As Italy Magazine, we have been following the young trio of tenors "Il Volo" since they released their first album at the end of November 2010 in Italy.
Their very first steps to stardom were taken on the stage of popular RAI 1 TV Show “Ti Lascio una canzone” in 2009. While they immediately stood out back then, few would have ever thought that just two years later Piero (Barone), Ignazio (Boschetto) and Gianluca (Ginoble) would have reached international fame with their album Il Volo becoming the third best selling album of an Italian artist in the USA after Domenico Modugno and Andrea Bocelli?
Well even the guys find this success incredible and while their voices keep flying high in the music scene, they seem to be really grounded, getting their strength from their friends, families and beloved country, Italy.
We talked to Gianluca Ginoble who was enthusiastic about answering some of our questions.
As soon as we got started, he stopped me right away and asked “Ma sei Siciliana?" ('Are you Sicilian’). Immediately spotted! After all, Gianluca, who is from Roseto Degli Abruzzi, is sharing this incredible success with two Sicilians, Piero and Ignazio, so I am sure he knows all about Sicily by now.
From "Ti Lascio Una Canzone" to your world tour. Would you have ever expected this success?
Honestly we did not. We thought "Ti Lascio Una Canzone" was a dream come true, three kids singing on RAI 1 (Italian National TV), but thought that after that experience we would go back to studying with the idea and the dream of becoming professional singer later in life. While instead we had this amazing opportunity to reach an international audience and start immediately a singing career in the best possible way.
You have been on American Idol, Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, The Early Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, sang at the Arena di Verona and San Remo Music festival, recorded We are the World for Haiti. Recently you also received two Latin GRAMMY Nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Album By A Duo Or Group. Which one of these amazing experiences has contributed the most to your personal and professional growth?
As I said, this is all amazing, considering it all happened in four months, but if I had to pick one it would be American Idol. It was our first TV appearance on American television, one of the most important shows, we were anxious, tense, excited. We didn’t know how the audience could react to our performance. When we realised how much they liked our voices, it gave us such a fantastic energy. Even Ellen and Jay Leno’s were great experiences, we had standing ovations in all the shows, but the first experience at American Idol is simply unforgettable!
How does it feel to follow in the foot steps of great singers such as Modugno and Bocelli?
Absolutely amazing. And at such a young age! After all I am only 16, Ignazio is 17 and Piero just turned 18. A great honour! That’s all I can say. We sold over 600.000 copies in 4 months, we are so grateful! And we are not only loved by Italians abroad, but even by Americans, we are golden album in France, number two in South America after Enrique Iglesias, number one in New Zeland.
What do you miss from Italy? What is the Italian thing that should never miss in your dressing room?
Food, food, food! Italian food is the best in the world. Of course we miss our families, our parents. I miss my brother and my grandparents too, our friends. And, did I say, we miss Italian food?
Your parents must be really proud of you, but worried at the same time about this sudden success of yours? What is the thing they warn you more frequently about?
Of course, they keep us grounded. They remind us that this success might end at any moment and we need to be prepared. Obviously, we all hope it will continue and we are working hard towards this. They also know we are in excellent hands, our producers Tony Renis and Humberto Gatica are the best producers we could ever have.
Our manager, Michele Torpedine, is the one who looked after the careers of Bocelli, Zucchero, Giorgia, Antonacci.
You see, for a singer having a great voice is not enough, the work behind an album or a tour is so important!
How is your English going?
Mhhh! “Insomma, dobbiamo studiare di più”! ('Well, we need to study more!')
If you had to suggest to someone three things not to miss when visiting Italy, what would they be?
Rome. Rome, with Paris, is the best city in the world. You cannot miss Rome. Italian food, that is obvious!
Then he stopped thinking for a minute and started with an endless list:
… Le città d’arte, Venice, Florence, and Naples, “Le bellezze naturali”, nature, etc etc etc
“Ma tutta l’Italia è bella!”
“O sole mio!” seems to be your lucky song, the one that brought you all the attention and catapulted you to world fame, but which other song of your album is in your heart and you would like to dedicate to our readers?
Of course “O sole mio!” was our first single and we love it. But there is something I would like to clarify. We are not the three young tenors that go to America to sing Neapolitan songs. That is what some people in Italy think about us. Nothing wrong with that, we love Neapolitan music, but we are simply something else. As we are not Opera singers, like Pavarotti or Bocelli, we are closer to Il Divo and Josh Groban, we are all about “Il Bel Canto”. Out of twelve songs in our album, only “O sole mio!” is Neapolitan, then we have another two Italian classics, followed by Spanish and English songs. We also have two songs, “La Luna Hizo Esto” and “Painfully Beautiful”, both written for us by multi-platinum songwriter Diane Warren. The one song I love the most and would like to dedicate to your readers is “Smile”, that we recently performed at the 2011 MDA Telethon in Las Vegas.
I think this chat with Gianluca just shows that besides talent, these three young singers are also modest and grounded. Indispensable ingredients for a long lasting career.
Buona Fortuna Ragazzi.
You can enjoy both “O sole mio!” and “Smile” in the Il Volo performance at the 2011 MDA Telethon in Las Vegas:
Album and Tour
The “Il Volo” track listing was carefully produced and assembled by hitmaker Humberto Gatica and longtime champion of Italian music Tony Renis to strike the right balance of traditional, classical and pop fare. “If there were too many traditional songs, you’d flip it over and say, ‘Ah, nice little boys from Italy,’” Gatica says. “And that’s not what I wanted.”
In addition to a customized arrangement of the song that launched the trio’s career (“O Sole Mio”) and Italian classic “Un Amore Cosi Grande,” the album features two new Diane Warren originals, “La Luna Hizo Esto” and “Painfully Beautiful”; “Smile,” made popular by Nat “King” Cole; and “Per Te,” originally performed by Groban. A Spanish-language version of the album include seven additional Spanish songs.
Fast forward to 2015
Il Volo trio won Sanremo Music Festival with the song Grande Amore.
You can find all the details about Il Volo on their website.