Archive for Non-English Music

Il Volo. ‘Nuff Said.

Okay, yeah, Jamie is probably sick of reading me talk about Il Volo…but I just can’t stop! It’s the Jonas Brothers obsession all over again, I tell you! And I’ll give you a warning before you read on: This is going to be mostly me fangirling over them. Don’t expect quality writing. At all.

First of all. I guess I should introduce who Il Volo is. They are Italian. Il Volo means “the flight” in Italian. They sing crossover opera-pop. And they are amazing. I first saw them on American Idol result show (the one where Haley got voted off). Nothing could describe my expression when I heard them. At first, I only heard their voices since I was studying on my laptop and wasn’t really looking at the TV screen, but their voices piqued my interest. I looked up, expecting to find a group about the same age as Il Divo. But no. No, my friends, these guys are most definitely not in their 30’s. They’re teenagers. Gianluca Ginoble (16), Ignazio Boschetto (16) and Piero Barone (17). And you know what’s crazy? Gianluca was born in Feb. 1995! He’s almost exactly my age! I freaked. I mean, I have never heard anyone my age sing like that. Seeing that Gianluca was born in 1995, I was hoping that Piero was born in early 1994, but no, he was born in 1993. So he’s supposed to be a graduating senior, and therefore, not as close to my age as I would like. (As you can see, I’m not actually a Gianluca fangirl. I am indeed a Piero fangirl.) Of course I know that I’ll never meet them. But still.

Now, I shall talk about why I love them so much. First: the appearance appeal. Ignazio, the chubby one, has the most adorable smile. With the dimples and all. So adorable. And he always smiles, so it’s like, when I’m watching him sing, I’m just so transfixed by his smile. Then there’s Gianluca, the guy my age, the one with curly hair. Apparently he won the Italian singing competition that all three of them entered. He does have a great voice. But the appearance appeal. His eyes are beautiful. Just…beautiful. Ahh. Whenever he stares into the camera when he sings, you just feel like melting. And now, we get to Piero. Oh, Piero. He’s just perfect, in all his nerd chic-ness. (Of course I’m being biased. What can I say? I love nerdy chic guys.) The glasses. The scarves. The smile. The spiky hair. The cute faces he makes when he sings. So. Freaking. Cute.

And now we move on to the voices. They are just unbelievable. Their voices are so mature for their age. I honestly have never heard anyone my age sing like that. They’re tenors, but Gianluca mostly covers the lower parts, which definitely fits him the best, and Piero and Ignazio covers the higher parts. Gianluca’s voice has this rumble–I can’t quite describe it. But it definitely has a very unique, beautiful texture. I think Ignazio doesn’t have as distinctive of a voice, but still, it’s pretty amazing how well he sings considering the fact that he’s sixteen (going on seventeen). And the first time you watch Piero sing, you would not believe that that voice is coming out of his mouth. Seriously. He has the most opera-ish voice out of all three, and it’s just so strong. Once again, I may be biased on this, but I think he has the best voice out of all three.

I think this isn’t the only thing that’s so special about them. There’s just something about the way they sing. When you watch them live, it’s just so mesmerizing. They just have a certain charm about them. It just draws you in when they start singing and bouncing to the music. They’re amazing. Period.

Oh, and I just found out that they apparently took part in the We Are the World 25 for Haiti. The Jonas Brothers were in that! Along with other great artists, of course. It’s just so cool, thinking about it. Il Volo and the Jonas Brothers in one room. I would be in hysterical-freak-out-mode if that ever happens again.

Anyway. I’ll leave you with two of my favorite Il Volo songs:

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Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black’s “Unity”

Unity
I know I promised a September post and I’m nearly breaking my promise, but hey, it’s still a few more days till September ends! I was just really devastated because KSM split up. Okay, maybe not devastated but upset all the same.

Anyway, this time, I’ll be talking about an Indonesian song that I’m really addicted to right now. It’s called “Unity”, and it’s by a group that has a freakishly long name. They’re called Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black. Bondan Prakoso is a person’s name, by the way.

So I’ll start with introducing the group. They’re a rock/rap group, which is really, really rare in Indonesia. There aren’t a lot of rappers in Indonesia. I only know one, other than Fade 2 Black. (Then again, I’m not exactly an expert in Indonesian music…) Anyway, the group consists of four people: Bondan Prakoso (vocalist & bassist), Tito Budidwinanto (rapper & beatboxer), Ardaninggar Nazir (rapper) and Danial Rajab Fahreza (rapper). I know, I know, the names are hard to remember… Doesn’t really matter, because I won’t really talk about each and every one of them.

I’ll just write up a little something about Bondan Prakoso, because he’s the one who created the group. He used to be a kid singer, apparently. Never heard of him before his collaboration with Fade 2 Black, though. Anyway, he is a pretty awesome bassist. Seriously, I watched a clip of him just playing the bass part for Unity, and I never thought that watching someone play bass would be that mesmerizing. You can really tell that he’s into his music. He’s awesome.

Anyway, now I’ll finally talk about “Unity”. It’s from their second album, called, well, “Unity”. Ha. First of all, let me just say it one more time: it is made out of total AWESOME-NESS. And maybe even head-bang-worthy. I may be exaggerating right now.

Procrastinations aside, this type of song is really rare in Indonesian music. I’d say it’s more heavy than most of the Indonesian stuff that are famous. I think Indonesian bands are more into plain pop music and sometimes rock or jazz. Also, the message in the song is really rare for an Indonesian song, too. They’re usually depressing, you know. Or if it’s not depressing, it’s comedy. But Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black’s songs are mostly promoting optimism, and I just love that, because I’m really into that kind of stuff. For example, their latest single, “Kita Slamanya” or “Us Forever” is about long-lasting friendship. Definitely one of my favorites.

Anyway, more about “Unity”. It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s about unity and world peace. One of the lines in the song that really struck me was the one that mentioned “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” which means different but the same, and it’s like Indonesia’s motto. Or something along those lines. Sorry, I’m Indonesian, but I’m not an expert on this kind of stuff. International education and all that.

Now, for the music aspect of it. It opens with some bass, and then guitar and drums. It’s a unique start, actually. After that, Fade 2 Black starts rapping. They actually have some English lyrics in it, even though they’re not necessarily grammatically correct. But that’s just my editor side overreacting. My most favorite part of the song is when Bondan starts singing. It is so catchy! Seriously! I want to put a ton of exclamation marks so badly, but I figured that would just make it confusing to read. It’s just a catchy tune… We believe as one in time, we will be as one in mind…

If you listen closely to the instruments, it’s really entertaining to listen to the bass. Very interesting, because I rarely ever pay attention to that kind of stuff. Brunno would probably appreciate me saying this. Haha.

There’s one part that sounds kind of like some sort of campaign-type speech, and I thought that part dragged a little. Especially if you don’t understand the lyrics. You probably won’t be interested in that part. So I just wished that part was a little shorter. The bass part saved it from being boring.

But seriously, if you listen to this song a few times, the vocal part will be stuck in your head for days. That’s what happened to me, so I’m just warning you.

Phew, it’s almost one and a half pages long. You should be happy. Very happy.

Listen to it, and tell me what you think! Let me know if you want the translation of the lyrics or something.

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