Due to his grandfather’s passion for music of the 50s and 60s, he fell in love with it when he was 12. A kid from the Bronx grew up singing on the corner and even made a demo with Chris Ruggiero ’s singing group.
As a result, he discovered a huge collection of interesting vintage music thanks to him. A few years ago, at the age of 17, he started singing in a high school choir that would perform at a local performance.
Nobody else showed up for the show, so he was kind of pushed on stage by the teacher. He knew he wanted to do that after seeing people in the audience’s faces, how they lit up, how their eyes twinkled, and how they smiled. It all started with that.
In the beginning, the music of Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell, and Frankie Valli were enormous influences on him. It seemed to him that Paul Anka’s tone, in particular in the upper register, was magical. The falsetto of Frankie Valli was wonderful. It has been tried so many times on records, on Broadway – and of course, no one has succeeded. However, he liked his sound when he was there.
It was a big inspiration to sing in Bobby Rydell’s style – he swings, he sings big and round – it made everything he sang sound special. He can’t duplicate it, but it made him. He has since worked with Bobby Rydell several times and he has honored to say that he is a supporter, an encourager, and someone who he can depend on for advice no matter how many times he watches the show.
Having been influenced by guys like Darin and Sinatra who set the bar extremely high during a long and successful era, he considers him a master. Bringing class to the stage was something they brought to the show, and Bobby brings a bit of that to his show, as well as he does with mine.
Finding his own voice was the result of years of trying to sound like the original recordings. The concept was, “What would it sound like if we took a song like ‘Put Your Head on My Shoulder’ and took away the tempo and the structure of the original song? As the piano player laid down a chord, when he opened my mouth to sing, he sang differently than the original.
As soon as he found the phrasing that was unique to me, he immediately began to refine it. Five minutes later, it sounded to him like it had been written for him especially. After that, he did the same thing with “This Magic Moment,” “One,” and “My Cherie Amour.” All of a sudden, he realized that in addition to being able to sing the songs authentically, he also had the ability to make them his own.
These songs would appeal to people who hadn’t heard them before, but he also had to ensure that those raised on the originals would likewise enjoy them. With Charlie Calello – who has arranged more hit records than anyone in history – we created the arrangements for the album with his 60s rock & roll sensibility.
He has performed a few of them in concert and they have all been well received. A few of them have even received standing ovations. We did the chorus of “One” by Three Dog Night as a waltz! California Dreamin’ became a big, brassy, punchy rock record. It was Joe’s idea to do a song with piano triplets and driving rhythm. Charlie wrote an orchestration with saxophones, trumpets, and trombones that sound like Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out.” Clint Holmes added a bass line that sounded like Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out.”
Keeping the melody and lyrics intact while completely reinventing these songs was what we wanted. Our version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” is much more brooding and dark. “Run to Me” by the Bee Gees was remixed a bit – some key changes were made, and some high notes were added. Taking “And I Love Her” – the Lennon-McCartney song – we changed its vibe completely, combining it with “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” in a way that is completely different from how the Police recorded it.
Basically, he wanted to create an experience where people could hear his interpretation of these songs and say, “I’ve heard that song a hundred times, but now I get it.”
As a result of experiencing depression, he started writing music as a way to help himself. His realization also led him to want to help other people understand that it’s okay not to be okay. As his career progressed, his accomplishments increased. Well, he is in a relationship, and he is struggling with depression, and he knows he will end up hurting both parties if he gets close to them. To be honest, he loves it because he enjoys it so much. He is passionate about it. It’s okay to feel lonely and sad sometimes, and he wants to make sure that everyone knows that’s alright.
This article was penned by Jonathan P. Wright. Jonathan is a freelance writer for multiple mainstream publications and CVO of RADIOPUSHERS. You can read more of his work by clicking here.