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!

Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline Edit

I wouldn’t normally post up so many before and after pictures but I was pretty excited about this one.

Giuseppe has been wanting a canvas print of a shot I took during out photoshoot this summer for his new house. We’ve been going back and forth between sizes and he’s had some issues with his house that put this on the back burner until last night when he was ready to pull the trigger.

He ended up picking one of many of my favourite shots that day and I really wanted it to look extremely clean for a canvas wrap. I spent a few hours last night cleaning up and making sure it was good to go before sending it his way for final approval. This is a perfect example of where the time it takes to edit is really what you’re paying for. Taking the picture is 20% of the work while editing is where the magic happens and I thought this would be a perfect example of that.

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The before picture. Again, all I’ve added was my watermark.

The white balance is off because we were in the tunnel, the reflection of Aldrich’s car is across his whole car and there are a few other little things that can be a small distraction. The last thing I’m sure Giuseppe wants is a reflection of someone else’s car, an orange/yellow hue, and switches and pipes all over the place.

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So let’s fix that up for him. The white balance has been adjusted to help make Giuseppe’s car pop like it really does, I took Aldrich’s car out of the mix, I removed the pipes and switches on the walls, brought his brakes out a little more, and lit that tunnel up a tad to – I quote Giuseppe – make it look like a million bucks.

The part that took the longest was actually getting Rich’s car out of the reflection. It’s particularly more difficult to do on a metallic car (so most cars) because you need to get the grain, the texture, and the lighting all right. Those that do rig shots understand the pain… You have to clone the whole door but you only have a little piece of reference on the car to work with. Dodging and burning help bring out the details as well.

The rest of the credit goes to Giuseppe for building an amazing looking car to begin with. I can’t wait to see the finished product and hanging in your house, Giuseppe!

Enjoy!

Raj’s Nissan Skyline: Better in Black

Last Sunday was probably the nicest day we’ve had all year so far… Beautiful skies and awesome sun make for a good day.

Shortly after posting Giuseppe’s Skyline, Raj had contacted me to shoot his Skyline as well, and this coming weekend there may be one more Skyline in the books. So this may very well be the only time I would be shooting three in a row… So if you like them Skylines, you’re in the right place. Raj’s car is on the other end of the spectrum of Giuseppe’s though – both nice cars – but two different styles. Raj’s Skyline is more on the subtle and simple side of things. It keeps things interesting around here.

Raj actually wanted a shoot because he is wanting to sell the car soon. Side note: lots of the cars that I shoot end up going up for sale shortly after or are being parted out… Not sure why, perhaps it’s cause they always want one last shoot like Raj or my camera is the camera of death for cars LOL! Either way, at least I am able to get the last few shots of the cars before they move on.

Onto the pictures!

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I think this will be a new tradition of mine – starting each post off with a rolling shot. I posted this on Instagram last Sunday and like my caption read – we had epic skies and clouds that day. Love it.

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Met up with JC of course… His car is always clean somehow…

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And my always dirty car… I apologize I can never get a clean pic of it because: 1) my driveway got poured almost two weeks ago so it has to sit outside in all the rain we’ve had. 2) I’m too lazy. LOL

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We met at the old St. Louis Hotel near East Village. It’s closed now but check how tiny that place is… Curious to go in there and take a look.

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Raj and Leslie showed up shortly after and we got to it. My first couple shots are always warm up shots. Takes a while until I really get into it but I was pretty happy with where we were headed.

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This shot was actually supposed to be straight on but as soon as Raj parked the car, a bus full of (very nice) hipsters parked right in front my shooting area. Literally a mini bangbus with hipsters jammed inside and they asked if I wanted to shoot the van. I declined but in retrospect – I should’ve at least taken one shot cause it was pretty awesome.

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Headed underground to try out some shots since we haven’t shot in a parkade for a while.

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And back outside – I’m not a fan of artificial light unless I can control it. Although I have no control over natural light either, it just looks better to me. Raj’s Skyline – especially in black – looks better with reflections.

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My favourite view of most cars – especially with meaty rear tires.

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Super clean and simple.

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Body is still clean and in good condition.

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One of my favourite wings on an R32.

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One last static shot before moving onto the rollers!

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JC finally cleaned his damn mirrors… Looks like he read my last post…

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Diana pretending to be unimpressed with how the rollers turned out. Mediocre acting skills, Diana…

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Warm up shot on the bridge.

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A sloppy one but if this had turned out a little sharper, it would’ve been nice. Check JC’s rear tuck. Da-opeee

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Now more serious shots. Like I said – the sky was awesome that day and it made for great reflections on black.

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Another one through the trees.

And that’s a wrap! Perhaps if Raj sells his car, you’ll still see it around somewhere… Anddddd if we’re lucky, I’ll have one more Skyline post this weekend for you and then some. My plan is to bang out 2-3 shoots this weekend so I’ll have lots of stuff next week I hope!

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.

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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.