Last year I wrote a story about everything that happened after the guys won Ti Lascio Una Canzone. One of the things I loved about the story was a wonderful video I found that showed the guys coming together musically! Usually, I end each story with an amazing video, I will do that in this story, but this week I need to start with a wonderful video of our three teenagers when they started on the road to success and proved they were The Epitome of Success.
Now tell me these are not the three most amazing young men, the three most talented young men, some of the most handsome teenagers and now very handsome young men, you have ever met!
Over the last few weeks, we heard about how they got to Ti Lascio Una Canzone and then we started to see them branch out in America.
So now we leave behind the individual stories of the guys, and we begin to see the guys together and we listen to their conversations. It’s so exciting to watch them grow and mature!
In their many interviews, they talked about their lives in the beginning of their career, and we begin to see how they interact with one another to form a powerful team. From a very young age they were very intelligent, and they were always courteous. They always had the right answer at the right time! This is a big achievement for such young boys who were thrown together into an adult’s world without any way of knowing what to expect. This says a lot about their integrity.
The video below is truly the beginning of Il Volo. I’m sure you have all seen this video a hundred times before but what I love about this video is what Tony Renis, Humberto Gatica, Ron Fair, and Michele Torpedine have to say about the guys. These four men, who are the crème de la crème in their industry, explain who these three teenagers are in a most amazing way! Michele sums it all up by saying, “They are just in a different dimension!” I certainly couldn’t have said it better. Can you imagine saying such things about any other teenagers? No, because there has never been a group of teenagers or adults who could compare with these three. Never! They are a once in a lifetime event. La Forza del Destino!
Let’s talk about destiny for a moment! For me, I see the day they sang together for the first time as the day their destiny was sealed. La Forza del Destino (the force of destiny). I call it as I see it! This was God’s plan! His hand was always guiding each of these boys. How else would you explain how they happened to be in the same place at the same time? We’re not just talking about three teenage boys with nice voices, we’re talking about three teenage boys with phenomenal voices. Very unique voices! Truly one-of-a-kind voices! Their voices are like no other voices in the world. Am I saying they are the greatest singers in the world? Yes! They are touched by the hand of God!
It wasn’t just that the voices were extraordinary, no, it was that they complemented one another. It was natural and it was apparent from the very first note that these voices worked well together and that their voices are in tune with one another. The first time they walked out on the stage, their fate was sealed. Their voices were a perfect fit for one another! What are the chances this would happen?
So how is this possible? No doubt it was God’s plan! But how do you explain it! For me, there is only one way to explain it! So, bear with me and I will tell you a little tale about how I think these three amazing boys came to be!
Before the Lord sent these three amazing boys to earth, He said what this world needs are three voices that can bring joy to my people. So, he chose three loving couples and one by one he sent them a son. Not just any son! A special son! One that God would choose from His Choir of Angels!
First there was Gaetano and Elenora Barone. The Lord called in his Choir of Angels and chose a Spinto Tenor to send to this couple because he wanted a strong voice to share with the world! When their boy arrived, the Barones thought, what should we name him. They decided he was solid like a rock, so they called him Piero which means rock!
The Lord waited and watched and liked what he saw and decided it was time to send another amazing boy to earth. He sent this son to Vito and Caterina Boschetto. Not just any son. No, the Lord thought about it and said what this world needs is a Lyrical Tenor. Not just any lyrical tenor, no, one that could sing from the lowest to the highest note on the scale and bring High C to another level. When he arrived the Boschettos noticed that he was a spitfire, so they named him Ignazio which means “fiery.”
The Lord waited and saw this was good then he thought, what we need to round this out is a Baritone! So, he went back to His Choir of Angels and found a Baritone who he knew would capture the world with his amazing voice. He sent him to Elenora and Ercole Ginoble who the Lord felt needed some light in their life. Gianluca is a combination of two names, Gian and Luca. Luca means light and the two names together mean A Gift of God born under the sunrise. Well, I think we can all agree that Gianluca is a ray of sunlight!
The Lord completed His task and rested because He had achieved His goal of sending three phenomenal boys to earth and He knew the world would be in total awe of these three boys. Without a doubt, they have spread their joy around the world!
What was the goal of the Lord? He wanted three voices that alone were phenomenal and together were a symphony! Listen to their voices when they sing. Their voices come from every direction like a symphony orchestra that is forming the music around you!
Maybe my story is a little silly, but the results are not! The Lord in fact sent three phenomenal singers to earth for our listening pleasure and what pleasure they give us!
I talked about their individual discoveries many times. Usually when you talk about someone being discovered it goes something like, “I was standing on a street corner singing when….” No that isn’t what happened here. The reason they are so unique is because they were discovered as children. Very small children! Three, four years old. They really had those intense unmistakable voices very early on. A voice that makes you stop in your tracks and say, “Am I really hearing that voice coming from that child?” They were born with those voices. If their coming together isn’t destiny, I don’t know what is!
After Ti Lascio Una Canzone, as we begin to listen to their interviews and read through their stories, we can see how the boys begin to bond with one another. We all have our good days and our bad days but, at the end of the day they have what’s most important, “each other.”
What we see in their story is how they begin to achieve success in American. From their first performance on TV on American Idol, they took America by storm. Every TV Show wanted them as guests. After the show they hit the top 10 on the “Billboard” charts.
Success doesn’t come easy in America. Why were they successful? Certainly, those voices helped but there was more.
One of the things I noticed from the beginning was they had confidence because they all enjoyed what they were doing. But the flip side was there was a certain lack of confidence because of their young age. It was the things they had in common that made them special! They all had phenomenal voices, all three were fighters, and from when they were on Ti Lascio Una Canzone, they all were out there to win. And winners they were.
Piero was always confident. When he got on stage, he was going to do what he did right along in his competitions. His idea was, I got this, I’m going out there and I’m going to do what I know works! It didn’t matter that he was in the real world now. No, the stage was still the stage no matter who is in front of you.
Ignazio was always the big draw card because he had that stage presence, and of the three he was never afraid to take chances; well maybe with Sanremo he hesitated a little! On the rare occasions that you see him quiet, there’s no need to worry, it just means he’s thinking. His mind is always working! He’s always preparing! Even at 14 when he was competing, he had it all together. Maybe he wasn’t as polished as he is today, but he certainly had it all together. He’s very personable and that has always been his key.
In the beginning, Gianluca was a little laid-back. He was a little less confident than the others. The fact that he had never competed before added to this lack of confidence. I will say he was sassy in the beginning but that changed as he gained confidence and began to feel a part of the three. He was too young to even understand all that was going on when he competed in Ti Lascio Una Canzone. As the three began to sing together Gianluca’s sassiness began to go away and he started to appreciate the value of being one of three. This gave him the confidence he needed.
They were very different from one another! But who they were and what they were, got them to where they are and so that’s where the story begins.
Each boy had a dream and that dream got him to the stage he needed to be on to show the world who he was and what he was about!
In the beginning it was a little rough. For Ignazio and Piero, a quick friendship developed and since both had stage experience it was a little easier for them to acclimate. Not so much for Gianluca.
Gianluca was too young and didn’t have the stage presence the other two had. This created a problem because he needed to find his stage presence. He always imagined that the stage was his alone. This was not a bad thing, even though it did cause problems, but going forward it needed to be resolved before their future could be sealed. As with all teenage boys they had their arguments, their disagreements, but when reality hit, Gianluca understood, he wasn’t the ONE they were the THREE ~ Il Volo.
But before they became one, they needed to do something that teenage boys don’t have to do. They had to grow up overnight and take on the role of adults when they were only 15 and 16 years old.
You can’t even get your 15-year-old to clean his room. Imagine telling him it’s time to say goodbye to your teenage years and start working. How could they even understand what this was all about. The fact is they really didn’t understand. Let’s listen to what the guys had to say about their beginnings….
In short, a little impression, however, we had when we started to hear about America. And who knew us, there? Nobody. So, what happened? We discover what it means to have a manager.
Thanks to an American lawyer, Peter Lopez, a contact from Tony Renis, one of our auditions arrives at Interscope Records in the United States. It is a label of music production that is part of the Universal Music Group America, the largest record company in the States.
Imagine the desk of Jimmy Iovine, the president of Interscope, a large desk in a large American office. They take a laptop, put it in front of it, start ‘O Sole Mio’ recorded by TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE. When it arrives at the “Ma n’aaaatu sole!”, Iovine closes the computer and exclaims: ‘We got it!.’ All right, we do it. And we signed a millionaire contract.
At the beginning it was really a dream, even if I do not like repeating it, because you find yourself traveling the world and doing it, from one day to the next. However, I repeat, always without realizing the importance of the thing, without fully understanding what was happening.
Ignazio responds to Piero….
A dream that Piero, in the clouds, has forgotten to say the most important thing: that it was the first time that Italian singers signed a contract directly with an American record company.
For us today there are seven takes to sing, back then there were thirty or forty…. So, a take is the recording of the single phrases that each of us sing when we record a song. We continue to redo until we get to the best version. In 2009, on our first recording, it took almost two days to record a song, until it was good. I remember that I made the absolute record of takes in “Smile”: I repeated my part fifty-seven times.
We were small and inexperienced, the English language did not help, Tony Renis and Humberto Gatica – one of the best-known producers and sound technicians in the world, who worked with Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazzotti, Pino Daniele, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion – if they were not satisfied, they would tell it to us clearly.
Piero forgot to mention that ours was the first contract signed directly by Italian singers with an American label, but Ignazio forgot to mention that the first recording studio in which we entered all three together for our great adventure it was called Forum and it was in Rome.
I remember, and it is one of the few things that I have very clear in mind of that period, that we have compiled the lineup of the tracks with Tony Renis, and most were the ones we had sung at Ti Lascio Una Canzone, plus five other American songs.
But the first time in front of the microphone was still in Rome in the studio where we had done the auditions before the program began. Roberto Cenci had assigned the songs to all the children, he had arranged the arrangements, and we had recorded the compilation that came out in May after the end of the program and immediately entered in the rankings.
But that was the first time alone in front of a microphone, and it was (Gianluca addresses Piero) … What are you looking at? Do you want to say it?
… it was nice because it was the first experience.
We did not sing well because we had no technique, so it was as Ignazio said: we took a take in sixty, seventy times.
At that time, when we arrived in the studio, we found everything ready: the songs to sing, the subdivisions, the arrangement, this and the other. Now, instead, after the third album, we do everything together, we create everything with Celso Valli, our producer.
Those first times we did not have this freedom to do it, everything was imposed because we did not yet have the skills to do it.
Now we have them, and we share the parts, we know each other better and, in the studio, we help each other. It is also nice to see that each of us now has his way to enter the recording room. Gianluca and I sing with the light on in the recording room. Ignazio, on the other hand, enters and the first thing he does is turn off the light. They are small details, but they mean that we have grown, and we have our own way of working.
Between the three of us, we have split up the roles. Ignazio if there is a problem with the mixer, consults the producer to fix things. Gianluca is the one who listens to the songs from morning to night and offers: ‘Guys, I discovered this songwriter.’ ‘Guys, I discovered this artist, what do you think?’ I like the managerial part, I like managing, I like to contact people, I like to propose new things to Michele, ‘Why do we not do that?’ ‘Why do we not try to do that?’ ‘How can we get to this person?’ I like this: we put our heads together and think how we can improve it.
There is a complete professional balance: we have grown physically, but also professionally. So even if we get a producer we do not know, we do not have any problems, we know how to talk to him and tell him what we want. This is the most important aspect: being at the same level. Which is the reason why for some months now I have this big black leather folder, that I always carry with me. If I have to tell the truth, Torpedine lent it to me and, as it brought good luck, I stole it from him and, as I told you, I always carry it with me, with the pieces we have to do, the notes, the notes of what is lacking to be fixed, what is not lacking, the notes to do: everything is much more professional.
Now we are working with Celso, one of the most important record producers we have in Italy.
We have had great luck: we can afford to deal with the older ones, it is not easy. It’s something that put Torpedine in my mind: you must always invest for your future. Celso has agreed to bet with us on our future and we worked together on the last album, Love Moves (L’amore si Muove) which came out in September. It is a pleasure working with him because he lets you talk, lets you express your ideas, lets you try, and this is a fundamental thing, the most important thing when you want to improve, to grow.
Talking about “L’amore si Muove,” let’s take a moment to talk about this wonderful album….
“Musica” is the album that proved that great can get greater. This album is representative of where these young men were in 2018, nine years after they got together. The album is beautiful, it’s sensitive, it’s romantic. It’s about love. It’s about them being ready for love. It comes from deep within them. All the sweetness and humility of these guys is in this album. It moves your senses. What I am saying is they have evolved, and their voices have evolved. They’ve grown into their voices. Their voices are mature and have expanded in such an amazing way. There’s an intriguing balance in their voices. To experience this amazing evolution in voice and song you need go no further than “Be My Love.”
Gianluca’s voice vibrates and expands to realms I’ve never heard before.
Ignazio makes your heart stop as you journey along his notes which lead to absolute ecstasy. Where do those notes come from?
Piero fills all your senses and brings you to such heights he takes your breath away!
Just spectacular! Phenomenal voices!!!
Yes they really made some major moves over those first nine years. Most singers start out slowly and gradually get it together. Not our guys! They put everything on the table from day one and ran with it. You might say they took a chance but there was never a doubt, at least not in my mind, that they would succeed. They always were and always will be phenomenal!
We will leave the guys realizing for them success never stops! Every song, every concert, is a new adventure. The path always was and always will be open for them because they are The Epitome of Success!
I think I promised you a spectacular ending. Let’s stay in 2018 and see if this works….
I think the guys had a great time Dancing with the Stars ~ Italian Style! They all danced well but who do you think danced the best?
And a special concert for your listening pleasure Il Volo Un’avventura Straordinaria.