Helmut Lotti The Crooners – by Patrick Ranasinghe
Helmut Lotti The Crooners Helmut Lotti (born Helmut Barthold Johannes Alma Lotigiers; 22 October 1969), is a Belgian tenor and singer-songwriter. Lotti performs in several styles and languages. Once an Elvis impersonator, he has sung African and Latino and Jewish music hit records, and he crossed over into classical music in the 1990s. The son of Luc and Rita (née Lagrou), Helmut Barthold Johannes Alma Lotigiers was born in Ghent, Belgium, and began his singing career with a visual and singing style in an obvious imitation of Elvis Presley, and was described as “De Nieuwe Elvis” (in Dutch) or “The New Elvis”. His first two albums were Vlaamse Nachten (“Flemish Nights”, 1990) and Alles Wat Ik Voel (“All That I Feel”, 1992).
After a few more albums, he changed direction in 1995 with the first of what became a long series of “Helmut Lotti Goes Classic” albums, which proved to increase his popularity. Since 2000 he has also made successful recordings in traditional Latino, African and Russian-style music. Lotti sings in his native language Dutch, as well as Afrikaans, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and others. His albums has sold over 13 million worldwide. Lotti does volunteer work as an ambassador for UNICEF. Lotti took part in the 0110 concerts against racism, organised by Tom Barman. He was married 3 times, divorced 3 times and has 1 daughter. Lotti was diagnosed with autism as an adult
In 1964, Bobby Solo, the Italian answer to Elvis Presley, made musical history by singing Una Lacrima Sul Viso. Together with orchestrator Walter De Loose, Helmut turned it into a one tile slow, sensual and intimate. Because of his love of Golden Oldies and frivolous crooner songs, Helmut decided to also record a dual language version of the fifties hit Piccolissima Serenata. And in the mesmerizing Al Di Là, the warm crooner Helmut Lotti is omnipresent: here Helmut sounds like a cross-over between Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, but in Italian. Obviously, traditional music couldn’t be absent from the album. Helmut sings Torna A Sorriento, ‘O Marenariello and La Spagnola, three famous classic songs, using guitar, accordeon and mandoline in a very romantic arrangement. Yet, the songs do not lose their power. Less well known, but certainly equally beautiful is a Tiroler Waltz from the North Italian Alps: La Villanella. Helmut turned this into a romantic slow.