You read that right, “When the Stars Aligns!” I’m talking about our guys, not the planets. This is the part of the story where I see the guys on a road trip to their destiny! Destination Ti Lascio Una Canzone. Gianluca starting from Montepagano, Ignazio starting from Marsala and Piero starting from Naro! Put that in your GSP and let’s go! It is the road trip of a lifetime.
I wonder what their parents were thinking! Were they thinking, “If my son doesn’t make the cut will he be very disappointed and how will I console him?” Or were they thinking, “If my son makes the cut what happens next?” They were probably thinking how do we get to Rome and deal with this audition! Let the chips fall where they may!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, they have to be invited to audition. No one just picks up a phone and says, “Hey! How would you like to audition for the second edition of the hottest new show on RAI, Ti Lasci Una Canzone!” Or do they?
Let’s see how the guys were invited to audition.
We begin, as always, with Piero. He is at the point where his voice is changing. So, we listen to what happened over those two years and where Piero went from there….
That moment of change is something excruciating because you cannot sing, so no longer being a white voice, I had to leave the chorus. But Marisa Bonfiglio did not let me go like this, ‘Goodbye, Piero, see you soon,’ she cared about me and then helped me again: she took me to Palermo to a conservatory professor, a tenor. That master’s verdict was again: ‘Let’s wait.’
But in the wait I could not remain completely silent.
In reality, the wait for the change of voice lasted less than I thought, because towards the fourteen and a half years my voice had already matured.
In the meantime, every now and then I would sing the Ave Maria at weddings (very little, in order not to risk ruining my voice), and so I earned my first money with music: they paid me a hundred euros and I settled with that money.
To say, in times of ‘crisis’ my mom wanted to buy something for the house? ‘Mom, I have the money,’ I told her because I could always put the money aside, always.
I went to my grandfather to make a musical base with the keyboard, and he gave me ten euros, tips and gifts that I saved to make me a nest egg.
And then there were the cups. At home I have a full wall. In Sicily it is used to make things big, so when you win a festival they give you huge cups, two meters by four, heavy, bigger than you.
But how did I start making regional festivals? With the school.
And here a great chapter opens up.
So, I went to school, of course, but I never liked school. I just went there to have fun. I was there and I had fun with friends, always sitting at the first desk, but I was also the one who made the most mess.
In elementary school no music was played, so I had less fun. But I knew that in middle school there would be the music lesson. But not only that, I was even told what was done in this lesson of music and how was the teacher.
And what did we do as a first lesson on the first day? We sang! Professor Nisi called everyone one by one in alphabetical order and made everyone sing.
I could not wait because the teacher was not from Naro, so she did not know me, she did not know that I was already singing.
So, I was looking forward to that day to arrive the first day of school, the first hour of music, getting up to sing.
I was the second on the list. The professor calls ‘Baldacchino’ and Baldacchino sings; in short, a normal thing. Then she calls ‘Barone’ and I sing, ‘Un Amore Così Grande’, my battle horse from that afternoon under the carob tree in the garden of Riolo.
In practice, from there I started, and I never stopped: with the schools there were musical reviews, and the music teacher brought me to make them all.
I did the first Valledolmo festival singing ‘Un Amore Così Grande’ again, and I finished third. I remember it as it was yesterday: I with a tuxedo, all classic, pulled.
After Valledolmo I went to Vallelunga, I won that festival and from then on, I won them all.
Three years of middle school, three years of regional music festivals. Until it has arrived, and their return, the change of voice, between the thirteen and fourteen and a half years.
So, what happens? When I resume singing, I’m in high school, an accounting school, and there’s no music, no music teacher and no festival.
But is it possible that I could quit like that, to participate in festivals?
My father took the situation into his own hands, and I started again.
I won them all. One summer I took part in six festivals, and I won all six.
I sang ‘La Voce Del SiIenzo’ and ‘Un Amore Così Grande,’ I arrived and all the guys who saw me already knew that I would ruin them the evening.
I had a lot of fun, I accumulated cups – always two meters by four – and I was more and more convinced that if there was one thing I want to do in life it was singing, living for and with music.
For Piero music was more important than school. He explains his studies this way….
…. I can say that I was always ordered, I was not rude and not even a licker (suck up to someone), but I was studying only the necessary, I did what I could. It is not that I did not study because of bad will, it was that I had other projects and the professors knew and understood it. I was not a tramp that ran from morning to night with the motorbike, I was one who was at home studying piano, solfeggio, I had many commitments, I always had something to do.
In the country I was known, I never smoked a cigarette, never used drugs of any kind, I never went to the disco, I never did stupid. In short, never. If you listen to my father, he will surely tell you about the wheelie with the motorbike. It was the only thing that did not go right down, the friends told him that with the motorbike I did the wheelies and he got angry. When I arrived at the roundabout in the center of the town, voom, and I did the wheelie with the motorbike. Just that. But even in those cases I was very responsible. Do you know what I was doing when I was driving the motorbike? My father gave me the sheets of newspaper, I put them on the chest, under the shirt and I went around so because the wind did not enter the chest, understood? Full helmet, strictly integral.
If you’re wondering, yes, I was a little weighed in those years. I always lived controlled because, having also a thousand allergies that put me ‘in danger’ my respiratory tract, I never went to school trips, I could not go to the disco, I could not do certain things that all my peers did.
But now, when I return to the country, I like being with them and recovering some of what I could not do then. We go to the disco, we are never less than twenty, twenty-five people, and Dad is calm because I’m even more responsible than before and because in the group there are also people older than me, even forty years and married.
I like being with people much older than me maybe because, even if I’m only twenty years old, I have to manage my life in a very serious way and at a certain point I had to grow by force. It’s strange if I think about it, because that little boy Piero, who was attentive to everything he did in order to not ruin his voice and not to get some asthma attack, would never have imagined becoming a singer. He had other plans.
If I have to tell the truth, my project was to become a tenor and a singing teacher. Many opera singers have this double life because, unless you reach certain levels, you cannot always live by doing only the singer.
I, who always thought I would sing alone for the rest of my life, imagined myself a tenor divided between theater and teaching. But before we got there the road was very long, and it was also in the strict sense of the word. From Naro to Vittoria, where there was the master who had advised me the teacher Bavaglio of Palermo, there are two hours’ drive in the first leg and as many as the return.
Having to travel to sing was not new to me, indeed for us, because I always traveled with dad.
Every Saturday my father took me to Agrigento to the rehearsals of the choir of Santa Cecilia, those afternoons were so beautiful. He sacrificed those afternoons he could have spent at the bar playing cards with his friends and he took me to Agrigento, a fifteen – twenty-minute drive from Naro.
I remember that we were following the Serie B because the time of the matches was the same as the choir rehearsals, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, so I went to sing and, my father listened to the radio.
On the return to Agrigento-Naro, we commented on the results and in the meantime, we stopped at the Eurospin to do the shopping, at the shopping center ‘The swallows’ of Porto Empedocle, and we did shopping, but not clothes, no! We were buying ham and food for the whole week. We came home with these three-meter receipts, and I was so happy.
Going to Vittoria was a different matter. Yet when the teacher told me: ‘You must study in Vittoria,’ my father answered only: ‘Okay’ and changed the car to travel more comfortable.
At the first lesson we get to Vittoria to see this baritone, all excited, and that makes me do the vocalizations and comments: ‘I expected more from you as the master Bavaglio spoke about it.’
I was really demoralized. But the goal was there, I wanted music to become my life and so, despite the disappointment, for four or five months I kept going to him. But, in the meantime I continued with the piano lessons.
My first master Stefano Tesè could no longer come to Naro and had sent me to Canicattì to the master Pietro la Greca. He was young and good, I felt like I was with my contemporary and I was more motivated to study. Sometimes, since my father worked, my cousin Giuseppe was bringing me to the teacher La Greca.
Before the baritone of Vittoria, for about two or three months, I had studied with a soprano from Caltanissetta. It was at that time that Giuseppe had begun to accompany me to singing lessons when dad could not. So, from the teacher La Greca my cousin brought me and, on the way back I was given a ride by a boy from Naro who was studying the next hour to mine.
Phone Call number one!
I waited for him to finish, and we would go home with his father. What happens one day? Usually, as the boy who gave me a ride lived near my paternal grandmother, he always left me with my grandmother, where my father came to pick me up when he finished work. Only that evening my father was already at my grandmother’s and was talking on the phone.
‘Who was that dad?’ Was the first thing I asked him when he finished speaking. ‘Wait, let’s go home and I’ll tell you.’
It was strange that he acted so mysterious with me, but I always trusted him blindly and if he said ‘after’ he meant that it was okay. I was curious, for sure, but I waited calmly. We finish dinner, and daddy keeps his promise and tells me: ‘On the phone was a lady, a certain Isabella Abiuso. It’s part of the casting Ti Lascio Una Canzone and she gave your name to the Tour Music Fest.’
Stop all and take a step back: what is the Tour Music Fest? It’s a festival that I did not want to do. It’s not that I was undecided, I wanted to think about it. No, I did not want to do it just because I won all these festivals, and I was a little tired. Yet it is a great European festival dedicated to emerging music born in 2003. It has several stages, runs throughout Italy and not just singers, but also bands and musicians participated. The stage closest to us was that of Cosenza. ‘I have to drive,’ Dad had told me. ‘We have a comfortable car, you sleep, and we go, you do not even notice. Twenty-four hours to do Naro-Cosenza, Cosenza-Naro.’ We arrive there, I sing, and they do not give me more news. But they gave to someone else.
Isabella Abiuso, one of the talent scouts who selected children for the broadcast, called the editors of the festival and asked for a name to try, someone interesting for that kind of television program. The organizers of the Tour Music Fest tell her, ‘Mrs. Abiuso, here there is nothing that we can give, apart from a certain Piero Barone, which for us has not gone well because it is not the kind of music that we deal with, but he certainly has an innate talent.’ I was not sixteen yet, it was November 2008. ‘Dad’ I immediately said, ‘Ti Lascio Una Canzone, I’d like to do it. Let’s try, why not?’ The first edition was very successful and the second was aired from April 4 to May 30, 2009, every Saturday evening for a total of nine episodes. The director would once again be Roberto Cenci, as in the first edition, produced by Ballandi Multimedia, and the management would have always been entrusted to Antonella Clerici. My father thought about it and said: ‘Wait, let’s talk with the maestro in Vittoria.’
‘You are crazy’ was the teacher’s answer. ‘You ruin him with these things because television takes the boys’ heads, it spoils the future.’ Possible? Before I was not good enough and now, I could not do the audition because I could ruin the future? My father did not see this anymore. ‘No, I have to make him do it.’ But if you ask my father what he remembers about that audition, he certainly will not tell you about the master of Vittoria, but the first answer will be a number: 1280. These are the euros that he spent to buy two or three complete clothes in a very nice Naro store, because as a good Sicilian he said, ‘How can I bring my son to an audition RAI, I have to make a good impression, no?’
I felt like a king with those clothes.
And so, Piero’s road trip begins! Set the GPS for via dei Gracchi, Roma! Next stop The Audition….
Back in Marsala we find Ignazio still playing football and going to singing lessons with Arianna the pizzeria customer’s daughter. But soon a big decision about football would have to be made. Let me let Ignazio tell you what happened next….
My main project when I went to school was to get home and spend the afternoon playing football. It has been less so since I started studying singing, I had less free time – and then no free time – and then I realized that singing was more important than all the rest. But in general, soccer was really a big passion for me. From an early age I had a passion for football, also because my sister played football when we lived in Bologna and then she continued, even in Marsala. She played volleyball first, and I also inherited that passion, then she moved her passion to soccer.
The issue of soccer needed to be resolved but, in the meantime, Ignazio continues his singing lessons, but soon the atmosphere will change. His beautiful relationship with Arianna, a person who he enjoyed being with, has suddenly changed….
In general, I used to go with Arianna, the little girl I went with to meet Liliana; indeed, with Arianna, a beautiful friendship began. On those occasions we had a lot of fun, she always came a step ahead of me: I third, she second; I second, she first. We just had fun, without envy.
At least until she changed teachers, and our streets became a bit divided.
We still found ourselves in competitions together, but a rivalry was starting that was not as healthy as before.
It was the same period in which I also started taking piano lessons, with various teachers: I changed three in three years.
In the end, let’s say that I can play something, but a little, just enough for me to compose. I am not prepared like Piero, who has a very classical education.
After two and a half years, three that I was studying with Liliana, one day she tells me that for the genre that I was going to sing, I started to approach what I do now, another teacher was better suited to give me lyrical singing lessons.
So, I was convinced and started to follow another singing teacher, Roberta Caly, in another school. In practice (pay attention because it is complicated) I went to singing lessons and interpretation with Liliana, lyric singing with Roberta and also a diction course from Liliana and a course of diction by Roberta but held by two other teachers in the school. And I also attended a jazz workshop.
The study of singing was used to learn the technique and interpretation of a song so that I would understand what I said when I sang, so that I could express my emotions with the words of the songs. However, I must say that despite the studying I have remained a more pop voice than, for example, Piero who is a pure tenor and even today studies and dreams one day of singing in an opera.
I went to class every day except Sunday.
And on Sundays we went to see Nina’s football matches. She was now playing in Serie B.
Between the school, the singing lessons, the piano lessons and diction I was always busy, so much so that I was forced to leave the school of football.
The choice is now made. Nothing is more important than music! And so we come to a turning point in Ignazio’s life!
I could not do everything, also because of the not fantastic economic conditions in which my family was.
But I did not really want to miss anything and so I immediately found another thing to do: an extracurricular musical laboratory.
Although I was so busy, I did not want to give up that workshop, it was about setting up musicals, one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. That is, it started with a musical, but then they became three.
The first I did when I was small and fat, was Streetlight, which tells a story of rivalry between two bands in Chicago of the seventies.
We staged it at the Teatro Impero of Marsala on May 31, 2007, it was beautiful.
I was the protagonist, the voice was certainly not like the one I have now, but there I was with this baseball cap, something to see.
Then I did Grease, the American musical from which the film of the same name is taken with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and then Rugantino, the musical comedy of Garinei and Giovannini of 1962 still represented today with great success all over the world.
In Rugantino I played the lead role. I still remember the songs ……….. and that time mom made me a fantastic hat with a fishing net: grip, dyed blue and adapted to the size of my head. Spectacular.
Returning to my education, in 2007, I stopped studying with Roberta and I met Giovanna Collica, a very good soprano who gave lessons in Siracusa.
I met her thanks to one of the first works I had, opening a fashion show. The gentleman who organized fashion shows in summer around Sicily had called me to open a fashion shows.
And so, in Palazzolo Acreide in the province of Siracusa I met Giovanna and I arrived at her school.
Geographically speaking, this city is exactly opposite of Marsala, but studying with her was too important because she was a very good soprano I knew because she had even duetted with Luciano Pavarotti.
Her lessons were a great opportunity, so once a week what did I do? I took the bus with Nina, or I would leave with my parents in the car, and we would go to Siracusa.
Every time I entered Giovanna’s house, I asked her “How is the cat?” because she had a very plump white cat that threw himself from the balcony at least once a week.
It took a lot of money to cover the travel expenses, the lessons and in the meantime also the registration for competitions that in many cases were not free.
So it was that at a certain point, mom and dad found themselves not having enough money to send me forward.
They were more hurt than me. Having always worked and being accustomed to face sacrifices for the family, they did not want to surrender to this obstacle but at the same time they did not know what to do.
In the end, however, it was necessary to make a decision.
And the decision was to ask a person dear to us, a loan that, as soon as mom and dad had settled a little, would be returned.
This person has helped us with great generosity so as to allow me to continue to pursue this dream.
Being able to go forward, Ignazio continued with the lessons and competitions until the day it all stopped. No, it didn’t go away, Ignazio pushed it away. He had all he could take of the competitions. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to do them but, I’ll let Ignazio tell you what happened next….
Instead, I felt like a crap. No, not when they called me to audition, before I felt like a crap, so much so that I almost lost it that night when they talked to me for the first time about Ti Lascio Una Canzone. The fact is that competition after competition, year after year, perhaps because I grew up and became less naïve, now I was fourteen, at a certain point in 2008 I realized that, as wonderful as it was, the music world was starting to give me the first disappointments: people who paid to see their child win, recommendations and various scams.
My problem is that I have always been for healthy competition, getting to the first place because a person really deserves to be rewarded as such. But it was not like that anymore. I did not want to participate anymore in any competition. I began to give up many proposals. I was in this terrible mood when, in September of that year, I was offered a competition in Caltanissetta, which was presented by the great Nico dei Gabbiani and had as president of the jury Franco Fasano, author and composer of songs like ‘Ti Lascero ‘ who won the Sanremo Festival, and also singer songwriter as ‘E Quel Giorno Non Mi Perderai Piu.’
Instinctively I said no. I did not want to take part in any competition that could turn out to be made up. But after so many evenings talking to my family and Liliana, who was always present and always ready to give me some advice, I convinced myself. I am happy to say that there are no recommendations in that competition: I reached third place. But the greatest satisfaction was not the result.
No phone call for Ignazio. Even better, an invite at the end of the competition!
At the end of the final evening Franco Fasano took the stage, proposing to do a test in Rome. He did not promise me anything for sure. The test was for a television program that, having seen the great success of the first, had reached its second edition.
That program was Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
We leave Ignazio starting on his road trip. Set the GPS for via dei Gracchi, Roma! Next stop The Audition….
Even when I sang, I did not forget instinct. What does it mean?
As I said, I have never studied singing. I learned to ‘use’ my voice only thanks to my musical ear, to the music I listened to, and which transmitted everything I know. And thanks also to the Little Choir of Roses.
When I was about eight or nine, all those who knew me gave me the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo.
We sang the songs of the ‘Zecchino D’oro’ or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the situation, was my dad, he has been for at least a couple of seasons.
(The “Zecchino D’oro” was a very famous television program in Italy where the children sang and the presenter was Mago Zurlì).
I started there. It was nice because we studied the songs throughout the winter season, not the technique of singing, the songs. It is the same thing, but it is different, because we did not study the notes and how to do them, but we went, as I said, a little instinctively, following what the teacher said and what our ear said. Then, in the summer, we demonstrated the work of winter: we did essays at the municipal villa of Roseto, sang in the squares during the local festivals, in the lidos, in the bathing establishments, around the whole of Abruzzo, all these tiny villages of I do not even mention the names, because I’m sure you do not know them. Instinctively, then, I acted once in particular just during one of those shows.
During the performances with the choir, besides the repertoire of the Zecchino D’oro, I sang the songs of Bocelli: ‘Miserere,’ ‘Il Mare Calmo Della Sera,’ ‘La Voce Del Silenzo.’ The teacher often had me do the soloist and this gave birth to a little envy among the parents of the other kids because none of them believed that my parents were not pressing to make me have that role but, as I said, my parents always left events followed their course.
One evening we were on the seafront of Roseto. I had to sing in a duet with a girl A Star In Bethlehem.’
She starts singing, considering that there were three hundred, four hundred people on the waterfront and my mother sitting in the audience listening. The little girl who sings with me ends her part, I begin and I forget the words. At that point what do I do? I’m leaving, I leave them all there, the little girl, the music that went, everyone. And it’s not like I’m running away and I’m hiding behind the stage, no: I got off the stage and started running like hell. I was ten or eleven, my father still remembers: he had to chase me for a while before he could stop me.
So, we come to the point in Gianluca’s story where he recognizes his destiny! Gianluca continues….
Do you see destiny?
The story of Ignazio shows that things come and, you do not have to force them to arrive.
My story is not different from his. Better, a little bit is different because, apart from the Little Choir of Roses and those modest performances with my father’s theater company, I’ve never done anything else, no competitions, no festival. At home we do not have a bulletin board with the prizes that I won in the singing competitions because I did not want to do them, I never thought about it.
I participated in the Festival of the Adriatic, it could be 2006, and I won it, and in 2007 in Ascoli Piceno to that of young talents, always at the local level and always for fun. I sang at weddings, that’s it. I sang Schubert’s Hail Mary, and they paid me. My first money earned with music. And for fun, in 2007 I recorded a CD in a studio in Roseto degli Abruzzi: it was called Start from Here. The study was by Vincenzo Irelli, a very good musician. His band has accompanied names like Pierangelo Bertoli and Giuni Russo, as well as many others. I remember he’d heard me sing, probably in one of the Little Rose Choir’s performances, and he said to my father, ‘He’s good, Gianluca. Take him to me.’ I had chosen songs by Bocelli and Alex Baroni, the singer who died in 2002 and famous for songs like ‘Change’ and ‘Write Something For Me’ and that was another of the voices I liked a lot. We spent a couple of weeks recording the CD and then we gave it to all the relatives. If I think about it today, it makes me smile. But never, never would I have thought that it would not be the only one, that I could make music my life. I told you: I only sang because it made me feel good, when I was singing. I was happy.
Gianluca, your phone is ringing!
I do not know exactly, because everything happened very quickly. I mean, I won Sanremo and I still do not believe it. I think about it, I look in the mirror and say: “Yes, I won Sanremo, I sang with Barbra Streisand, I did all this”, but I swear that these years have passed too quickly. If I think of 2009, the year in which I met Piero and Ignazio a Ti Lascio Una Canzone,’ it seems to me yesterday. Instead, six years have passed. To tell you the truth, seven years passed from the casting sessions because it was 2008 when my father received a call from Licia Giunco.
It is difficult to explain who this lady was, an incredible woman, known throughout Italy for being the creator of an annual event called Sport for life, a great international ice-skating gala. The event has reached its thirtieth edition, although the last one organized by Mrs. Giunco before leaving was the twenty-sixth and continues in honor of this extraordinary person who has decided to use the sport to raise funds to donate to charity. For the gala, skating champions come from all over Europe and singers like Alessandra Amoroso and Biagio Antonacci also take part. It is a very well-known event throughout Italy. The reason for Mrs. Giunco’s phone call was my performances with the choir. ‘We have a great talent here in Roseto’ she tells my father. ‘We bring him to RAI.’ My father had never thought about it. My parents had never even imagined me to participate in competitions, let alone send me for an audition for television.
‘Let’s try,’ he replied to her. ‘It would be a great opportunity.’ What dad thought was just a different experience, something that could make me have fun. Mrs. Giunco has made available to us her contacts: we would have talked to Franco Fasano, whom Licia knew, and he would have taken us to audition with Roberto Cenci for a broadcast of RAI. It was not a talent, maybe it was this that I liked: the idea that it was only a life experience to do, an experience that would allow me to sing for a while. My parents, as they had always been until then, did not force me in the least and, as enthusiastic as they were of the idea of what I could do, they completely left the decision to me. I had not the slightest idea of what awaited me, but I decided instinctively, with my belly, that yes, that audition I really wanted to do it.
So Gianluca is now ready for his road trip. Set the GPS for via dei Gracchi, Roma! Next stop The Audition….
With their GSP set for via dei Gracchi in Rome our soon to be super stars are headed for their destiny! What was going on in the minds of our guys? A million different thoughts, I’m sure. I don’t think anyone of them went there thinking this is my moment. This is when I become a super star. More likely, they were trying to deal with what will happen at the audition. How will I present myself. Will they like me? Will they like my music, my voice? I’m getting butterflies and jitters just thinking about it! Talk about pressure!
So, let’s review where their thoughts were when they started out from their homes! We know Piero said to his dad, “Ti Lascio Una Canzone, I’d like to do it. Let’s try, why not?” But thinking about his father Piero said, “If you ask my father what he remembers about that audition, he certainly will not tell you about the master of Vittoria, but the first answer will be a number: 1280. These are the euros that he spent to buy two or three complete clothes in a very nice Naro store, because as a good Sicilian he said, ‘How can I bring my son to an audition RAI, I have to make a good impression, no?’ I felt like a king with those clothes.”
And Ignazio said, “After so many evenings talking to my family and Liliana, … I convinced myself to do the competition at Caltanissetta. I reached third place. But the greatest satisfaction was not the result. At the end of the final evening Franco Fasano took the stage, proposing to do a test in Rome. He did not promise me anything for sure. The test was for a television program that, having seen the great success of the first, had reached its second edition. That program was Ti Lascio Una Canzone.”
Gianluca said, “My parents, as they had always been until then, did not force me in the least and, as enthusiastic as they were of the idea of what I could do, they completely left the decision to me. I had not the slightest idea of what awaited me, but I decided instinctively, with my belly, that yes, that audition I really wanted to do it.”
And so, we leave our story this week with the three guys on the road to via dei Gracchi to audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the moment “When the Stars Align.”
Let’s take a look into the future of our super stars.