Billboard Hot 100 Fest
Il Volo Prep Christmas EP, Talk Girls, Pitbull & Celine Dion
It's been a happy year for Il Volo with the release of their self-titled debut album. Now the teen vocal trio from Italy wants to make it a happy holiday season, too.
The troupe will start with a Christmas EP it recorded during July with producers Humberto Gatica and Tony Renis. It will be released on Nov. 21, in a repackaged version of the "Il Volo" album internationally, and as a digital EP in the U.S, and will feature the group's renditions of "Silent Night," "Panis Angelicus," "The Christmas Song" with "American Idol" contestant Pia Toscano and a medley of "Jingle Bell Rock," "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
"It's so strange in July, recording Christmas songs," Piero Barone, the group's 18-year-old Spinto tenor tells Billboard.com. "We're in the studio with the air conditioning going singing 'Jingle bells, jingle bell, jingle bell rock...' It's pretty funny."
Also on tap for Il Volo's holiday season is a PBS concert special that the group will film on Oct. 27 at the Detroit Opera House. It will premiere for Detroit PBS affiliate WTVS' local pledge drive in December and then roll out nationally in March.
Meanwhile, Barone and his group mates -- baritone Gianluca Ginoble and Lyric tenor Ignazio Boschetto -- are enjoying the warm reception for their album, which debuted in the Top 10 in the U.S. and seven other countries and at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart. The Spanish version of "Il Volvo" also topped the Latin Pop chart. "We do think it's going very well," Barone says. "If you come to our concert you can find old people, people over 30 years old, and the young generation.
"And the girls, there are so many -- a lot of girls. It's a surprise because when we started this, we thought our music would be liked by people (who were) 30, 40 years old. We never believed that the younger generation would like it.
"But the young girls like our music. They're crazy for this kind of music. And we like that, because we want to bring our music, a piece of Italy and ourself, all over the world -- this is our goal."
Il Volo has not started planning its second album yet, but Barone says the group does have some thoughts about collaborators. "I would like to sing with Pitbull or Ne-Yo," he notes, "but our dream is to sing with Celine Dion. We met her at the 'We Are the World' for Haiti (recording session) and she was lovely. She was wonderful. We spoke to her, and she told us, 'Guys, be careful, and study, study, study and don't forget to be always humble.' She would be our dream to sing with."