Tag Archives: Pino Daniele

Ignazio’s Genius and Nico’s Energy!

Let’s mix it up a bit today! I decided to write about two amazing young men who celebrated birthdays this week! Our own Ignazio Boschetto and Nico Arezzo! Two shining stars. Similar personalities and similar genius! In the dictionary, under the word music, you will find pictures of Ignazio and Nico. They are the epitome of music!
It’s been a while since I wrote about Nico. Many of the new fans don’t know who he is and, the old fans ask me about him all the time. They like to know what’s going on in his life and his music. They’ve been following him since day one! For me day one was the Verona Festival Show in 2017! An astonishing young man. For those of you who are meeting Nico for the first time, hold on to your seats because you’re in for an exciting ride. Of course, we can’t talk about Nico without talking about Ignazio! The man behind Nico!

Collage of Ignazio photos

So, let’s start with Ignazio!
For all those new fans, I know you all love Ignazio our amazing tenor but, did you know he is also a producer? At 25 Ignazio started his own production company.  Does that surprise you? It doesn’t surprise me. It makes a lot of sense to me. At the beginning of 2020 Ignazio started a production company called, Floki Production and the first person he signed was Nico Arezzo!

So much of this I said before but, it needs to be said again. If Ignazio did nothing more than sing the rest of his life, he would be remembered as a singer who captured an audience at a very young age and continues to intrigue them with every passing day.
He is the voice that never ends! The voice that intrigues! The voice that takes your breath away! The voice that leads you to ecstasy!
Ignazio’s story is about music but, it is also about family! Ignazio comes from a very close-knit family starting with his dad, Vito, who has recently left us but will always be in our hearts, his mom, Caterina and his sister Nina. Why do we know these people so well? Because we met them when Ignazio first started out and the guys traveled with their parents. So, when we talk about Ignazio or any of the guys we always seem to come back to their families, as well we should, because we know that Ignazio’s good values come from his parents.
This morning when I started writing this story, a story came up on Instagram that I was a bit surprised to see. It was Piero walking around San Luca. I’ve never seen Piero there before. I know Piero lives in Bologna now but, I always consider Bologna as Ignazio’s city! But this is actually a good introduction to Ignazio’s early years.

Ignazio's parents, Caterina and Vito Nina and brother Ignazio giving a thumbs up Left to right: Vito, Caterina and son, Ignazio

In an interview, Ignazio said he would go on Sunday morning walks, with the family, in the center of Bologna. Under the portico there was a lady who made fresh pasta and he said his mother would buy Tortellini from her for Sunday dinner.
What are these porticos?
The Emilia-Romagna region of Italy is known for its porticos. Bologna is in the province of Emilia-Romagna.  Ignazio was born in Bologna and after living in Marsala through his teenage years and early twenties, he returned to Bologna.  In all the cities the shops are covered by porticos so you can shop in any weather. Entire blocks are covered by porticos. The most famous portico being the Portico of San Luca. The Portico was built to protect a painting by St. Luke of the Virgin Mary and Jesus from the rain. Every year the painting is taken from the Basilica of San Luca and brought in procession to  the Cathedral of St. Peter’s in Bologna. This procession happens every May. The San Luca portico is the longest covered walkway in the world. It is 2.24 miles.
So, our story for Ignazio begins in Bologna where he grew up, went to school, played lots of soccer and sang in the choir until the time his family decided to move back to Marsala.
At ten years old Ignazio found himself in Marsala. The last place in the world he wanted to be! But like any other ten-year-old, the minute he made friends everything changed.
Ignazio the Singer
While Ignazio’s life in Bologna was all about soccer, his life in Marsala was all about music.
In Marsala Ignazio joined the school choir. Every day he would practice his singing and the people who visited his mother’s pizzeria had the opportunity to hear his beautiful voice! Eventually one of the customers approached his mother and suggested Ignazio take singing lessons. So, Ignazio traded his soccer ball for music lessons and the rest is history!  
Ignazio the Songwriter

In my story Land of Sages and Fools ~ Made of Devils and Saints, I focus on a different side of Ignazio.

Ignazio in a white tshirt sitting outside in a red chair

I wrote: “Sometimes I feel like I spend every day of my life writing about Ignazio! In the last year I wrote over fifty stories about the guys and, it seems as if half of them were about Ignazio’s projects. Because of all his projects, on occasion I’ve had to write two and three stories a week about him, wearing many different hats. Entertainer, Lyricist, Manager, Entrepreneur!”

Sicily and the region of Trapani

Last year Ignazio wrote the theme song for a new Rai Series called Màkari! Truthfully, who better to write a song about Sicily and the region of Trapani than a native child! No, Ignazio wasn’t born in Sicily but, for Italians, who your parents are is who you are so, in fact, Ignazio is Sicilian.
It amazes me that the young boy who went to Sicily kicking and screaming when he was ten, became the spokesman for Marsala, around the world, and now for the region of Trapani. Ignazio came to embrace the land of his parents and he loves all the wonders of Sicily. Sicily is different than Italy. Yes, I know Sicily is Italy but, how the Sicilians live and, who they are is very different. Ignazio’s song invites us to take a better look at this other land in the south. It speaks of “a land of sages and a land of fools, made from devils and saints.” Yes, that’s what Sicily is! They honor their saints while keeping their superstitions!
Ignazio invites you to live a new reality through his eyes. He invites us to see a different side of Sicily through his beautiful theme song, Màkari.
Ignazio the Producer
So now we’ve met the singer and the songwriter so next we need to meet the producer. But first we need to meet Nico!
Nico the Energy
Nico’s story begins in Ragusa, Sicily! Nico (Domenico) Arezzo was born in Ragusa, Sicily on October 2, 1998. You might say he was born and raised on a stage, initially “with drumsticks in his hands” … but soon the need to put one note after another brought him to the guitar.

Nico with his mom, dad and sister  Very young Nico at the drums

Both of his parents are entertainers. His mother Emanuela Curcio is a dancer and a dance teacher, and his father Peppe Arezzo is a pianist and an Orchestra Conductor. Nico also has a younger sister Emma.
But what is it I see in this family that gives me a good feeling? Values, good values! Like Ignazio’s family! Their good values stand out! It seems they were raised in the same way!
I talk a lot about values because I think it molds beautiful people. To understand where I’m coming from, let’s take a closer look at the Arezzo family.
When you’re a family of entertainers, it seems someone is always traveling so, whenever everyone has the opportunity to be together, it’s a festival. And what do they celebrate? Everything!
Nico explains it in this way.
I’m down! (in Ragusa). It’s Christmas time. We celebrate birthdays when it’s not the right day. We celebrate birthdays when we are together. Tomorrow or maybe the day after tomorrow it’s my turn!
And during his time at home for Christmas 2020, Nico experienced his first earthquake. He said, Yesterday I felt my first earthquake in history. It was weird, powerful! I’m down! It’s Christmas time and everything is shaking! Happy birthday to everyone.
How did Nico get to where he is?  Certainly, he got his talent from his mom and dad but how did he get to where he is today?

Nico first came to my attention in 2017 when he won the Festival Show in Verona with the song “Se Vuoi” (If You Want). I happened to be in Italy at the time and I was very taken by his performance. Nico can be very engaging and, you can get lost in Nico’s words and actions. Nico said “Se Vuoi” made him move! I say Nico made “Se Vuoi” move! Nico said he was drawn to this song because, “It’s a song that forces the body to move even without wanting. It’s a fresh song that turns on everything that can be turned on … the same freshness that I want to convey now that the music has taken my whole life.” 
The song is exciting and lively, like Nico! I remember that his voice captured me. He has lots of rhythm and expression. He immediately captured the audience. And I know he captured the attention of at least one of the judges that night, Michele Torpedine.

Michele Torpedine presents Nico the trophy for winning the Festival Show

I remember watching Michele during the performance. He was feeling Nico’s every move. I was not surprised when he took Nico on!
So, we have the beginnings for both these guys now let’s put them together to see how they work together.

Nico with guitar Nico with Ignazio both smiling

And so, the collaboration begins!
Let’s listen to what Michele Torpedine had to say about this event, “This is the first moment where we understood.”
What makes Nico so good? He’s very talented and the team is amazing! Nico Arezzo, Ignazio Boschetto and Michele Torpedine! Collaboration complete!

Nico is versatile! How about Nico and Ignazio singing a Pino Daniele medley? Anyone who sings a Pino Daniele song, gets a seat in my corner!

Nico along with Ignazio, Davide Marchi and Francesco Landi, wrote and set to music the song “Volo” which Nico sang at the Sanremo Festival Giovani in 2019. In the song there is the desire of the singer to live 360 degrees, with joys, pains, emotions and also a lot of love. But that’s not all, what struck everyone about his performance was his ability to play the guitar, an element that has conquered the public, the judges and the critics. He can make that guitar Scream!
In January 2020, Ignazio started Floki Production. Nico was the first artist to sign a contract with Ignazio under Floki. This made lots of sense to me.  In many ways Nico reminds me of Ignazio. He knows what he wants and, he goes after it.
Perfect Audio! 4 Cameras! A Crazy Band and, it was all LIVE ON INSTAGRAM! 
Ignazio the Genius
And, in the mist of the pandemic, Ignazio did a high-quality sound LIVE on Instagram to present the first release by Floki. “Gorilla!” This was never done before but of course the genius of Ignazio brought it all together. It was an amazing event!
While the music world was trying to restart, Ignazio, at age 25, has made his debut as a producer. Ignazio said, “Production has always been my dream. It started with an idea to give a chance to those who deserve a break.” Ignazio reminds us “as it happened 11 years ago to himself, Gianluca and Piero.”

Photo collage of IL VOLO

Speaking of Floki, Ignazio says, ′′Working through a small label gives you the opportunity to follow means, believing in people even before the project and following them step by step on their path, discarding logic on the side.”
Ignazio signed Nico Arezzo a year ago but, he had his eye on him since 2017 when he appeared on Xfactor and the Festival Show in Verona. Ignazio said: “After the victory at the Festival Show, Michele Torpedine started following him and, slowly, he and I came to the decision to create a label.”
Ignazio spoke of the release of Gorilla and the debut of Floki. “Yeah! This is the moment Nico has been waiting for, for two and a half years. We could have anticipated the times, but I think we did the right thing to wait. Nico needed to grow calmly in writing. And he’s doing it very well. Yesterday was a debut for me too and it’s a great satisfaction to see written on Spotify under the title of the song, Floki Production.” I know I loved seeing Floki Production on Amazon too!
Wonderful achievement, Ignazio!

In “Gorilla”, Nico comes alive! He is the Gorilla in the jungle! He has the feeling and the expression for this song. He’s bouncing all over the stage. He’s definitely got the moves! It’s so catchy! And people love it!

Nico with gorilla art superimposed on his photo Nico at the piano

Following the release of Gorilla, Nico did an interview with Nico Donvito, an Italian Music Blogger. In this interview, I saw another side of Nico. We hear this young man talk about his music. His place in the music industry. How he got there and all the people who are responsible for his journey. When I listened to this interview, I shook my head and said, he’s just like Ignazio.
I heard a, very, intelligent and responsible young man who has worked hard to get to where he is. He talks about, who he is, where he came from and how he sees his future.
Right out the gate, Nico impressed me with his insight. Nico saw “Gorilla” as a means of escape from where we are in our world today and an expression of where he finds himself in the world.
Nico said, Gorilla’ has a fresh taste, because in the last few months we have been a bit obliged to heavy thoughts, to stop and reflect on important things, to close ourselves in ourselves. At a certain point the moment comes when you need a beer on the beach with your friends, ‘Gorilla’ is just that, something not at all thick which and, in certain situations, can be essential.”
That’s pretty deep and right on. It was almost as if Nico was saying I wrote this song two years ago, but this was its moment. It’s when it was needed. To say that the ‘Gorilla’ is that moment in time when you need to kick back or as Nico put it when you need a beer on the beach with your friends, yes, that’s exactly what “Gorilla” is. Its’ light and intriguing and it brought us away from all the madness that preceded it. Perhaps, the finger sign that Ignazio made the day that “Gorilla” was released, that seemed to upset so many people, was nothing more than Ignazio saying: Let’s take the weight of the world and toss it aside. You had your way and now, we’re going to have ours!
And where is Nico now? In his own words, “There are days that if I focus, Traffic Lights go green when I want.”

Nico’s new song, “Polline (pollen)” has been released.  Nico says, ‘I wrote almost all of my song in this notebook. ‘Polline’ was born a year ago. This summer this notebook fell into the sea, dried in the sun and ‘Polline’ remains legible.”
In a review a writer said: This is a “new piece in the path of the artist produced by Ignazio Boschetto. Nico Arezzo’s ‘Polline’ is the single that marks the return of one of the most talented songwriters of the new generation already the winner of the Festival Show a few years ago.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Nico tell us, “This song has been ready for at least a year, in the meantime I have written many other things, I have explored a new musical genre that you will listen to soon and I am evolving but, this piece, I absolutely did not want to abandon it because I am very attached to it.
‘Polline’ is a song to which I am very attached, especially, literally. It’s a piece that comes almost as a challenge. They said to me, ‘Can you talk about a relationship that’s over but, looking back, you can say ‘but it was beautiful’? And so, even though there may be a small void hidden between the lines of the song, thinking that I haven’t lived through that story would make me sadder.”
And how did Nico preview this new song on Instagram? Honey jars! Nico said, “I’m releasing a new track this month. Every day I will add a jar of honey in my fridge with a letter on it, not in order. I start today! Go into my stories, write in the comments the first word you think of.  Try not to guess right away or you will ruin everything for me! Every day a jar a letter! Oddly, though my Italian is very limited, I guessed what it was!
What is the song about?  The answer is in one line of the song!  “They say you can understand a person from what you find in his fridge.” Let’s go to Nico’s fridge and see what he’s really all about!
Another amazing video! It makes me smile! It makes me laugh! It makes me happy! Nico, everything you do excites me! From day one I knew you would bring a fresh approach to the music industry and, I was right. You have such energy and, all your projects are ambitious like you. Your videos present the real you!
Before I end this story, I want to go back to my story about Ignazio’s song Màkari. Why? Because this song says a lot about Ignazio. It tells us who he is and where his heart is! Everything else falls into place.
In a video, Ignazio talked about the summers he spent in S. Vito Capo in the landscape of Màkari. What is it that draws him back year after year? Is it the “silence” of the land that screams for you to open your eyes and look around at the wonder of the landscape or, the traditions of the land that go deep into your soul? It seems to Ignazio, Màkari is joy and love and so he will never forget it! And what does that say! Simple! This is Ignazio’s story!!! His story of Sicily, the land he left to pursue his dream and the land he is drawn back to time and again. Yes, Bologna is his home but, Sicily is the place he comes home to!
Mix  Ignazio’s Genius and Nico’s Energy and what do you get? A Complicated but, always Delightful mixture!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!

Happy Birthday Ignazio & Nico!! 

If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
*Floki Production by Ignazio Boschetto and Michele Torpedine. Polline was produced at Take Away Studios in Modena.

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Nico Arezzo ~ Complicated and Delightful!! by Susan

It’s always difficult to decide where to start with Nico. Yes, he’s complicated but, always delightful! Perhaps looking at where Nico came from can give us a better idea of who he is.

One year old Nico walking with Dad, Peppe

Young Nico playing the drums

Nico (Domenico) Arezzo was born in Ragusa, Sicily on October 2, 1998. You might say he was born and raised on a stage, initially “with drumsticks in his hands” … but soon the need to put one note after another brought him to the guitar. Both of his parents are entertainers. His mother Emanuela Curcio is dancer and a dance teacher, and his father Peppe Arezzo is a pianist and an Orchestra Conductor. Nico also has a younger sister Emma. Once I commented to Peppe, she’s a little Nico!  Like Nico, she’s into everything!
But what is it I see in this family that gives me a good feeling? Values, good values! I talk a lot about values because I think it molds beautiful people. When I write about Il Volo or when I write my BOIN stories what do I always go back to, good values. To understand where I’m coming from, let’s take a closer look at the Arezzo family.
When you’re a family of entertainers, it seems someone is always traveling so, whenever everyone has the opportunity to be together, it’s a festival. And what do they celebrate? Everything! Nico explains it in this way.
I’m down, (in Ragusa, his home). It’s Christmas time. We celebrate birthdays when it’s not the right day. We celebrate birthdays when we are together. Tomorrow or maybe the day after tomorrow it’s my turn!
And during his time at home for Christmas 2020, Nico experienced his first earthquake. He said, “Yesterday I felt my first earthquake in history. It was weird, powerful! I’m down! It’s Christmas time and everything is shaking! Happy birthday to everyone.”
“Merry Christmas to everyone. Happy birthday today or yesterday? If it was yesterday sorry for the delay. Happy birthday to you.”

Nico with his Mom, Dad and sister

How did Nico get to where he is?  Certainly, he got his talent from his mom and dad but how did he get to where he is today?
Nico first came to my attention in 2017 when he won the Festival Show in Verona with the song “Se Vuoi” (If You Want). I happened to be in Italy at the time and I was very taken by his performance at the Festival. Nico can be very engaging and, you can get lost in Nico’s words and actions. Nico said “Se Vuoi” made him move! I say Nico made “Se Vuoi” move! Nico said he was drawn to this song because“It’s a song that forces the body to move even without wanting. It’s a fresh song that turns on everything that can be turned on … the same freshness that I want to convey now that the music has taken my whole life.” The song is exciting and lively, like Nico! I remember that his voice captured me. He has lots of rhythm and expression. He immediately captured the audience. And I’m sure he captured the attention of at least one of the judges there that night, Michele Torpedine.
And what did Michele have to say about this event, “This is the first moment where we understood.” He certainly did! After the Festival Michele signed Nico and so did Ignazio! Great idea! Great choice!
What makes Nico so good? He’s very talented and the team is amazing! Nico Arezzo, Ignazio Boschetto and Michele Torpedine! Collaboration complete!
Nico is versatile! How about Nico and Ignazio singing a Pino Daniele medley? Anyone who sings a Pino Daniele song, gets a seat in my corner!

Nico along with Ignazio, Davide Marchi and Francesco Landi, wrote and set to music the song “Volo” which Nico sang at the Sanremo Festival Giovani in 2019. In the song there is the desire of the singer to live 360 degrees, with joys, pains, emotions and also a lot of love. But that’s not all, what struck everyone about his performance was his ability to play the guitar, an element that has conquered the public, the judges and the critics. He can make that guitar Scream!
In January 2020, Ignazio started Floki Productions. Nico was the first artist to sign a contract with Ignazio under Floki. This made lots of sense to me.  In many ways Nico reminds me of Ignazio. He knows what he wants and he goes after it.
And, in the mist of the pandemic, Ignazio did a LIVE on Instagram to present the first release by Floki. Gorilla!

In “Gorilla”, Nico comes alive! He is the Gorilla in the jungle! He has the feeling and the expression for this song. He’s bouncing all over the stage. He’s definitely got the moves! It’s so catchy! And people love it!
Following the release of Gorilla, Nico did an interview with Nico Donvito, an Italian Music Blogger. In this interview, I saw another side of Nico. We hear this young man talk about his music. His place in the music industry. How he got there and all the people who are responsible for his journey.
I heard a, very, intelligent and, responsible young man who has worked hard to get to where he is. He talks about, who he is, where he came from and how he sees his future.
Right out the gate, Nico impressed me with his insight. Nico saw “Gorilla” as a means of escape from where we are in our world today and an expression of where he finds himself in the world. Nico said, “ ‘Gorilla’ has a fresh taste, because in the last few months we have been a bit obliged to heavy thoughts, to stop and reflect on important things, to close ourselves in ourselves. At a certain point the moment comes when you need a beer on the beach with your friends, ‘Gorilla’ is just that, something not at all thick which and, in certain situations, can be essential.”
That’s pretty deep and right on. It was almost as if Nico was saying I wrote this song two years ago, but this was its moment. It’s when it was needed. To say that the ‘Gorilla’ is that moment in time when you need to kick back or as Nico put it when you need a beer on the beach with your friends, yes, that’s exactly what “Gorilla” is. Its’ light and intriguing and it brought us away from all the madness that preceded it. Perhaps, the sign that Ignazio made the day that “Gorilla” was released, that seemed to upset so many people, was nothing more that Ignazio saying: Let’s take the weight of the world and toss it aside. You had your way and now, we’re going to have ours!
One of the things I love about Nico is he is always looking for ways to entertain us! In February, he decided to travel around Bologna with some friends and a mattress. They sat around on the mattress and greeted people as they went by!  Nico said, “I don’t wanna be romantic but every now and then there are certain tangles you hardly imagined. You know those blurry photos that are beautiful just because they’re blurry! Those people you don’t know but who greet you, and you greet them, and then you talk to them! Today I text a friend of mine, Do you have a rope? I need it to tie a mattress to the top of my car.’ He reminded me that I don’t have a car. True, I don’t have a car, so I don’t have a roof!” And that’s Nico’s humor which grabs us and keeps us laughing!

Nico sitting on a mattress

And where is Nico now? In his words, There are days that if I focus, Traffic Lights go green when I want.”
Nico’s new song, “Polline (pollen)” has been released.  Nico says,I wrote almost all of my song in this notebook. ‘Polline’ was born a year ago. This summer this notebook fell into the sea, dried in the sun and ‘Polline’ remains legible.”

Nico's notebook

In a review a writer said: This is a “new piece in the path of the artist produced by Ignazio Boschetto. Nico Arezzo’s ‘Polline’ is the single that marks the return of one of the most talented songwriters of the new generation already the winner of the Festival Show a few years ago.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Nico tell us, “This song has been ready for at least a year, in the meantime I have written many other things, I have explored a new musical genre that you will listen to soon and I am evolving but, this piece, I absolutely did not want to abandon it because I am very attached to it.
‘Polline’ is a song to which I am very attached, especially, literally. It’s a piece that comes almost as a challenge. They said to me, ‘Can you talk about a relationship that’s over but, looking back, you can say ‘but it was beautiful’? And so, even though there may be a small void hidden between the lines of the song, thinking that I haven’t lived through that story would make me sadder.”
And how did Nico preview this new song on Instagram? Honey jars! Nico said, “I’m releasing a new track this month. Every day I will add a jar of honey in my fridge with a letter on it, not in order. I start today! Go into my stories, write in the comments the first word you think of.  Try not to guess right away or you will ruin everything for me! Every day a jar a letter! Oddly, though my Italian is very limited, I guessed what it was!

What is the song about?  The answer is in one line of the song!  “They say you can understand a person from what you find in his fridge.” Let’s go to Nico’s fridge and see what he’s really all about!

(Floki Production by Ignazio Boschetto and Michele Torpedine. Polline was produced at Take Away Studios in Modena.) 

Another amazing video! It makes me smile! It makes me laugh! It makes me happy! Nico, everything you do excites me! From day one I knew you would bring a fresh approach to the music industry and I was right. You have such energy and, all your projects are ambitious like you. Your videos present the real you!
Yes, you’re Complicated but, your delivery is always Delightful!

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

IL VOLO and CARUSO by SUSAN

History Repeats Itself!

Italy is an emotion and in the center of that emotion is a passion and that passion is Naples. Naples is like no other place in Italy or, for that matter, no other place in the world. Neapolitans are the most diversified people in all of Italy. Naples is a feeling you can never shake but, above all, Naples is Music!

In the mid 1800’s Naples began to see a new movement in music. In 1835 a new song “Te voglio bene assaje” appeared. This song is considered to be the first modern Italian song.

CARUSO 01

The first “hit” may date back to 1835 but the golden age of song, in Naples, was from 1890 – 1910 when immigration to America began. Men left with the dream of a better life but what they found was even harder than what they left. They left their homes and families, and, in some cases, they never went home again. They found themselves alone with nothing but their music. Many Neapolitan songs were written about these times. Most of these immigrants lived in New York City in lower Manhattan in an area which became known as Little Italy. Small music companies would put on one act plays. Little vignettes. The stories were always the same, they were about home and family. They were about the mother they would never see again.

In 1903, Enrico Caruso made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Caruso’s debut on November 23, 1903 was in a new production of Rigoletto. Marcella Sembrich sang opposite him as Gilda. A few months later, he began his lifelong association with the Victor Talking Machine Company. He made his first American record on February 1, 1904, having signed a lucrative financial deal with Victor. Thereafter, his recording career ran in tandem with his Met career, both bolstering each other, until his death in 1921.

CARUSO 02

Caruso was the first International singer to come to America. He introduced America to Italian Music. Caruso loved to sing Neapolitan songs and they were so popular that when he performed at the MET at the end of the show he would come out and sing Neapolitan songs. Among these songs were O Sole Mio, Torna Sorrento and Santa Lucia. As a result, Neapolitan songs became a part of an opera singers’ repertoire and every opera singer after Caruso would sing opera and Neapolitan songs including Il Volo.

Neapolitan music as it was at the turn of the century, in Naples, really didn’t change much but with the arrival of US troops in World War II, Naples woke up to a new beat. The US troops introduced them to the buzz and rhythm of jazz and boogie, and the Neapolitans immediately liked it.

I would not do Neapolitan Music or Il Volo justice if I didn’t mention Pino Daniele.

CARUSO 03

Pino Daniele was an Italian singer-songwriter, and guitarist, whose influences covered a wide number of genres, including pop, blues, jazz, and Italian and Middle Eastern music.

Pino Daniele made his debut in the Italian music world in 1977. He defined his music with the term “tarumbò.” His lyrics, written and sung in intense Neapolitan, attracted praise, though critical at times, because of his strong and bitter accusations against the social injustices of the times.  Authorities say Pino Daniele brought about the rebirth of Neapolitan song.

He wrote and sang his own music and this music was known in America.

I started this piece by saying Italy is an emotion and Naples a passion. If Naples is a passion that passion was Pino Daniele. Songs like Napule è, Quando and  Quanno Chiove are just a few example of his songs.  Examples I chose because I know Il Volo fans know these songs. 

(Pino Daniele live in Napoli 2013 – Quanno chiove)

They are very deep passionate songs. Many artists have sung Daniele’s songs but in order to do justice to a Pino Daniele song you have to bring passion, emotion and Neapolitan dialect to the song.  Enter Ignazio Boschetto! Ignazio’s tribute to Daniele is amazing and emotional. You can feel the depth of the song because of the presentation of the song and, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it’s as if Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.

(Ignazio Boschetto live in Arena  2015 –  medley of: Napule è – Quando  – Quanno Chiove)

Let’s look back a moment to see how Il Volo fit into the picture I presented here. Well we know they sing opera and we know they sing Neapolitan songs. Why? Remember what I said about Enrico Caruso. Every opera singer after Caruso would sing opera and Neapolitan songs. As a result, Neapolitan songs became a part of an opera singers’ repertoire and that includes Il Volo.  

But do we see any other similarities here?

20th Century the year is 1903 – Enrico Caruso comes to America at the turn of the century. He brings with him a new kind of music. The music changes Americas way of viewing Italian music. To Americans, Italian music was opera. But now, they have Caruso singing Neapolitan songs at the MET. A few months later, he begins his lifelong association with the Victor Talking Machine Company. He made his first American record on 1 February 1904, having signed a deal with Victor Talking Machine company. Thereafter, his recording career ran in tandem with his Met career, both bolstering each other, until his death in 1921.

(Enrico Caruso – O Sole mio)

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Fast forward 100 years to the 21st century – the year is 2009, Il Volo signs a major contract with Universal Music. They come to America where their music immediately catches on and causes a revolution in the music industry. Over the next ten years they sell out every American Concert. All their albums and concerts are a tremendous success. And their success is from singing Opera and Neapolitan songs. Thereafter, their recording career runs in tandem with their Concert career, both bolstering each other.

Did I read that right? Did Caruso and Il Volo do exactly the same thing in two different centuries? Did history repeat itself?

Like Caruso in 1904, Il Volo in 2009 revolutionized the music industry. These three teenage boys were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label even before they arrived in America. They presented Operatic pop or popera to America. What is this new movement? It’s singing Opera in a more modern style. While opera is very strict and regimented, popera is more ethereal it has a lighter feeling and it moves freely. It takes away the hard edges of opera and replaces it with a more ethereal feel while still presenting the drama and the high notes of the opera. This along with the classical Neapolitan songs become a big draw.

Continuing on this amazing journey, their music evolves and, they crossover. In 2018 they released one of the most exciting Latin albums to come out in years. I would go so far as to say Amame is the most exciting Latin album that was ever produced. It’s opera, it’s rock, it’s classical, it’s pop and it never stops giving. The rhythm in songs like Noche Sin Dia is amazing. You have to move with the music. You can’t sit still. Songs like Maldito Amor is a phenomenal experience for your ear. The delivery is smooth and beautiful. It’s one of those songs that stays with you forever. This album is so Exciting! Exciting! Exciting! I sat and thought about this album the other day and how I would write about it. These three amazing guys absolutely floored me. The beat is so intense and, they are spot on. I think the guys knocked it out of the box with Noche Sin Dia. With Latin music you don’t just sing it, you feel it, and if you don’t feel it, you don’t cut it. This album cuts it! Good move!

(Il Volo – Amame) 

As if that wasn’t enough, they follow up with Musica! This is the album that proved that great can get greater. This album is representative of where these young men are now. It’s 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. Piero fills all your sense and brings you to such heights that you have to stop and breathe. Musica che resta!

The difference between Caruso and Il Volo is Caruso came to America towards the end of his career while Il Volo came at the beginning of their career. 

Lucky for us! 😉

(Il Volo pays homage to Caruso with the song CARUSO by Lucio Dalla)

(Lucio Dalla, begins the song)

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

IL VOLO and PINO E’ by Daniela

Our boys give us many participations in important events. Tonight is the turn of the tribute concert to Pino Daniele.

We are in Naples, at the San Paolo stadium and the event is called PINO E’.

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The boys have just arrived, Gianluca says, “We just arrived here at the historic Stadio San Paolo, we are ready for rehearsals, good morning everyone, bye.”

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In the afternoon, the boys are interviewed by RAI RADIO2.

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Piero says it is a great responsibility to remember a great artist. “The emotions are different, from one of our concerts, but we are really honored, as Ignazio said, we will work hard and we will definitely be excited.”

(The boys are asked how they chose the song they will sing, Piero answers.)

“Ignazio chose the song, because he knows all the discography of Pino Daniele, we still can not say what it is, because it will be a surprise.”

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Then they are interviewed by Radio Italia. 

Here is a summary of their interview:

“We are very happy to be here. Pino has made the history of Italian music and blues. We apologize in advance for the Neapolitan pronunciation.”

Ignazio Boschetto is a big fan of Pino and he has paid tribute several times during the concerts of Il Volo: “He is my idol, he accompanies my days. Another Pino Daniele will not be born anymore.”

What are the songs of Pino that Il Volo likes best? “‘CAMMINA CAMMINA’ that tells a heartbreaking love story. But also the energy of ‘A me me piace’ or ‘blues’ or ‘Resta cu’ mmè.”

“Pino E’ will be a special concert also because the proceeds will go to Pino Daniele Trust Onlus, OPEN ONLUS and Save The Children. Specifically, the projects are these:

The “Passport” European project of OPEN ONLUS – an electronic passport, in multiple languages, that will allow every teenager with cancer to be assisted in Europe and to share his clinical history for research on pediatric cancer.

– The “Lights Points” project of SAVE THE CHILDREN, to combat educational poverty in minors. A physical space open to children, adolescents and their parents, coordinated by educational figures and animated by volunteers, which arises in the difficult neighborhoods of some Italian cities without services and opportunities.

In this short video, Ignazio says that Pino has represented the story, both of Neapolitan music, but of a genre that belonged only to him, he represented the beautiful part of the Italian-Neapolitan blues.

“Personally, he has been my idol, I have been listening to him for years and he accompanies me in all my days, in my daily life.”

And here they are at the trials, it is impossible to know what they will sing.

The sound is muted to not allow you to understand the song that they will sing.

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Interviewed by Radio Montecarlo.

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And here we are finally at the exhibition.

UPDATE: Here is a newly published video from the concert.

“Pino is in the past and in the present and will remain in the future, because he is the greatest of all.”

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And here they are for the duet song with Mario Biondi.

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The show is over, the guys were good. The genre of Neapolitan music is not easy to interpret.

See you next guys !!

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.