Boy Bands: Lauded. Ridiculed. Loved. Hated. Adored. Tolerated. Applauded. Insulted. It seems no matter the adjective, it is used in conjunction with the term "Boy Band". The young girls adore them, the boys tolerate them and sometimes the old (ahem) think they are not just good to look at, but deserve a damn fine mention in this world we call 'Musical Entertainment'.
Of course, like any other genre in this world, there are ones you like and those you don't, and within those same confines, there are good entertainers and bad, even sometimes take-it-or-leave-its. But, now and again, there are those pigeonholed into the "boy band" category who desperately deserve to be pointed out, brought to your attention, touted from the public square, as being so much more than that not-so-flattering name suggests. Case in point; Il Volo.
Ok, I admit I'm partial to these three young guys, but it isn't only because I've seen them grow over the last few years from an Italian trio put together by the director of "Ti Lascio Una Canzone*" or "Leavin' you a song", but because the talents of this trio are, to me, far superior to any other “boy band” I know and what they do is just plain old unique, new and old fashioned all at once and completely gorgeous.
*(an Italian musical variety TV show (2008–present) that includes a competition (a no-elimination show, the 35 or so kids being the weekly entertainment),between the most beloved songs in the history of Italian pop music - sound familiar? - where young musicians from some of the best music schools in Italy compete on the show with a 30-piece orchestra) - Wikipedia
The three young men who are Il Volo met on the second edition of the Italian TV show and were put together as a trio to sing the old, classic Italian song, "O Solo Mio". The rest, as we writers love to say, is history. The threesome have been a non-stop singing sensation since then, winning the hearts of all of the young girls in Italy (and many not so young) with their "operatic pop" genre, showcasing the superb vocal skills of all three incredibly handsome trio members, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble (who won the 2009 Italian competition).
But, that's not at all the end of the three talented guys' fairy tale success story; this band has gone on to sweep through America with raves, including a tour with Barbra Streisand - it doesn't get any more flattering than that, does it?..and also, amazingly (even to the trio) winning the Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year (for Duo or Group) at the Billboard Latin Music Awards on Thursday (April 24)
"We always dreamed this. We are speechless," Ignazio Boschetto said of winning this award- Billboard
I can't imagine learning a song in another language, but the trio seems to have no such trouble:
“We sing in six languages, Italian, English, Spanish, French, German and Latin,” Barone said in an interview with the Tennessea; adding quickly, “and the most beautiful language to sing in is Italian.”
I was honored to get to pose a few questions to the three bewitching young men myself. You can see the personality, charm, wit and even the adorable Italian phrasing in the answers below.
This one is definitely a night of music you don't want to miss, and if you have young girls – and boys – it is a great way to introduce your kids to operatic music with this unique blend that is easy on the ears, with pop songs mixed in with classics. Adults will love this performance too, because I qualify for adulthood, plus some.
The Il Volo performance is only tonight and only at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. I will be there – wouldn't miss it for the world … and neither should you. Get your tickets, times and more information at nashvillesymphony.org and really, truly, don't miss this performance!
The Il Volo Interview:
Linda Brewer: Hi Guys! You know, I've kept my eye on you since I first saw you on TV a couple or three years ago, always amazed at your talent. But I always assumed you were brothers; you know, dark hair, dark eyes - I guess I failed to think about the fact that you are all Italian. Anyway, my first question is, how did you meet and come to form Il Volo?
Il Volo (answering as a group): We met in an Italian TV SHOW named "ti lascio una canzone" and the show's director decided to put us together at the 4th episode.
LB: Random fun questions, if you have time: Which one of you do the girls like best? (the heavily accented and charming three perhaps answering as if the question was Which one of you likes girls best.) Who is the funniest? Who is the best cook? Who is the most talented? Do you ever argue?
Il Volo: We all like girls for sure, we all are funny but maybe Ignazio is the funniest. Of the three (of us) Gianluca is the one that cannot cook!! He cannot even warm milk up! We think we are talented but we let the people say that and of course sometimes we discuss (things) as all good friends do, but we are like brothers and every time we try to solve our misunderstandings.
LB: Congrats on winning the Latin Billboard award for “LATIN POP ALBUMS– ARTIST OF THE YEAR, DUO OR GROUP”. what is your process for learning a song in another language and do you speak Spanish as fluently as English?
Il Volo: Learning a song in another language is not that hard, as every thing: studying is the key - and a good coach!
LB: How did you arrive at the pop operatic genre?
Il Volo: We all started listening to this kind of music since we were little kids, we love this kind of music and this is the reason why we are trying to get closer - the young generation - to this music
LB: You have hit the American and Latin cultures by storm - what is next on your agenda of accomplishments?
Il Volo: We are finishing this tour and then we are working on the new album!! Beautiful surprises are coming soon
LB: Lastly, What do you have in the works;albums, tours, TV, yet another country?
Il Volo: Of course we will promote the album and (guest star on) TV shows and (perform concert) tours around the world.
I have no doubt in this world that these guys will conquer every place they visit. Il Volo is a genre bending phenomenon I hope will catch on all over the entertainment world, it reminds me of orchestral heavy metal, because with it you get the utmost of two completely opposite genres, making for a mind-altering sound. I really salute these three young guys for having the gumption to do this not-so-known genre, and having the talent to make it work. See you tonight, guys!