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The paper treats singer-songwriter Paolo Conte’s pop success and his previous jazz formation in a provincial Italian place, Asti in Piedmont. This town, as well as its name, are linked to producing and branding sweet sparkling wine, the Asti Spumante, yet it is also the unexpected cradle of many Italian jazzmen. Paolo Conte is a son of this local culture who aims at seeing other cultures and landscapes due to his passion for French jazz and chanson. Paolo Conte is the creator of an imagined exotic landscape made of music and characters of individuals who dream to live here and, at the same time, not here. Paolo Conte makes it possible through his songs, being capable of telling stories that are both intimate and universal, thus making popular the unpopular. He is an idiosyncratic singer-songwriter in the Italian realm of cantautori who reached international notoriety building an out of here where local people can imagine to go and get the real taste of life.
Key words: Paolo Conte, Popular Music, Place, Exoticism