V marks the spot

Loc­al sing­er V says there are not many icon­ic male sing­ers in our so­ci­ety. He hopes to change that with his mu­sic about love, iden­tity and ac­cept­ance. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHO­TOS


Holmes­burg’s Wil Viozzi aka V (The Phoenix) loves en­ter­tain­ers Elton John, Prince and Fred­die Mer­cury be­cause of their sig­na­ture voices, looks and stage pres­ence.

And when you’re talk­ing about fe­male per­formers, he points to Lady Gaga as someone who dis­plays those same char­ac­ter­ist­ics.

Now, he thinks it’s time for a new mu­sic­al star who can wow the pub­lic.

“The mis­sion for my­self is to bring back the icon­ic, le­gendary, male pop star,” he said.

V, who says he has an ob­ses­sion with mu­sic, wants to be that man.

The 24-year-old grew up on Blakiston Street. He at­ten­ded St. Domin­ic Ele­ment­ary School, where he was tal­en­ted enough to be chosen as can­tor dur­ing Sunday Mass.

At Fath­er Judge High School, he was in­volved in theat­er, play­ing the lead roles of Ren in Footloose and Joseph in Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­nicol­or Dream­coat.

He earned a theat­er schol­ar­ship to Point Park Uni­versity in Pitt­s­burgh but left after a year. He also spent a year at Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic in Bo­ston be­fore real­iz­ing his true pas­sion.

“Per­form­ing is my fa­vor­ite thing to do,” he said.

He cre­ated a demo al­bum but “hated” it so much that he bur­ied it in his back yard. Then it was back to Berklee for an­oth­er year.

He woke up one morn­ing last Oc­to­ber and told his par­ents he was mov­ing to New York City. He didn’t have a plan, let alone a place to sleep. He even spent time at a home­less shel­ter be­fore couch-hop­ping at friends’ apart­ments.

Al­though he was liv­ing a gypsy life­style, the good news was that he was do­ing what he loved.

“I was per­form­ing every day,” he said.

A fa­vor­ite place to play was Good­bye Blue Monday in Brook­lyn. His pre­ferred song was the ori­gin­al rock dance tune Dirty Little Secrets.

Born Wil­li­am Mat­thew Viozzi, he was called Billy as a kid and later Wil. His pro­fes­sion­al monik­er is now V.

“It’s easy to re­mem­ber. I felt V was very power­ful and le­gendary,” he said.

V came back to Phil­adelphia in April for a tem­por­ary stay, and has en­ter­tained at open mic nights at World Cafe Live.

A part-time mod­el who plans a move soon to Los Angeles or back to New York, V has writ­ten more than 400 songs over the years.

The songs in­clude some writ­ten dur­ing all-night brain­storm­ing ses­sions. He has lined up a pro­du­cer/en­gin­eer and hopes to re­lease an al­bum. He’s con­sid­er­ing 30 songs for an al­bum that will be titled The Murders of Love.

The soon­er the al­bum is fin­ished, the bet­ter, he said.

“I want to get it done and start my ca­reer. I think I’m com­pletely ready,” he said.

The al­bum will fea­ture dance and pop songs that re­volve around fall­ing in and out of love and the pain, heart­break and dev­ast­a­tion of break­ups in re­la­tion­ships. The tunes were meant to be thera­peut­ic to V and listen­ers.

“It’s OK to be heart­broken. You will rise again,” he said.

V has al­ways iden­ti­fied with the phoenix, the myth­o­lo­gic­al fig­ure that ig­nites and burns and is re­duced to ashes be­fore rising again. He wears red makeup and elab­or­ate cos­tumes be­fit­ting his act­ive ima­gin­a­tion, and thinks that look will trans­late well in­to mu­sic videos.

The en­ter­tain­er has been pro­mot­ing him­self on so­cial net­work­ing sites and on You­Tube.

As V eyes an al­bum re­lease, he is work­ing on a three-track demo with ac­claimed pro­du­cer/en­gin­eer Steve “Mr. Mig” Migliore.

Soon, he hopes to build name re­cog­ni­tion with­in the in­dustry and even­tu­ally “in­spire the uni­verse.”

“My am­bi­tion is to get signed to a ma­jor la­bel. I want to be a ma­jor pop star. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was little,” he said. “I’m not the phoenix yet, I’m wait­ing to be­come it.” ••

To view live re­cord­ings or for more in­form­a­tion, go to sweet­birdsing.wix.com/vthep­h­oenixmusic or www.you­tube.com/vthep­h­oenixmusic

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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