Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Released today by Columbia Records:




(Columbia Records; New York, NY – September 30, 2013) – Forte, the multicultural, operatic tenor trio whose performances on America’s Got Talent captivated millions and launched the group into the national spotlight, has signed with SYCO/Columbia Records.

Forte is pleased to announce the release of their self-titled debut album, available everywhere November 12. The lead single “Caruso” is available digitally today: http://www.smarturl.it/forteiTunes. Pre-order the album here: http://www.smarturl.it/forte. In addition, the album features “The Prayer,” a duet with fellow America’s Got Talent finalist Cami Bradley, as well as several songs the group performed on the show including “My Heart Will Go On,” “Unchained Melody,” and “Pie Jesu.” See below for track listing, and listen to “Caruso” on SoundCloud now.

“We are excited to be joining one of the most prestigious labels in the entire music industry,” the group said. “To go from complete strangers to a bona fide group on the same label as the top names in music is simply incredible. We can’t wait to share this album with our fans.”

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Forte are gearing up for a very special New Year’s in Las Vegas. The New Tropicana Las Vegas will play host to three very special New Year’s weekend headline performances by the group, taking place December 28, 29, and 30. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.troplv.com. Forte will also headline New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall on Saturday, November 16 as part of a benefit concert for Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat Foundation, which supports those living with autism. Tickets are available starting Friday, October 18. Visit www.carnegiehall.org for more.


It’s hard to imagine the members of Forte were complete strangers a few months ago. Having met just days before their first audition for America’s Got Talent, the trio mesmerized millions on the eighth season of the reality competition series. Solo artists in their own right, Josh Page, Sean Panikkar and Fernando Varela combine their individual talents to create one incredible, multicultural vocal force.

Josh Page answered his musical calling in 2011, after randomly being pulled on stage by Josh Groban to duet with the superstar at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. He has since been invited to fill in for Andrea Bocelli at rehearsals and joined former America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho on tour as a guest. Sean Panikkar, whose parents are from Sri Lanka, never dreamed of a career in opera. In fact, he enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Michigan. Opera gradually became a bigger part of Panikkar’s life, and after college, the singer performed with several prestigious institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. Raised in Puerto Rico, Fernando Varela was discovered on YouTube by hitmaker David Foster and ultimately won Foster’s “Born To Sing” contest. Varela’s global performances span some 31 countries, including a performance in Monte Carlo, Monaco with Maestro Giancarlo Chiaramello (conductor for the late Luciano Pavarotti), the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in Canada and the National Symphony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Forte track listing:

1. The Prayer

2. Pie Jesu

3. Somewhere

4. Unchained Melody

5. My Heart Will Go On

6. Caruso

7. Nessun Dorma

8. Bridge Over Troubled Water

9. Something

10. O Holy Night

11. Silent Night

For more, visit:







Catharine McNelly | Columbia Records

Catharine.McNelly@sonymusic.com | 212-833-4731

Russell Eslamifar | Syco Entertainment

Russell.Eslamifar@sycoentertainment.com | 310-467-5704


America’s Got Talent returned this past summer with the hottest performers from across the country competing in the blockbuster reality show’s eighth season. Bringing the variety show format back to the forefront of American culture each week, the show features a colorful array of hopeful future stars — singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages. While each contestant has the chance to strut and perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges including Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, Mel B, and Heidi Klum, the eventual winner is chosen by the television viewing audience. Since launching in 2006, America’s Got Talent has been sold in 177 countries, with localized versions of the hit being produced in more than 54 countries around the world.


Syco Entertainment is a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music and is one of the world’s leading global music, film and television production companies responsible for some of the world’s most successful global TV and music franchises. Syco Entertainment is also the world’s most successful producer of international talent with Syco Music being the record label home for such diverse international recording artists as One Direction, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Little Mix, Labrinth, IL Divo, Jonathan and Charlotte, Tate Stevens, Emblem3, Fifth Harmony, James Arthur, Ella Henderson and the Loveable Rogues. Syco’s television assets include the global franchises The X Factor and Got Talent. The X Factor was created by Syco Television and is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia. Local versions of The X Factor are produced in more than 42 territories and the US version of The X Factor airs in over 205 countries. Got Talent first launched in the US as America’s Got Talent and remains the No. 1 summer entertainment show. America’s Got Talent airs in 193 countries with original versions of the format now produced in 56 territories around the world, making it the world’s biggest selling TV format. Britain’s Got Talent remains the highest rated entertainment series since it launched. The 2013 series finale of BGT had a peak audience of 17.4 million, the highest peak since the 2009 final. Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 discovered the global singing career of Susan Boyle, who has sold 19 million records to date. Got Talent has boosted broadcasters’ prime time audience shares by more than 300%. 

Syco is co-producing an autobiographical 3D film centered upon the lives of global pop sensation One Direction. Morgan Spurlock will direct the film, giving fans a snapshot look into the lives of the band as they embark on the sold out world-wide tour. Additionally, Simon Cowell is Executive Producing with Harvey Weinstein to create a film centered around the remarkable success story of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts, with James Corden taking the role of Potts.


One of the most respected and successful record labels in the world, Columbia Records is home to established superstars and exciting new talent. Columbia Records is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.


Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street, Bystorm Entertainment, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Descendant Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Essential Worship, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, Kemosabe Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Reunion Records, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music, Vested in Culture and Volcano. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

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Ok, it is official. My amazing brother Fernando Varela will be auditioning tonight at 9pm EST on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” with FORTE.


If this video clip is any indication of their audition, you can’t miss it!!!
You can follow FORTE on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Taking a moment to be the big proud brother here to let everyone know that Fernando Varela will be auditioning for America’s Got Talent this Tuesday night on NBC.



This year’s season premieres on June 4 at 9pm EST/8 pm CST. Fernando will appear in one of the audition segments on the show in the next coming weeks. That is pretty exciting.


Who knows what the journey will be on AGT for Fernando, who has a strong fan following, especially through Latinos in Social Media (Fernando was named Best Artist Using Social Media in 2012), but we do know that the journey will be one that many will be watching. 

What is the new journey all about? Here is what Fernando’s manager Paul Mascioli shared today via Facebook:

Finally have news about a project that we have been working on since January. Fernando is part of an exciting new Tenor Trio called Forte and they have auditioned for America’s Got Talent. The only way we will know if they have made it past the 1st audition is to watch the show which begins tomorrow on NBC. Even if Forte doesn’t appear on tomorrow’s broadcast, they could then be on a show which airs sometime over the next few weeks so keep your fingers crossed and watch along with us.

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There are few things in my life that scream perfection: one is my beat-up pair of adidas’ Sambas. The other is Fenway Park in the summer. Then there is CBS’ Sunday Morning, one of the only shows I actually watch on regular TV, and when one of my favorite shows featured Vampire Weekend, one of my favorite bands, I was hooked.

Vampire Weekend

Here it is, in all its Ivy-League-alt-music-nerdy glory (FYI, if for some reason CBS gets all huffy and puffy about a YouTube video, here is the original link, which can’t be embedded into this blog):

And yeah, Vampire Weekend’s new album is the #1 album in the country this week.

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Ever since my brother Fernando Varela released his DARE TO LIVE album in 2008, people all over our social networks have been asking, “When will Fernando produce a new album?”

We are happy to announce that Fernando and his team have just finished mastering PRELUDE, his new album. Here is what Fernando had to say:

The link to the track is at the end of this post. Once the album is up on iTunes, we will let you all know!

Alla Luce del Sole – FINAL – Prelude CD Track #1 by fvarela


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Now THIS is cool. My brother Fernando Varela singing with the great Lionel Richie and David Foster. Live. Unrehearsed. Amazing.

The following video (10 minutes in length) is a career gem for Fernando, who has recently been performing with Foster to outstanding reviews and results.  The best moment of this video is seeing Richie’s genuine admiration of Fernando’s talents, as well as seeing Fernando totally understand that he is singing with Lionel Flipping Richie! They sing “Stuck on You” from Richie’s new duets album, and then Fernando brings the house down with “Nessum Dorma.”

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You say you want a little more of the David Foster and Friends guest performance that Fernando Varela gave last Friday at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas? Well, here you go. Yes, as my brother always says, no one was hurt while singing this song.

And the nice shout out to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and all Latinos! WEPA! ORALE!

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