The Heroine’s Journey of Azzurra Sottosanti

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I’m a press officer, music manager and event planner. I like my job and I’m very passioned. I think it’s a great privilege to have the chance to promote the music I love. I enjoy the opportunity to meet new and creative people every day and to travel a lot: it’s a great form of enrichment to me. But, honestly, what I love most about my job is to feel the satisfaction of the artists I work with, their enthusiasm.

Copyright by Roberta Camilli

What is my idea of happiness?
I think happiness is synonimous with freedom.

What is my greatest fear?
Losing the people I love.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
Not being able to give myself the same good advice that I give those around me.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
Every woman who does not give up on having her voice heard as a professional in this field.

What is my greatest extravagance?
I am obsessed with crime stories.

On what occasion would I lie?
To protect someone I love. And, sometimes, to protect myself too.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Music is still a very male-dominated industry. I hate it when I am treated differently from a male colleague just because I am a woman. Fortunately things are changing, but there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard.

Copyright by Paolo Soriani

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
I remember my first sold-out event: it was in Rome, a long time ago. I was happy with my work, it was the confirmation that my intuitions were right. It was an amazing moment.

If I could, what would I change about myself?
I’d like to learn to give more importance to my potential than to my limits.

What is my greatest achievement in work?
Having successed to turn my passion into a job, to do everything on my own, from scratch, after years of sacrifice. At a time when there were no training courses for those who wanted to do this job, while everyone kept telling me that I should have looked for a “real job” and engaged in music as a hobby. I did my apprenticeship on my own, touring clubs and offering myself as a music director. And almost five years ago, with some workmates, I opened my own agency, L’Eretico Booking & Management, that since the beginning of its activity has organised hundreds of concerts for Italian and foreign artists. Moreover I am partner in an important music press office, Unomundo. I’m very proud of the journey I’m on, even though I know I’ve still a lot of work to do.

Where would I most like to live?
I have lived in several places, but the one I remember most happily is Paris. I often think it would be very nice to move there.

What is my most treasured possession?
My adaptability.

What is my most marked characteristic?
I’m stubborn. I am often told that I am a tough person, but I don’t think I’m tough, I believe that anyone who respects himself exhibits a certain toughness. “I simply believe that I have character” (quote).

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
Well, I live in Catania (Sicily) now, the city I was born. Catania is full of inspiring places. Among the ones I love most, the small fishing village of San Giovanni Li Cuti with his peaceful marina, and the flea market.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?
My own kitchen. I’m very lucky because my boyfriend is a very good cook, so my home is definitely where I eat best. But I also really love Vermut and Città Vecchia, two lovely wine bars in the city centre. I like have a drink there, especially in spring and summer.

What books influenced my life and how?
I grew up with the poems of Alda Merini and Emily Dickinson and with the poetry collections of Italian and American feminists of the 60s and 70s, inherited from my mother: Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Robin Morgan, Jean Tepperman, Chandra Livia Candiani, Biancamaria Frabotta, Amelia Rosselli, Maria Luisa Spaziani… In addition to these, a book that has definitely influenced my life is Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”. It made me realise that it doesn’t matter where you start from, but where you can get to.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
One song above all: “You don’t know me” by Caetano Veloso.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Juliet of the Spirits.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Joan Didion, Patti Smith, Nico, Cat Power, Lydia Lunch. They are so inspiring!

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”

What role play stories in my life and work?
I love stories. I love discovering and telling them. That’s what music is all about: telling stories that come from the particular and become universal. I began my career myself as a music journalist, reviewing albums and concerts, and I remember my editor-in-chief telling me that my reviews were more like “little music stories”. The same goes to my job, it’s about storytelling. My work is to tell about the artists I work with, their projects, their music, to make their stories known to as many people as possible.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?
I could tattoo it! It’s the key concept that leads my entire life. I have often found myself having to choose between different options, between what was best for others and what was right for me. But I have always acted driven by the knowledge that only I can write my own story. As Joan Didion wrote: “to remember what it means to be me. That’s always the point.” Never lose sight of who you are.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My parents have always been my greatest supporters and I should thank them more often for that. And Livio, my boyfriend: he’s a great musician and he’s definitely my best partner in crime.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022?

I don’t know, I really like being surprised by life. Every person who has succeeded in making their passion their work, in overcoming the cultural and social resistance that held them back in a certain role, in not giving a damn about what society expects of them, is a great source of inspiration for me and for those who work with me. It is no coincidence that we chose the word ‘heretic’ for our agency. I hope to meet more and more people like that on my journey.

Copyright by Paolo Soriani

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to work on?
Well, 2020 was not at all a great year for music. We can’t pretend it wasn’t. So, first of all, I’m looking forward our sector can restart soon. That said, we are working on the launch of some musical projects in which we believe very strongly. I’m very optimistic and excited about that, but unfortunately I can’t spoil anything.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?

On the website and the social networks of my agencies.
L’ERETICO BOOKING & MANAGEMENT:
www.lereticobooking.com – FB: lereticobooking – IG: leretico_booking
UNOMUNDO: FB: unomundo – IG: unomundo_agency

What do the words “Passion Never Retiresmean to me?

I would not have got where I am without the great passion that drove me and continues to drive my job every day. A job made of ups and downs, joys and failures. Only a great passion has allowed me not to give up. Because yes, if it is real, passion is not destined to die out.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Here the names of some women I appreciate a lot and whose stories I think would be interesting to read: Marta Collica, musician;
Sara Cecchetto, singer and violinist;
Concetta Inglima, talented photographer and videomaker.

How can you contact me?
You can e-mail me at lereticobooking@gmail.com or azzurra@unomundo.it

Or write me on my Instagram: www.instagram.com/grigianorna

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