“I’m not a huge fashion guy,” says Edo Ferragamo, the grandson of iconic Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo. You wouldn’t know it from scrolling through the wide-brimmed hats and unbuttoned linen shirts on his Instagram, but the 28-year-old musician and Berklee College of Music grad only goes shopping once a year. “When I buy clothes, I’m thinking about what I could wear onstage.” Having grown up in Florence until the ripe age of 19, Edo (pronounced “eh-doh”) immersed himself in his native country’s culture, music, and yes, even style. (The latter comes naturally and effortlessly.) During lockdown, the New York transplant wrote roughly 20 songs in his Chelsea apartment — one of which chronicles Ferragamo’s quarantine relationship and expresses his unrelenting feelings for his girlfriend. Ahead of the release of Somehow I Need You, due out February 25, Ferragamo talked to The Manual about the new single, Italian food, and the strong family values he inherited from his grandfather.
How are you doing? This must’ve been a surreal time to be an Italian in New York, considering that Italy was one of the first countries to be hard-hit by the coronavirus.
Edo Ferragamo: It was tough, especially in the beginning. My whole family’s in Italy. Right before the pandemic started, I was in Mexico performing at a festival in the desert; on my way back to New York, my family was calling me and telling me that I have to come back home because things were about to get crazy. We didn’t know at that point what we were going to face, but I’m glad that I stayed in New York. If I had gone to Italy, I don’t think I would’ve been able to get as much work done, or work out as much.
What’s your typical workout routine?
EF: I love sports; I was a pole vaulter growing up in Italy. Then after I moved to America, I started going to the gym and running. I’ve tried a bit of boxing, a bit of CrossFit, a bit of everything. Right now, I do weights three times a week and XTRA’s live classes twice a week — they use AR to cater a workout class for you.
Do you have a favorite Italian restaurant in NYC?
EF: I love Bar Pitti; they have a great penne strascicate. [The food] is very authentic and the owner is from Florence, so we have a special bond. There’s actually quite a large Italian community in New York, and when you find someone that is from where you’re from, it’s such an easy bond.
What was it like growing up in such a storied household?
EF: Growing up as a Ferragamo was incredible, I feel super fortunate. When I was younger, it was easier for people to draw conclusions, but being a Ferragamo is a lot of responsibility. My family really taught me to work hard, be goal-oriented, pay a lot of attention to details, and take nothing for granted. I was obviously privileged, but I was never spoiled.
Did your grandfather pass down any advice ahead of breaking into a creative industry?
EF: Sadly I never met Salvatore, because he died when my father was only seven years old, but his values were passed along from him to my grandmother, from my grandmother to my father, and then from my father and my uncles to my siblings and me. My grandfather was born in a very humble environment as the twelfth of twelve siblings — he’s the incarnation of the American Dream. When he was 14 years old, he moved to the states to find fortune and then became one of the most famous shoemakers in the world. He’s the pioneer of [the] Made in Italy [concept]. We have very strong family values that we treasure.
When did you first become interested in music? We read that School of Rock was a big inspiration.
EF: I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old because I thought [School of Rock] was the coolest thing ever [laughs]. I remember my mom had an old classical guitar in the basement, so I picked it up and started messing around with it, and I was fascinated by it. Shortly after, I asked her if I could take guitar lessons, and then I fell in love with music and the idea of being able to play an instrument really well. A few years later, I knew that music was going to be the most important thing in my life. It’s been an amazing, loving relationship that keeps growing and growing. It’s not always easy because it’s a tough industry with a lot of competition, but whenever I get frustrated, I try to remember why I’m doing it — because music is the thing that makes me feel the best.
Read more: How to Learn a Musical Instrument
Who are some of your favorite artists?
EF: My musical influences vary because I grew up listening to all the classic rock bands — Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses — then, when I got to Berklee [College of Music], I started learning more about jazz and getting into electronic music. Now, I’d say my genre is pop-rock. Shawn Mendes is someone I look up to very much, Justin Timberlake is an amazing artist, and John Mayer is my idol, for sure.
Now tell me about the new single. Is there a backstory to the title?
EF: I came up with the guitar riff while I was at my girlfriend’s mom’s house in New Hampshire over Thanksgiving. The lyrics talk about the frustration of this past year when it comes to being in a relationship — the ups and downs of living under the same roof 24/7. Sometimes you almost feel like giving up, but you have love for each other, and at the end of the day, love always wins.
What do you like to wear onstage when you perform?
EF: I aim for an elegant, rock-and-roll sense of style, like Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born. A nice shirt, a leather jacket, jeans, boots. I wear hats a lot now too because I have long hair. Obviously Ferragamo is the brand I wear the most.
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