Il Divo is returning to Malaysia with a “Timeless” reminder this weekend. The tenor powerhouse quartet, comprising Urs Bühler (Switzerland), Sébastien Izambard (France), Carlos Marín (Spain) and David Miller (USA) will be promoting their 7th record to local fans.
Ahead of their concert in Arena Of Stars, Resorts World Genting on 7th October, Universal Music Malaysia recently spoke to David Miller about their latest album, “Timeless”, what fans can expect from their latest world tour, working with Barbara Streisand, and his favourite memory in Asia.
Universal Music Malaysia: What has been the highlight of recording “Timeless”?
David Miller: We wanted to create an album that would give the fans exactly what they found interesting about our music. As we thought back on what words the fans used to describe our music, the word “timeless” came up over and over. So we wanted to put together 10 of the most iconic and timeless songs in recorded history. We decided to choose one from every decade going back as far as the 30’s (which is when recording really became an industry unto itself).
UMM: What can fans expect from a Il Divo concert this time around?
DM: Similarly to the recording process, we have gone through an evolution as producers of our tour as well. We have always been the producers of the tour, but we had had a management company in place who, similar to the recording label for the albums, had taken care of all the preparations of the tour, leaving us free to just be the “artists”.
In this case, we were part of every step along the preparation of the tour, from choosing the lighting design, to the stage design and the video content… all the way to what types of mics to use and what sound system. But you can be sure that you will be entertained like no other show you have seen.
UMM: Is there a different approach when recording a cover as compared to an original song?
DM: We treat every song as a unique event. We never try to compare ourselves to an original version, and we always treat new songs as if they were already hits. This way we give ourselves space to create our own unique musical moment and allow the space for the music to guide us through the process.
UMM: What was the song selection process for “Timeless” like?
DM: We each made a list of 5 songs from each decade. When we put our lists together, the songs which were on more than one of our lists made the short list. Then we took that list and voted on one song from each decade and then made that the list for the album.
UMM: Out of the the many artists you have collaborated in the past, who sticks out?
DM: I would say going on tour with Barbara Streisand was the most fun. Normally when we have worked with artists, it has been during the recording process. And as such we didn’t get to spend so much time together or really get to know each other…recording is a very fast process. But being on tour with Barbara for several months, we really got to spend time and get to know her. She really is a fantastic artist and a wonderful human being.
UMM: What’s secret to Il Divo’s longevity in the music business over the past 15 years and counting?
DM: Great songs and great singing will always be relevant. The industry may be moving fast, but the current trend is to give people their 15 minutes of fame and see what they do with it. What ends up happening is that we see the “guys next door” win TV talent competitions year after year, and as such, we have begun to glorify the mediocre. But we weren’t those people. We spent decades studying our craft, and perfecting our voices. And we were never seeking fame…we were always about creating something truly artistic and something we could all be proud of. This is what creates quality…and quality never goes out of style.
UMM: What kind of music you personally enjoy? What songs are in your personal playlist now?
DM: My inspiration for singing was Musical Theatre (“Phantom of the Opera”, “Les Miserables”, “Miss Saigon” etc.) during the 80’s. In the 90’s it was all Opera…various productions, various composers, and various singers. After 2000 I began to listen to music for fun, and not just for the progression of my voice and my craft. I began listening to Techno music and at this point I listen mainly to Dubstep and EDM.
UMM: Any memorable moment from your previous visits to Asia?
DM: The last time we were in China, we went to the Great Wall and spent several hours there. It was amazing to be witness to one of the great wonders of the world and to see the ingenuity of the design and the strength of its character.
UMM: What would you like to say to your fans in Asia?
DM: We hope all our fans in Asia know that we enjoy coming there on tour, and we hope they enjoy our concerts just as much. We can’t wait to see you all soon!!
If you have not purchase Il Divo’s concert tickets at Resorts World Genting, you can do so here.