Are discussions about Julian Pavone taboo? For many years now, I've followed the YouTube videos of "The World's Youngest Professional Drummer". I know that since he's a kid there's can be a lot of heated discussions regarding his talent and I honestly don't want to debate on whether or not the kid has talent. He has some skill...or probably better to say "a skill set". However, there is no discussion about him anywhere on the internet (I couldn't really find much about him in Drummerworld either). Seems that what I do find about him are all carefully placed press releases, PR hype, and gimmicks (like being offered a contract to join the Cavalier's drum corp at 15 months old and being an inventor of his own drum gloves, etc.) While any kid able to understand "keeping a beat" on the drums is still an impressive demonstration, I'm not sure if I would necessarily call him a prodigy.
Yes, the kid can keep a beat...that's no question. But am I the only one that seems to feel that even though this kid is learning how to play the drums, he is not really learning how to be a musician. As I've continued to watch his progress in the last few years, I've noticed that his grooves are not really getting any tighter and he doesn't really think about the appropriateness or dynamics of his fills. It's more like a kid who obviously has innate aptitude, but the overall sloppiness seems to indicate that he's not getting any real guidance or discipline on the instrument. Just more toys and more accolades. With all this hype about how great he already is...is it possible that he already thinks he's great and untouchable; and therefore, does not require to have any real discipline behind the instrument? I'm sure he's already got great contacts and mentors in the industry, but does he pay attention to them and learn? All the hype about him seem to be much bigger than him.
All his YouTube videos have comments disabled. It's like he's being sheltered from criticism. Do his parents also shelter him from criticism from his teachers/mentors? I don't know. Whether or not he's "good" is the least of my worry. It just seems that if Julian is more of a byproduct of his parents' skillful PR work and professional networking and less about the kid's actual talent and growth, he is going to end up as just another gimmick. Or quite possibly grow up to become an incredible drummer with an incredible ego.
In contrast, I've been also following another young drummer for many years named Igor Falecki. I've seen this kid grow and develop into an incredible young drummer. His playing is very musical and well thought out. You can tell he has learned well from Dom Famularo and from all the other great drummers he's encountered. He doesn't have to go out there touting to be "The World's Greatest..." or "The Worlds Youngest..." His playing and skill speak for itself. He seems to be someone that wants to learn and every time I see a new video of him, he just gets better and better.
Wondering what other people's thoughts are on this? Or maybe there's someone out there that personally knows Julian that will set me straight. Like I said, I'm not looking to debate about whether or not this kid has talent...he has talent...what worries me is that the way he is being paraded to the world. Seems like this kid is being set up to live in a world of hype and not reality.