The Return of BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline – Round 2

It’s been a few weeks now since I shot Giuseppe’s Skyline again with Diana, JC, and Punit – this would now be the second year in a row that I’ve shot Giuseppe’s car – and I’ll tell you right now that this isn’t a bad thing. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my last post with his photoshoot, but I would gladly shoot his car at the drop of a dime because it’s just that good.

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t happened to see the last shoot, check it here: https://lifewithjson.com/2014/06/16/bignjpn-giuseppes-nissan-skyline/

Anyway, the reason I’ve been holding out on the shoot is because the shoot is originally for Farm of Minds (which you can also check out here – http://www.farmofminds.com/giuseppes-r32-gtst/). I just wanted to give them the chance at posting it first before I posted up my own rendition of the photoshoot. The difference is more that I have a lot of the back end story, behind the scenes, etc rather than a spec list and full fledged feature. It’s not my style anymore… Plus, I enjoy doing the back story edition 🙂

I know Giuseppe has been DYING to see the pictures. I would send him edited teaser pics from my monitor so he wouldn’t have full res shots. I’m the type of guy that goes for a photoshoot and probably has the pictures done the same night with the full post up the following night. Even for me, I was anxious to share the pictures with all of you. Anyway, you all probably know about Giuseppe’s Skyline… And if you didn’t, now you do. Let’s get on with it…

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Diana and I carpooled with JC just so it was easier to get everywhere.

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While waiting for Giuseppe, I just took some randoms.

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JC didn’t want anything to do with it…

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As we were waiting, the train came passing by and at that moment, I was wishing Giuseppe was around to get some snaps. He actually did end up showing up at the right time, parked quickly and let me get some shots. As I’m writing this, I’m wondering why I didn’t edit any… But I’ll save it for the “winter blues” post when all the fluffy, cold white stuff starts taking over…

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We moved on and finally got to work on the actual subject. As always, it’s not hard to make Giuseppe’s car look good. If anything, his car makes my pictures look good…

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Looks like it came right off the showroom…

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The difference in this shoot was that Giuseppe asked for it to be a night time shoot. I was down for a challenge since the last time I shot at night was years ago. We met up a little earlier – as you can see – so that I could capture some sunset shots…

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It’s almost like we were in Japan in this shot. So JDM…

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That bright red Bride bucket…

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Heading over to the next spot… I love shots like these…

As I said above, this would be the first time I’ve done a night shoot in a few years. And since it would be a few hours until sundown, this would’ve been one of the longest photoshoots we’ve had. So I took the opportunity to take some more “journalistic” looking photos and you’ll see some throughout the post. This is one of them…

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You’ll see those wide SSR’s under the flares from last post, but you’ll also spot his biggest and newest addition in this photo as well…

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Ohh la la

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But wait! A wild Punit appears…

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Just some engine bay shots…

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Cusco

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Giuseppe made a point to clean the engine this time 🙂

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And an overhead shot of the power plant.

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We made our way up to one of the parkades to get some shots over-looking the smoggy YYC downtown backdrop. This shoot was around the time that Washington had the crazy fires and everyone up North had a very smoggy few days…

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That doesn’t really stop Giuseppe’s car from shining through though. The downtown office lights start to shine nicely as it gets darker…

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One challenge in particular when shooting around this time is that you get two very distinct and nice tones. Either the cool, blue tone or a warm, yellow tone. The few photos above this one is where I picked the cooler tone. The photos you’ll see on Farm of Minds for the next several photos also took that same approach. I decided to sit down and re-edit a few using the warm tone… Both look good, and I couldn’t decide which ones I liked better…

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Sorry – enough about photo blabber. Back to Giuseppe’s car… If you hadn’t guessed it, his newest addition was the Rocket Bunny rear diffuser that Giuseppe retrofitted on. Looks great!

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A side view of the diffuser. Giuseppe is a great example of bringing in quality parts and putting a ton of thought and even chance into retrofitting them onto his car… And each time, he executes beautifully. There are other parts you’ll notice that you probably don’t usually see on R32’s – that’s why Giuseppe’s car is so great.

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Loved this shot with the Calgary Tower chillin’ in the back and all the office lights…

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A similar shot zoomed out slightly with a cooler tone to it…

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As we moved down the parkade, I took a few more shots with the typical “parkade lights” and they show the lines of Giuseppe’s R32 nicely.

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In between the last shot and this one, we were confronted by the mighty security guard of the parkade and he told us to hurry up and leave. Kind of dumb because we obviously weren’t doing much… Plus, we paid to get in. Ah well… I got the shot!

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Just a few rolling shots as per usual.

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Mother nature

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Down low. Looks like Hong Kong in the back…

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The night falls upon us… The challenge begins.

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Giuseppe mentioned that one of the spots he’s always wanted to park and get a picture of was under the Core’s overpass in front of Holt Renfrew. I proceeded to tell him to get in line, because everyone and their mom wants a shot there… Specifically, they want a shot in front of Louis Vuitton.

Fortunately, I didn’t turn him down and agreed to get the shot for him. It actually requires a bunch of “right timing” and coordination with a bunch of people. First, it needs to be late so that the valet doesn’t come kick you out. Second, the amount of people needs to be minimal or else they’ll get in the way. Third, a spot needs to be available while another driver drops me off on the other side of the street. And finally, you need to take the best damn shot you can because cars are passing continuously.

Anyway, we didn’t get Louis Vuitton, but we got the main entrance, and we got Hermes. Good enough!

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Some shots that didn’t really turn out how I liked, but once I edited them a certain way, they looked real dark and gritty. Totz cool.

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Here’s Giuseppe backing up into the spot you saw above. That truck was the one that got in the way of Louis Vuitton you can see there as well…

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As we were rolling out of there, I popped my head out of the car and snapped a few quick shots of Giuseppe following behind. This was on Stephen Ave – hence the cool lights on the ground and posts all around.

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Heading out for some night rollers…

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A scene from Fast & the Furious.

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Another dark and gritty shot.

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Through downtown, I got a few shots that worked nicely.

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Check that rearview mirror reflection on Giuseppe’s eyes. Means business.

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And one last one through downtown.

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We ended up at a spot JC had been talking about all night and then we found a spot to drive up onto the side walk and take some dope shots. Long exposure, super small aperture, and you get awesome skies, twinkling lights and nothing but shine…

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Loved this shot too. Kind of like the rolling shot above during the day, it looks almost like a Hong Kong city skyline. (or Japan – whatever you please…)

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And one last one over by some cool lights on a wooden walk way…

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And one last shot – which probably ended up being one of my favourite shots – was this one along Memorial Drive. Giuseppe and I were talking and it reminded the both of us of a shot a few years ago of a yellow R32 that was featured on Stance Nation. That shot ended up being one of my backgrounds during my early photographer years. Little did I know, I’d end up recreating it with Giuseppe’s car almost 6 years later.

Anyway – hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry for the lack of content lately… Weather has sucked lately so I haven’t done anything cool. Hopefully I have some updates soon!

Brazzers: Nick Chows Nissan GTR Bangzilla POV

I’ve been extremely behind on posts lately – it’s been hectic and the true countdown is on before the wedding. There’s about 3 weeks left and it still seems like there is so much to do! It’s difficult to find time during the evenings now because most of that is taken up by more planning. I’m now writing this on my lunch break at work because that’s the only down time I have during the day it seems. Oh well… Let’s see if I can pound this out in the last 15 minutes I have left.

I was super stoked to finally shoot Nick’s GTR – I know when he picked it up he said it was going to be a slow build and that was only about a year ago. Since then, he’s added a few more goodies – and if anyone knows anything about GTR parts, you’d know they don’t come cheap. The GTR in and of itself is a automotive masterpiece and it’s hard not to appreciate something of this caliber and class whether you like Japanese cars or Nissan or cars at all. Nick’s cars have always had a certain appeal to them – done up with precision and nothing but the best parts and the best workmanship that he could get his hands on. It’s hard not to be influenced by his path to building great cars. In fact – lots of the cars (including mine) that you see on my blog have in one way or another had Nick somehow get his touch on the build. One example is Danny’s STI hatch that you may recall or even his previous car – the VIP Junction Produce Lexus GS – a car and style that really was quite a different feel to the automotive culture here at the time and is now spreading like a wildfire.

Nick has been in the game quite a while and has a wealth of knowledge that any one could appreciate – whether you’re starting out or have been in the game as long or longer than he has. A funny side story – when I had sold the STI, I was set on getting a 370Z – which he swayed me away from and into an LS460L – which btw I had no regrets owning. After the LS460L, I was once again determined to get into a 370Z and a second time I was swayed away from it and into an FRS I went. During this shoot we briefly discussed the funny story of how this all unfolded and he said “I will forever prevent you from getting into a 370Z”. I’m not gonna lie – I STILL want a 370Z but I don’t think it will appeal to me as much once I own it. Who knows, maybe my next car will be a 370Z if I don’t tell him…

Anyway – back to the GTR. Nick was extremely patient looking for a GTR and he had been looking for the perfect white one even before I owned the LS. We chatted back and forth and sometime in between, he finally found one and in great condition as well… And so the story begins…

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Starting off with the rolling shot!

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The GTR looks great from every angle. It’s one of those cars that you can just walk around and just love every curve. I know that sounds creepy, but anyone who loves their cars knows they can watch their car all day if they could…

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Sometime last year, Nick was able to cop a set of Advan GT’s in gloss black. A popular wheel for GTR’s and rightfully so – they look right at home.

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Even the headlights are fancy

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Not too long ago, Nick fitted a T1R exhaust to help give the GTR some more rumble.

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On the way to the next location, I rode shotgun and he took it for a quick rip. I’ll admit that in the extremely short time that I sat in it and the one quick pull, it felt faster and stronger than the Ferrari F430 I drove around the track in Las Vegas. There was no comparison… Of course, two different cars but just such a big difference in terms of that feel of power.

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Shot of the rear set up. I believe the rear tires were 305… Love it.

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Them hips.

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lol Derrick snapped a shot of me moving the car into the right locations.

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Shot of his front set up.

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Took a shot from inside of JC’s car. Punit and Derrick bonding over their love for Integras…

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Rolling out

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Artsy

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Another shot of the tips.

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Close up of the Advan GT’s and engraved spoke.

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Beautiful Varis lip in all it’s glory. Nick actually ordered this the same time I ordered my SSR’s for the LS460 and he didn’t receive it until way after my wheels landed… Quality takes time. After my Varis STI, I’ve had a soft spot for all things Varis. I can’t wait to get started on the FRS with it either…

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Awesome JDM Nismo cluster as well. It currently reads all in Japanese but it’s a very nice addition to the cockpit.

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Of course, Nick hasn’t forgotten his Honda roots either with Asimo hanging from his rear view.

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On the prowl

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Pull up to this at a red light. PS – we smoked it in JC’s CT200h. No biggie…

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I was ragging on Nick about black wheels on a white car – that’s the worst combination to shoot because like I’ve mentioned before – you either over expose the car and you get a shot of the wheels or you underexpose the car and see nothing but black holes where the wheels should be. I was lucky enough though that I got enough light – even though it was overcast – to light both up properly. The one downside to shooting in overcast is that when you have simple coloured cars – they don’t pop as much as they should.

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One of my favourite shots from the shoot is this from up top. I absolutely love the look of the GTR (as well as many other cars, in fact) from up top. It’s not an angle you see too often).

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And voila! Another one in the bag. I wasn’t too stoked on the overcast that day because I feel like this car can really shine when it’s sunny out. My plan is to grab Nick again when we have another awesome day and do this more justice.

BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline

A little late on this post… Had a bunch of things come up over the last week and have just been swamped. I originally wanted this post to go up last Friday but I think Monday is an even better time to post as a pick-me-up for those of you that dread Monday as much as I do. The only worst way to start the week is if your iPhone breaks and you have to wait 3 days to get a new one – exactly how mine is starting. That’s what I get for jailbreaking the phone and losing the Modem Firmware. Probably not going to do that again…

However – let’s move onto the latest and greatest – Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline. This is by far my favourite photoshoot this year – first because of the new location, but primarily because Giuseppe’s car is a rare piece of art. Ever since Skyline R32’s were permitted in North America, there has been a whole wave of them being modded by fanboys left, right and center. Once in a while, a star is born when it comes to making Godzilla something special. Giuseppe did just that.

I first met Giuseppe in 2008 when I entered my first car show with my Civic FG1. At the time, I thought my car was pretty decent – coils, Work Emotion XT7’s in some weak sizing, a carbon trunk, a minimalistic audio set up and a lip kit. Giuseppe rolled up beside me in his Skyline and I immediately knew I couldn’t compete. He had a GT wing before I even knew I had a love for them, bucket seats that I didn’t even think worked in a street car (I was a noob at the time)…

Mercedes Terrell - Nissan SkylineHere’s a picture of what his car looked like at DTP 2009. A year later and once again I had the privilege of parking beside him – you can see my car to the right of his.

Ever since I’ve known Giuseppe, he has never had anything bad to say about anyone’s car. He loved my Civic in 2008 – the stage I hated the most. Giuseppe is a rare type of car guy – one that you don’t see too much of anymore. He truly loves cars and has a passion for all things cars – Japanese, Domestic, Italian – you name it. He comes from a family of car lovers – his dad, his brother – Marco, who also has a bad ass 350Z (staying in the Nissan family). Not only that, but his Fiance – Lexie, supports him in every way possible without holding him back.

Ultimately, It’s the respect that he shows to fellow car enthusiasts that really just make you want to continue doing what you’re doing in the best way that you can – big or small because we all motivate each other. To this day, nothing has changed and Giuseppe is still focusing on his car and just doing him. We need more people like him in this scene… People that can appreciate everything and anything even if it’s not part of his taste palette.

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Let’s start off with my favourite shot of the shoot. Giuseppe’s car has undergone quite a few changes since the picture I posted above and even more changes since I shot it for illmotion a few years ago. He’s gone bigger and badder and you really won’t see anything like it. This picture makes me wish it was my car because it’d be the first one I’d print to go on canvas for my living room 🙂

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The meeting spot – Country Hills Toyota. Giuseppe ended up getting there early so Diana and I rushed down there to meet him to try and start the shoot a little earlier.

IMG_1443 copyTook a few shots while waiting for JC and Rich to show up. Giuseppe’s paint is the wettest paint I’ve ever seen.

IMG_1447 copyToo good.

IMG_1462 copyGiuseppe requested to try out the new Airport tunnel for some shots and that’s where we went. It would’ve been the first time I’ve ever shot in there so it was exciting for me. Here’ a shot of Rich off to the side.

IMG_1463 copyAnd more importantly – Giuseppe’s car. The lights and everything just make his car shine.

IMG_1473 copyHead on.

IMG_1504 copyAnd my favourite view – from behind. Giuseppe killed it with this set up and it just looks so deadly from the back.

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Side profile of his rear. SSR Sp3’s – a great choice for Giuseppe’s Skyline.

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Shining lights.

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Maybe I lied a bit – this might be my favourite rolling shot ever 🙂

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We made a few passes through the tunnel until I got exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want this shoot to go to waste and I wanted to make sure Giuseppe’s pictures were as epic as I could make them.

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Look at that shine and reflection!!! Giuseppe – you did a great job – I can’t tell you that enough throughout this post.

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Moving onto some static shots to take in more detail. A lot of detail in Giuseppe’s car is in the bodywork. Devon (I shot his EG a while back) and John worked their magic with all the work into the body and made it into what you see in these shots. Quality work pays!

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I’ve done this a few times and I try not to abuse it, but I couldn’t resist with Giuseppe’s car. Every angle is too good not to take.

IMG_1681 copyA nice shot of the fitment and the amount of lip in his SP3’s. I posted a photo a few weeks ago to my Instagram and it was a teaser shot of his rear fitment without showing the wheels at Zero Limit. Jackie was able to fine tune his suspension to get rid of all the rubbing in the rear that Giuseppe was experiencing. Those rear tires are 275 wide – too good.

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A picture I posted on my Facebook page a few days ago. Thanks to Jimmy and Ryan at VEX Performance – Giuseppe was hooked up with his first set of real baller wheels ever. (That’s quoting Giuseppe haha)

IMG_1690 copyBeautiful finish.

IMG_1692 copyA typical sun flare shot. You need one of those in every car shoot, right?

IMG_1694 copyThe crew chillaxin while I’m running around shooting. Don’t get me wrong though – without these guys, the locations, rolling shots, and even the actual photoshoots themselves wouldn’t happen for me.

IMG_1700 copyAnother of “dat ass”

IMG_1715 copyAnother detail you might have noticed is his retrofitted Rocket Bunny wing. Sits right at home with Giuseppe’s Skyline and it looks perfect!

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IMG_1731 copyStack cluster and no less for the interior.

IMG_1735 copyGiuseppe’s interior is still mint as can be.

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A quick engine bay shot for those of you that want to see the heart of Godzilla.

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IMG_1745 copyRich’s WRX.

IMG_1747 copyEnding the shoot…

IMG_1749 copyAnd finally we will end it here with Giuseppe – the man himself – getting ready to leave.

Huge thanks to Giuseppe for letting me be the first to shoot his Skyline in its completed form. We have been talking for a few weeks about getting together but he was just waiting for the finishing touches to be done. Giuseppe is super low key, but if anyone is looking for the next big thing – it’s right here.