Giosuè Greco, the Oscar-winning (Calabrian) musician, is back in the competition


By John

It will probably be the older ones who will sit in the Dolby Theater on the next night of the stars (Sunday 10 March). Yi Yan Fuei and Chang Li Hua, 96 and 86 years old, respectively paternal grandmother and maternal grandmother of director Sean Wang, are the protagonists of «Nai Nai & Wài Pó»the short documentary film signed by his nephew, who aspires to an Oscar that evening.

Moreover, in the same week in which he discovered he was in the top five for Hollywood’s most important prize, the 28-year-old Wang won the Sundance Festival with his feature film «Didi»: a thirteen-year-old American of Taiwanese origins discovers a passion for skating, the opposite sex and the true essence of maternal love that goes beyond the teachings of his family. Both undertakings are set to music by Giosuè Greco, a Calabrian composer based in Los Angeles.
«They are very personal works, inspired by the experience of a first generation Asian American, balanced between local and Taiwanese culture. On this troubled sense of belonging we found ourselves in harmony and working side by side gave birth to a sincere and important friendship”, he tells Ansa Greco, who arrived in the Californian metropolis at just 21 years old.

Born in 1990 in Polistena, in the province of Reggio Calabria, he studied at the Vibo Valentia conservatory. In the summer of 2009, you participated with your saxophone in a course organized by Umbria Jazz with professors from the largest (and most prestigious) music college in the world, Berklee in Boston.
«At the end of the experience, I was offered a scholarship: the real passport to enter that school, which is otherwise unapproachable», recalls Greco. It was a dream come true: «Since I was little I wanted to make a living from music. The technological aspect, the studio work attracted me at least as much as the actual composition.”

Greco left Berklee with a diploma in production and sound engineering and immediately moved to the entertainment capital. In Los Angeles she begins to collaborate with various studios without ever putting aside writing, until she agrees to compose the soundtrack for a short film about some women who travel around rural India to distribute sanitary pads. Director Rayka Zehtabchi’s documentary, «Period. End of Sentence”, won the Oscar in 2019. “It was a crucial moment. One of those who gives meaning to everything”, comments Greco. Furthermore, «Rayka is very good friends with Sean and she was the one who gave him my name».

During the pandemic, Wang left Los Angeles to return to his family in Fremont, south of San Francisco. In those months, she assiduously frequented the house where her Nai Nai (“paternal grandmother”, in Taiwanese) and her Wài Pó (“maternal grandmother”) live together, sharing the calm rituals of a life made up of small things.
«Even the soundtrack is homemade – jokes Greco –. I have the recording studio in my apartment. Sean came here, we talked, we listened to music, between a chat and a plate of spaghetti.”
And from there a journey began that reached the night of the stars. And let’s hope it goes even further.