Interview – RAFFAELLA ZAGO: I start from KENDRICK LAMAR to make my music known


When you meet Raffaella the first thing that strikes you is her innate soulful attitude: you see her in her eyes, you feel her when she speaks and above all she is overflowing when she starts singing.

Raffaella Zago is the new voice of soul made in Italy. A pure talent, yet to be discovered, which she breaks into the difficult and difficult world of female urban-soul.

For this debut he decided to reinterpret a great piece of hip hop, namely Money Treesa 2012 training song by Kendrick Lamar.

The piece in his hands takes on a different color, with a rearrangement that makes it recognizable only to the most attentive listeners.

The suspended rhythm and the bars of the American artist, in fact, take on a new form, blending with the nu-soul arrangement and the warmth of Raffaella Zago’s voice, who composed a new melody for the song.

We interviewed Raffaella. Here is the story:

For your debut album you created a nu-soul reinterpretation of “Money Trees” by Kenrick Lamar. Why did you choose this song?

I chose this song simply because I love Kendrick! The thing that has always struck me in any artist is the rhythmic ability of the voice and Kendrik has a lot of it.
I leave from Kendrick to make my music known.

Give me some groove and I’m so happy!

“Money Trees” is a complex portrait of money and power. Lamar recognizes the potential of money to improve people’s lives, but also the dark side of him. How did you manage to cover this lyrical denunciation with the soft fabrics of nu-soul?

I don’t know, it came to me naturally! perhaps because things like money and power are in every corner of the world.
It has always been there and I think that every musical genre can talk about this, because each of us in our lives, more or less, has faced this duplicity.

What does your musical project involve? In addition to the revisitation of Lamar’s piece, can we also expect some of your songs?

My project is my whole life; I’ve been working on it for a year now and “Money Trees” will be the only rearrangement, all the other pieces are my songs, written by me and each one tells something about my life, from my childhood with my dad to the disappointments of love .
All of this will be presented with an EP due out next spring.
I can’t wait!

Will there also be room for something sung in Italian?

Not at the moment. I have always written in English by choice, going against everything and everyone, because all my life I have been told that I had to write in Italian, but it is not a language that I feel is right for my music.

Can you describe your music to me with five key words?

In my opinion they are: real, engaging, biting, delicate and naturally soulful!

Where would you like to be in five years?

My dream has always been to go and live in America and be able to live there with my music! I hope to be there in 5 years!

And five years ago what were you doing?

Exactly 5 years ago I started law school, which I dropped out after a year.
I realized that it was absolutely not for me, I felt the need to do what I was born to do, which is singing!

Can you tell me your top five favorite songs of all time?

I would say Untitled by D’Angelo, Sex Machine by James Brown, Call Out My Name by The Weeknd, Rocket by Beyoncé and of course Money Trees by Kendrick Lamar.

Last album listened to?

The last album I listened to is “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” by Little Simz, an English girl who raps and is fantastic.

Last concert seen?

The last concert I saw was The Weeknd this summer in Milan, a concert that changed my life! The next day, when I realized I had seen it after years of waiting, I cried like a little girl watching the badly made videos with my phone, but what a thrill.

If you were the editor of a music magazine who would you put on the cover?

Oh God I don’t know, there are many I would like to put on the cover, but maybe I would choose Yebba!
She is an amazing artist with an amazing voice and few people still know her. I would do anything to point it out and say “hey guys, listen to Yebba and you won’t regret it!”

Besides music, who is Raffaella?

Besides music I love my family very much. We are very close and I don’t see them much because living in another city it’s difficult to hang out, but we see each other whenever we can!
Then I try to be a girlfriend who doesn’t break things too much (which is very challenging 😂).

I work in a shop that only sells vinyl records, again very demanding because I struggle not to spend all my salary on buying records and to top it off I really like being with my friends; I’m one for very long evenings in front of a good wine, chatting and laughing together with the people in my life, and I wish these things wouldn’t change but!


Raffaella Zagoborn in Padua in 1998, began studying piano at the age of eight and then continued this path at music high school as a classical pianist and with the study of opera singing.

At the age of 20 he attended the CPM in Milan, obtaining a three-year degree in pop-rock singing with a thesis entitled “Black music from the 90s to today”.

She is an author and composer, she collaborates with Max Greco, musical co-producer of her songs, and with a band of musicians who support her both in the studio and on live dates.


The single is released by Groovin Recordings, a label that, with this song, launches itself on the Italian recording market after various international exploits.

Groovin Recordings was born in 2015 from an idea by Paolo Rey and Alex De Ponti, owners of Vinylbrokers, a Milanese record shop. Being in close contact with the world of vinyl, the two founders know well the titles that are starting to become “hard to find”, so the label aims to satisfy this market need, establishing itself in a few years as one of the strongest in the reprint sector. The catalog ranges from the most classic soul/disco to the most underground to house music, from the most niche titles to the most popular ones.

From 2021, Groovin gives space to young producers, such as the French Groove Boys Project and the Colombian Felipe Gordon, with the specific aim of promoting new talents.



Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.