The resurrection of a Squamish singer’s dream

Former Canadian Tenor member launches solo career with heartfelt new single

The lyrics to Gio Amenta’s single Speak Softly, which was released this month, reflect a man both injured and resilient after successes and setbacks in the music industry.

“I long to rise above the clouds; the ones who said they’d help me, knocked me down,” Amenta’s rich and soulful voice coos in the opening lines. 

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The lyrics, co-written with producer Xander Miller, are in part about Amenta’s feelings on his earlier career as a singer in the groups The Canadian Tenors and Destino – both sought after musical acts styled after the original The Three Tenors made up of Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras.

 “I left music at about 29 years old because basically some drama went down with the group and I couldn’t take it,” Amenta said. “My heart was broken by music and I just left it for a long time.” 

He became a speaker and image consultant and also teaches part time. 

As his 38th birthday neared he asked himself some hard questions. 

“I am pushing 40 and is this the life I want to live? Am I doing what I love?” 

Amenta realized his passion for music had never been fulfilled. 

Speak Softly is also about self-confidence and Amenta’s own struggle with it.

“I wrote Speak Softly based on the realization that I had spent so much time beating myself up for who I am and what I do instead of accepting and appreciating all that I am and have,” he said in an article he wrote and forwarded to The Chief. 

Amenta lived in Squamish from when he was in Grade 6 until he graduated high school. His name was John Amenta at the time. His mom was a high school teacher at Howe Sound Secondary and his dad was a principal at Brackendale Elementary and later Valleycliffe Elementary. 

Squamish’s Jim Chalmers went to high school with Amenta, though the pair had lost touch since they graduated. 

“He always had an amazing voice and I thought one day he is going to make it, “ Chalmers told The Chief. “Well fast-forward and I just listened to an incredible song and video from such an amazing person. I hope that his music can touch the world like it touched me.” 

Amenta said if his new single does well, he hopes to make a full album. His ultimate dream, though, is to have his own variety-style show on TV. 

“It would involve comedy and music and interviewing, and so the dream would be to have a career that is a combo of Ellen meats Adele,” he said with a laugh. 

For more on Amenta or to purchase his new single go to, www.gioamenta.com.

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