1. We speak 2. A FIAT Backstage series in which we sit down, interview, and get to know someone from the world of FIAT, art, music, fashion, or design.
What were you doing at 17 years old? Odds are you were not embarking on a tour of the United States fresh off going platinum and taping your own concert DVD. In class you could daydream about being on stage in front of the adoration of your screaming fans. As members of the singing group Il Volo, this is just the life that three teenage Italian crooners (Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble) have found themselves living.
This life now seems like something that they have adapted to, and it’s no surprise considering how they formed as a group. Individually, they began their careers as contestants in 2009, when they entered the Italian music competition television show Ti lascio una canzone. Their talents were apparent from the beginning, and their lives were changed when the show’s producers decided to have them perform the song “O Sole Mio” as a trio. This new blend of their voices struck a chord with the audience, and with themselves. What has happened since has been an international sensation, and now the trio is focused on bringing their style, music, and artistry from Italy to the United States—they embarked on their own tour this fall, and released a new collection of songs for their growing fan base. It’s quite possible that in the near future you will be seeing a lot more of Il Volo.
Trust us. This is a very good thing.
We had a chance to catch up with them backstage before one of their recent tour stops, and talked everything from music to family to Gianluca’s FIAT Cinquecento back home.
Gianluca // Piero // Ignazio
You’ve made a name for yourselves in Italy; what are you hoping to accomplish here in the United States?
Gianluca: All of the people hope to come to America, and we are so lucky because we are the first Italian artists to sign with Universal Music in L.A., here in the United States. We have sold one million copies of our first album in Italy. We are young, and we want to introduce people to our kind of music, traditional music.
Piero: This has always been our goal. Usually, this type of music is loved by an older generation, but now if you come to our concert you will find people from 10 years old to 90 years old.
Have you found it difficult to introduce a younger generation to this type of music?
Piero: We are 17 and 18 years old, and we love this type of music. We think that all of the younger generation is going to love this kind of music as well. If you discover it, you’ll love it.
Gianluca: The new album is completely different. The songs are new, and it’s going to be a surprise when you hear it.
You sing a more traditional style of music, but are there any other types of music that you listen to or that inspire you?
Ignazio: Yes, of course! I love AC/DC. (It should be noted that at this point, Ignazio started singing some of his favorite AC/DC songs.)
Gianluca: We love opera. We love rock. I love Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, all of the jazz singers really. Also, my favorite is Chris Botti. I am a huge fan of Chris Botti.
Piero: We love Barbra Streisand as well, and since we love Barbra Streisand, the dream is really coming true for us. We are going to have a concert and a tour with her in October. We will sing some songs with her, and some by ourselves.
As artists, where do you take inspiration from?
Gianluca: My grandfather. I started to listen to this type of music because of him.
Piero: My grandfather is my inspiration as well. My grandpa is blind, and he is the one who discovered my voice. He is a musician as well, and while he was writing a song, I started to sing. He started to look around and was wondering, “Who is this singer? Who is singing?” He helped me to form my dream.
Ignazio: I started alone in my room with a keyboard. When my family moved in Sicily, I started to study and sing and have fun with the music.
Since you have been stateside, what has been the most exciting thing to happen?
Piero: The American audience is so warm. They love our music so much. They are very familiar with our music. We love it.
Have you found your age to be a barrier for people to understand or appreciate your music?
Piero: This is the most important thing for me. Our music is a great mix: the voices and our age. This is the first time that many people our age will see this type of music performed.
Ignazio: Sometimes, people will compare us to the Three Tenors, but we don’t sing like the Three Tenors. They sing opera. We sing a mix of traditional and pop music. It is a great honor to be compared, but we are something different.
Gianluca: I would hope to have a career like the Three Tenors. They have been doing this for so long and are so talented. We are still very young and new.
Where would you like to see your career take you?
Gianluca: We want to always stay together.
Piero: With the first album, we sang covers to show people who we are. With the new album, with the new songs, we want people all over to sing OUR songs.
Ignazio: We want to bring wonderful things to our fans, and want to be a good example for the next generation.
How do you feel when you see a FIAT 500 here in the United States?
Gianluca: I have the Cinquecento. I own it back home. I love the Cinquecento.
Ignazio:Italy! In America! It’s a little piece of home.
Piero: Sometimes when we are on the bus and we see a Cinquecento, we say, “Look at the car! It’s just like home.”
If you’d like to watch Il Volo take flight, you can see their tour dates and stay up to date on their website or Facebook page. You can also find their current albums on iTunes.