I really envy the Europeans in some ways. It’s a natural thing for many of them to speak multiple languages. It makes sense, really, because if you’re French, you can hop in your car and drive two hours and suddenly you’re in another country with a different language and different customs and all kinds of different things.
I live in Arizona. I can literally hop in my car and drive two hours and never leave the county, let alone the state.
Musically, that means you can market your tunes in different languages and, thus, different countries. It’s especially convenient if you speak a Romance language like French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or Romanian. They tend towards similarity and you can “port” your song into another language like a developer can “port” their code to a different platform.
Filippo Neviani, better known as Nek, performs in his native Italian and in Spanish. While I’m not fluent in Spanish, I do speak a bit of it and I read it even better. Spanish is similar enough to Italian that when I read Italian, I can usually gather what’s going on, at least in a general sense. If I can do that, then it makes sense for an artist to release a song in a similar language in another market. After all, I’m far from intelligent when it comes to languages, so if I can hit part of that target market, certainly hundreds of thousands of others can too.
A while back, Nek did a tune that I think is easily one of the more beautiful pieces of music ever recorded. It was a duet with Laura Pausini who takes the whole multilingual thing to another level and performs in her native Italian, and Spanish, and French, and English, and Portuguese. She is amazing on a level all her own, but when you put them together, singing the same song in two different languages, the blend is superb — even if you don’t happen to speak either fluently.
Tan Solo Tu, aka Sei Solo Tu, aka Only You if you happen to speak English is fantastic, no matter what your native tongue may be.