I got to see this old video of an interview of Piero in 2013.
It’s a very nice interview, made by the beautiful and nice Marcella Lattuca for the transmission Agrigentini Bella Gente.
It’s a long interview, made to a very young Piero, but interesting to hear and read his answers.
I noticed that there was the possibility of the automatic translator, but I read some passages and sincerely, there is not much sense in what is automatically translated, so I hope the length does not bore you, but I preferred to translate it for you.
ML = Dear viewers, welcome to this new episode of Agrigentini Bella Gente (Inhabitants of Agrigento, beautiful people).
This episode is very special because I have the privilege to talk with a real star of international music, you think, he has only 19 years, Piero Barone, whom I thank for intervening, has reached goals that perhaps, artists can not reach, over a whole career.
Thanks Piero, for being our guest.
P = It’s a pleasure. We did the chorus together and today we are here to do this fantastic interview.
ML = It’s true, you and me started in parallel, with a fairly considerable age gap, alas.
You start from Naro, you were born in Naro, you have a family from Agrigento, and you start with the Little Cantori di Santa Cecilia. (a choir of Agrigento).
Tell us how you approached music.
P = I have always pursued this dream of music, I grew up in the middle of music with my grandfather, grandfather Pietro and thanks also to my father’s constancy, because you know, sometimes there are moments, when you’re little, you play piano and you want to give up everything, but thanks to the constancy of my father, I always, always pursued this dream, first with the chorus of Santa Cecilia, studying with private teachers, and now fortunately, I’m here.
(Piero with his grandfather Pietro)
ML = Anyway, your career was born a few years ago, when you were really a child.
What was actually this turning point, which made you feel you wanted to do something more? What was the spring?
P = In fact there was not, because I always wanted to sing, but there was luck, thanks to my father, always, thanks to my father, to do a summer festival in Cosenza.
My father called me and told me “Do you want to do this festival? Let’s go and come back in 24 hours (by car), let’s go and come back”.
I replied, “Dad, are you crazy?” and he “Come on, let’s try, I drive and you sleep in the car.”
For that selection they did not take me, but they gave my name to the editorial office of TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE, Antonella Clerici’s program.
One day I was returning from the piano school and I found my father on the phone with a lady Isabella Abiuso, and from there it all started, in fact my father asked me if I wanted to do that program and I replied “Why not, let’s try.”
ML = You started as a soloist at TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE, and then maybe fate played a special role.
P = Oh yes, we started this program as three singers, and now I, Ignazio and Gianluca are the group IL VOLO, and the fourth episode, the producer Roberto Cenci, had the idea to join our voices, and from there started … the three tenors …. the Tryo, we changed name, but in the end we decided to call ourselves IL VOLO.
Immediately after the program, we signed a program with Universal Music in Los Angeles.
ML = A little thing of nothing…..
P = They wanted a short Italian name.
IL VOLO was a metaphorical name, IL VOLO, to fly
ML = Anyway, what I understood from your words, the one that followed you the most, was your dad, also because, being a minor, you could not go around alone.
P = My father and my grandfather – my grandfather discovered my voice, my father helped me. He is great and he has been a great support.
ML = So immediately after TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE, you signed this contract with Universal, and you started your flight.
P = Yes, we signed a contract with Universal, with our producer Tony Renis and Umberto Gattica and our manager Michele Torpedine, and from there, the first TV, the first album, with the first album we sold 1 million copies. And now the new album WE ARE LOVE has been released, where there is also a duet with Eros Ramazzotti and with Placido Domingo.
ML = But when you tell these things, do you realize where you’ve come from and all the way you’ve come in such a short time?
P = This is nothing, we made this new album, but behind this album we have done lots of experiences, like, a tour with Barbra Streisand, 12 dates with her. She was a great teacher for us and we learned so many things from her, like from many other great artists.
(the video is not a good recording, but it’s still fantastic !!!)
ML = I can afford to mention some reviews I read on the internet.
“EL PASO TIMES: Electrifying: the name of the group means the flight in Italian, perfect name for a trio of young tenors who conquers ever higher peaks”, just to name one, another: “Beautiful and intense voices accompanied by beautiful harmonies that enchant the public by giving strong emotions “, this is the enthusiastic comment of the NEW YORK JOURNAL.
You are a trio, so you are dealing with two other guys who are the same age.
P = Ignazio and Gianluca
ML = Perfect. What is the relationship between you three? Is it really difficult to keep united, even if you go in one direction only?
P = This project was born as three friends, you know, living every day together, we have established a great relationship, we are like three brothers, because we share everything ….. not everything. There is a great relationship, a great agreement.
ML = But you also perform individually?
P = No, no, our concert is the concert of IL VOLO.
We have just finished a tour of 48 dates in America, this is the fourth tour. We have done an American tour, a South American, a European and another American just finished and now in 2013 we will do another South American, American and European.
ML = But for a boy of your age, you have spent most of your adolescence ….
P = On the plane
ML = In fact, and what effect does it make, having left your friends, your country, was it tough? Then you had to approach even with a language that was not yours, you had to learn English.
P = English is fundamental and we also had to learn Spanish.
ML = You have learned Spanish because now, however, you will start a tour, if I’m not mistaken in South America.
P = The second tour, and now there are great future projects, but I’ll tell you what we did in the last two months. We started the Rockefeller Center in New York, with the lighting of the Christmas tree, the Christmas season opens all over the world, the Christmas Time. We were there, Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, Tony Bennett, everyone was there.
Immediately after we sang for the Nobel Prize presentation in Oslo. We represented Italy, because the Nobel Prize was given to the European Union.
There were Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gerald Butler, Sial, it was a great experience.
ML = Informing me on the internet, I read that you have also become a style icon, because your fans have adopted this red eyewear look, is your brand?
P = If you come to our concerts, find all the girls with red glasses, it’s really nice !!
ML = And then you also have some very important fans, like for example …. say you …
P = We were in Panama and a friend called us and told us “Guys, read the interview about LA REPUBBLICA”, we go on the internet and we read that at Placido Domingo, they asked him what music he is listening at the moment, and he replied: “I listen to IL VOLO, they are three jewels that the whole world should know.” And the nephew of Pacido Domingo, is a wild fan, crazy about us, he wears red glasses, the vest, the tie ……. and from there was born the duet with Palcido Domingo.
ML = In fact, because in the last album, in addition to the duet with Ramazzotti, you also have one with Placido Domingo, which is one of the three historical tenors.
P = Domingo, Carreras and Pavarotti. We dedicated the song we sang together with Placido Domingo, IL CANTO, to Pavarotti.
ML = It’s an extraordinary thing, and tell me, you said that you met so many famous people and I would like to know if any of these gave you advice, if they made you a “mentor” in addition to your grandfather and your dad.
P = The advice, be yourself, because the key to success is only one, talent and humility, because all the great artists are great people.
ML = The real ones.
P = Real ones, like Barbra Streisand, 70, and every night she entertains 25,000 people in America’s biggest arenas.
Now we have to start the tour with Barbra Streisand, in Europe. (pity that has never been done)
P = American Idol, as jurors were: Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. Steven Tyler is the singer of Aerosmith and we in our new album we sang “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”, but we did it in a classic Italian “Questo Amore Splendido” (Piero begins to sing the song), just beautiful.
ML = Nice to even hear it live.
P = We did Jay Leno, it’s the third time, Jay Leno is America’s most watched Tonight Show, Jay Leno and Larry King are the most famous, we sang “Beautiful Day” two weeks ago, which is the cover of U2.
Let’s say that of our album, people ask us, but your kind of music, what is it? We did two duets, one with Ramazzotti which is the top of pop and Placido Domingo, which is the top of classical music.
ML = So you are versatile, you have shown your versatility and even those who gave you a kind of emulation of the TRIO of Tenors, like a bad copy of the trio, in the end it was denied.
P = This problem was, and there is, only in Italy, but you know, Italy is a very, very difficult country, but …. let’s do everything at the time.
But the thing that makes us angry, and I have to say this, we participated in the Nobel Prize, we have represented Italy, the whole world talks about it, who does not talk about it: Italy.
ML = It seems we are a little xenophilous.
P = But we love our country, so we love it as it is.
ML = With the merits and the defects.
You said you spent most of your teenage years on the plane, but how did you stay in touch with your friends and study?
P = I always say that what we do is what we like to do, so if you love what you do, everything becomes easy.
ML = But how did you study?
P = I study again, because I lost a year with my work. But this year I graduate, study in hotels, on airplanes. (in reality, he will only get his diploma this year in 2018).
I took the license. I did the theory in August and the guide in November.
ML = Even if in America? It’s not like you travel by car there.
P = Yes, I do. I drive my producer’s car. Sometimes I hire a Ferrari, or a Porsche, I like driving.
ML = And can you orient yourself? You are now a citizen of the world.
P = But the beautiful thing … “beautiful”, so to speak, because sometimes you lack freedom, especially in South America, we walk with the escort, in South America we have five bodyguards at the baggage claim because at the exit of the airport there are a thousand girls.
ML = They recognize you on the street, it is shocking!
P = We travel with cars darkened and armored because unfortunately South America is a dangerous country but we love it and they love us, the girls chase us with taxis…. and shout, it’s nice !!
ML = Are you afraid of this thing?
P = No, no fear, it fills you with pride and satisfaction because you understand that what you are transmitting reaches people.
ML = But this life is so stressful, how do you recharge? What is your secret to recharging?
P = It’s my family. Many people tell me “you have traveled the world”, and it is true, I miss only Japan and Russia, because they are two very strong markets and we leave them ….. Everyone asks me “What is your favorite city? ? Los Angeles, New York, Miami, London, Paris? “ , my favorite city is Naro, Naro is my world.
ML = What’s your relationship with Naro?? After singing in far away places, with immense crowds, when you arrive at Naro, do you have to re-program again?
P = No, Naro is my homeland, so every time it’s always a party.
ML = What is your relationship with Naro’s inhabitants?
P = Fantastic, I love them!
ML = Welcome you?
P = Yes, I go to buy fruit, I go to the hairdresser … it’s very nice !!
ML = Perhaps paradoxically your country is the only place where you can roam freely.
P = With my little car, now I go around with my friends, I greet everyone, I am a very open type.
(Piero photographed in Naro)
ML = It is a practice of our program, to ask what advice would you give to a person who has become a public figure, like you, to the Agrigentini boys who want to approach the art of singing, in this case.
P = My advice is always to follow your dream, never give up, there will be people who will say, “But come on, change jobs, change profession.” Never believe in them, believe in yourself, but when you arrive, stay where you are. Returning to the previous speech, I learned this from Barbra Streisand, and from all the great artists.
For example, we were on tour with Barbra Streisand, we were in the dressing room and we hear a knock, I go to open and there is Sting, or Michael Buble, David Beckham, Tom Hanks, all these great artists who knock on our dressing room, to have a photo, to greet us.
ML = This proves the fact that these great artists that have such long careers, it means that they remained what they were, it means that goodness of mind pays, beyond talent.
P = And then the humility even if it is really difficult to stay what you are, if you do not have great people behind, like a big family, I am doubly lucky because I am a person that could follow his dream and get there. Yet we have not arrived, but we are working, we study a lot, and my second fortune is my family – a moral support, a daily support, my father travels with me only when there are concerts, because the tour is very stressful. But for promotions, I travel alone, and you know, in the morning, when I call home, they give me the charge to start the day.
ML = As a good Sicilian you have left the roots here, however you continually feed from your family.
P = When someone tell me “You know, when you speak, we hear the Sicilian accent, the Italian accent”….. let it be heard !!
ML = On the other hand your pride, it is this and, I can say, you are also our pride and I believe I also interpret the thought of all the inhabitants of Agrigento who followed you.
Last question, what do you dream of doing “when you grow up?”
P = I’m studying lyric now, because that’s my dream, that world, it’s my dream, the lyric is another dimension, but you have to study … too much … and now I’m studying, thanks to my possibilities, I am studying in Bologna, with my teacher Sergio Bertocchi, a great teacher, and he is a great person. I’m studying an opera setting, however, always with IL VOLO, Il VOLO is always …. the group IL VOLO …. IS IL VOLO. And so my dream is that one day maybe, to do the Premiere to La Scala or in some theater.
ML = And we really wish you to stand out even more in this flight.
P = Before closing I have a gift, I brought you the new album of IL VOLO, WE ARE LOVE, this is the deluxe version, where over eight unpublished songs, including two duets, and four covers, there are five songs of Christmas.
ML = This is the advantage of interviewing these characters, but I accept it only if you sign it.
I wish you all the best.
P = It was really a huge pleasure.
ML = For me too.
P = When my father told me that they had called for this interview, I immediately said yes, let’s do it.
ML = I confirm it, because you have remained what you are.
Piero, thank you very much, AD MAIORA.
Thank you very much for following us and the next installment of AGRIGENTINI BELLA GENTE.
I had not seen this video interview until a few days ago and I must say that I was pleasantly content to hear the really wise and mature responses of a young Piero.
Still I was very happy with this, and you?
I await your impressions.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.