universe and a benchmark for music lovers in Italy.

Let’s start from very far back. Let me give you a name that should unlock a memory: Jovanotti….
Oh, yes you do unlock it for me! I was still living in Campania and I came to Radio Kiss Kiss from a small private radio station, but my intention was to get to Milan. As people did at that time, I sent a little tape to Radio Deejay. After a few days I got a phone call and they asked me to come up and audition. Imagine, that was me! I went and did it. I only learnt later that in the midst of the pile of tapes stationed at the radio switchboard, it was Jovanotti, who was just passing by, who picked a tape at random: mine! He listened to it, liked it and played it for Claudio Cecchetto. He wasn’t convinced, but anyway, after a few days I went to them. And I passed the audition! My adventure started thanks to him. It was at the beginning of 1990 and just think that it was Jovanotti himself, years later, who told me ‘Did you know it was me who caught your little tape, huh? I am bound to him by this eternal gratitude, because from there, my life changed, of course.

You have worked in other networks
Yes, and it was a dramatic experience because at Radio Deejay you could really express yourself freely, your speech could last even five minutes without problems. I agreed to go to 101 because they offered me the morning slot and it’s clear that at Deejay I could never have hoped to have that slot. There, however, things were different, the times were different, and it was tragic to find myself no longer having that freedom. I changed again hoping to find it again but in truth it never happened again….

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In fact you changed and went to RTL 102.5. According to the legend, it was there that you got angry at one point and left the live show. Is that true?
Yes, that’s true. The editorial choice of the radio station was that you should not talk about your own stuff, that you should not address the listeners too much, which is difficult for me as I am emphatic. It was walnut season, and I had asked listeners where I could find walnut trees to make nocino, and one listener answered me. The editor criticised me because he said I should not talk about my business. The next day I went to look for the tree, I found it, and so on air I thanked the listener, Suraci came into the live studio and shouted at me, he swore at me. Never had an editor treated me like that and so I got up and left. At that time I had received a proposal from Radio Italia and I decided to accept it even though I had many doubts because I was not an expert in that kind of music…

You went from a radio station with dynamic and international cuts to one that only played Italian music. What convinced you to do that?
I let myself be seduced by the time and even though I was not an expert on Italian music,

I had great luck: I arrived at Radio Italia at a time when Italian music was beginning to evolve, to update itself and the station was beginning to open up to the new,

to a different vein and so I found myself an expert on that new music.

You run two shows at Radio Italia: the daily morning show and the Saturday evening show. What is your morning radio style like and what is your Saturday evening style?
It’s completely different. In the morning I am chatty, I take the listener into account, I hope he considers me a friend, even a confident maybe, who leads you into new songs or tells you something from the past, who talks to you about Italian music, from the most classic to the most current. On Saturday evenings I am direct, straightforward, I tell you the name of the DJ producer and I get down to business, I’m quick because that is a programme made especially for those who want to dance, for those who want to hear a different version of the song they like so much, but in a club version.

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Throughout all these years you have also been on the air in tandem, not just on your own. Who among your colleagues do you carry in your heart?

Luciana Littizzetto! I carry her in my heart because she was brilliant, she was very pleasant, for a lot of reasons. When you do co-hosting, you have to understand who you have at your side: you have to understand if you have to lift, if you have to cut…

Co-hosting is very difficult. I think I am one of the few left to go on air, especially in the morning, alone.

Do you carry her in your heart because in co-conducting you managed to find the right rhythm?
I was the sidekick, of course, that is, I would slip in because she was a volcano, she had her own scripts, I would break them because I really liked to create disarray and because when she talks freely without a scheme she’s a bomb. And I loved that, I would do that again. With her, definitely.

Today there are many ways to enjoy music, for example through streaming and podcasts, which are conquering the market. Do you think they can harm the traditional radio media?
If you’re referring to the fact that if you want to hear new music, you don’t necessarily have to turn on the radio, that’s true, but the companionship that the radio gives you cannot be replaced, so no, I’m not worried. I’ll give you an example: when you’re in the car you might decide to listen to a book or listen to a podcast,

but when you need to know what’s happening in the world right now, well, only the radio gives you that. That’s never going to change, even if it’s just for a news bulletin.

And so no, it doesn’t scare me. For me, radio is healthy.

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Let’s come to your relationship with social media: on your Instagram profile every morning you post a video that is a small fashion show, always in colourful and fashionable clothes. How do you live this, i.e. do you wake up in the morning thinking what you have to wear to make the video on Instagram?
Instagram has to attract attention and I have found this system: I go to a shop every 10 days, I borrow some clothes and I say to myself: ‘Monday I wear this, Tuesday I wear this, then this one more’ and so on, but most of the time, I change afterwards also because I am not exactly like that. I take off my heels and wear slippers, especially when I have my gym appointment at 12:30. Let’s say it’s just a way of self-promotion even though I still haven’t figured out if it’s really coherent. Let me explain: the more you show the more men you attract, but I’m more interested in women who are the ones who listen to me in the mornings, so I always have to try to balance…

You are a great radio voice but little on television, were you never interested or did they never call you?
I never really got major calls, except for an important one for MTV years ago, but I didn’t know English and I would have had to move to London to learn it. I didn’t have time because it was the early 90s and I was working as a DJ, so I gave up. I can tell you that when I do that bit of television that I do on the radio, I feel uncomfortable. I’m really a radio animal. TV is not my thing, it’s a skill I don’t think I have. On the other hand, I think I am somewhat capable in radio….

In short, do you feel like a radio woman?
Without any doubt, a radio woman: radio is my love!

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