Friday, October 21, 2011

My Pop-Culture Prayer, Answered.

If you said I wasn’t your typical teenager, I would look at you and say “Well, it’s about time you noticed.”

Yes, I’m 17, but unlike my teenage counterparts, when I hear current teenage pop stars, I don’t scream for joy, but rather of a slight degree of agony. It’s not that I particularly dislike boy bands or mass media pop stars, but rather what they represent: a blind following of crazed teenagers who think the “singer’s” severe electronically altered voices are the best thing since sliced bread.

But, since this past spring, I have (proudly) become one of these lovestruck teenagers. Il Volo, none other than the three very attractive, insanely talented, and young pop-opera singers caught my heart and attention with their first single “O Sole Mio.”

Comprised of Piero Barone (18), Ignazio Boschetto(17), and Gianluca Ginoble (16), Il Volo has taken over the world since their recording contract with Geffen Records. Due to their careful selection of songs, Il Volo’s music appeals to an array of people-- regardless of their unique taste.

Il Volo’s almost instantaneous success, to me, isn’t as much as a surprise as much as a long overdue answer to a prayer. Finally, teenagers all over the world can listen to a “boy band” whose chorus verses incorporate more words than “baby” and “ooh.”

I am proud to call myself an Il Volo fan. Not only are they breathtakingly talented, but they are down to earth, humble boys, who actually love singing.

Upon hearing the boys in concert, my respect and love for them solidified ever further. Not only do I hold high standards for any live performer, but especially for the ones who turned me into a “lovestruck fan.”

While I knew the boys were talented, I never imagined they’d be “true performers.” Their perfect pitch throughout the show matched their enthusiasm and passion for the music. But, it was their charisma and consistent joking with each other onstage surprised me the most; these guys look and behave like my best friends... so how come when they sing, they sound like the best of seasoned performers?

For lack of better words, they surpassed my expectations and left me, an outspoken critical patron, speechless.

And, by the looks of the crazed fans attempting to stand in the pit and the bouncers keeping them off the pit, I could tell I wasn’t the only one who fell further in love with the boys after the concert.

Only two days before their Miami concert, I had the phenomenal opportunity to interview Piero Barone, the eldest and my personal favorite from the group.

While the boys have been touring for months and rarely get to see their family, I could see, through Piero’s words, that performing in front of an audience of adoring fans every night made all the sacrifices worth it.

“This is my dream,” said Piero Barone over a phone interview on October 4th. “I just want to be Il Volo forever.”

Well, Piero, if that’s your dream, it’s my pleasure to inform you (without a doubt in mind) that Il Volo won’t be going away any time soon, and that your dream will, most definitely, come true.

Questions and Answers with Piero Barone

1. When did you start singing

"I start to sing since I was 3 years old with my grandpa. I really started training since 1 year with the same teacher."

2. How did you decide to audition for "Ti Lascio Una Canzione?"

"I didn't decide. I came from the piano lesson and my dad received one call from a lady and she told us 'Do you want to do casting from Ti Lascio Una Canzione?'[...] and I say, 'OK, lets try.' I do it and I get in Ti Lascio Una Canzione."

3. How does Ti Lascio Una Canzione work?

"It's like an American Idol for the young people. Since 8 years old to 17."

4. Is that the first time you realized how talented you were?

"Yes, first time."

5. You guys decided to start Il Volo there?

"Yes. It's hard to find three guys like Ignazio, Gianluca, and myself, because we started like three normal friends and now we are like brothers."

6. Why "Il Volo?"

"Do you know what Il Volo means? The flight. Because the music makes us fly... everywhere, every day, to all cities of the world, every moment of our life."

7. Where do you plan to go with your music?

We keep singing these kinds of music. We sing in five languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. But, we keep this kind of music because we were born with this music. Our grandfathers introduced us to this music. It's what we sing better. We were born for this music... it's not opera. It's operatic-pop."

8. Will you ever sing just Opera?

"No. We sing traditional Italian songs like "O Sole Mio" and "Il Mondo," and pop songs like "This Time." We sing romantic songs. But we don't sing absolutely opera. We can't sing this kind of music. We'd have to study, study, study, for many years."

9. What is your biggest dream?

"My biggest dream is coming true. My dream is now. Always to be Il Volo. Every day, Il Volo... Il Volo. We had to give up a lot for this life. We had to leave our families and don't see them for months and months. It's very hard, but we know what we're doing. We're building our future."

10. What did you want to be before you started to sing? Any career aspirations?

"My dream was to be a player of piano, or a piano teacher,or be a driver of sports cars."

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