Francesco "Franco" Battiato (born 23 March 1945, Riposto, Sicily) is a Italian singer-songwriter, composer, filmmaker and, under the pseudonym Süphan Barzani, also a painter. Battiato's songs contain esoteric, philosophical and religious themes. He is and has been for decades one of the most popular pop singer-songwriters in Italy. His unique sound, song-crafting and especially his lyrics, often containing philosophical, religious, and culturally exotic references, as well as tackling or painting universal themes about the human condition - unusual subjects for pop songs - earned him a unique spot on Italy's music scene, and the nickname of "Il Maestro" ("The Master" or "The Teacher"). His work includes songwriting and joint production efforts with several Italian and international musicians and pop singers, including the long-lasting professional relationship with Italian singer Alice. Together with Alice, Franco Battiato represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 1984 with the song "I treni di Tozeur".