Langley musician Gino Gerussi has a brief encounter with a no-nonsense construction foreman at the beginning of his music video.
“Hey Gino, I heard you can sing,” says the foreman, whose hard hat is labelled “the boss.”
“You heard wrong,” Gino replies. His hard hat is labelled “career labourer.”
“Don’t quit your day job, then,” the foreman says as he walks away.
Gino goes back to shovelling gravel.
Cue the music.
As Gerussi, still in his hard hat, work jacket and gloves, croons “Just In Love With A Girl” over a jazzy mix of horn, piano and drum, his co-workers form up a dance line and deliver some Vegas-style kicks.
It ends with a hint that it may have all been a dream, when the dozing Gerussi is jolted awake by the foreman who warns him about sleeping on the job and tells him to get back to work.
The music video has generated thousands of hits on social media as “Construction Guy Can Actually Sing” since it was first posted.
And yes, Gerussi is an actual construction worker, and those are his foreman and co-workers.
It is his real voice, and he co-wrote the song with jazz legend Miles Black.
Gerussi, a single dad who lives in Brookswood, wasn’t getting much work as a musician during the pandemic, so he returned to construction, something he did as a day job in his 20s, to help pay the bills.
“COVID hits, I can’t play music,” he summarized.
“I’m a single dad of two full-time, so I’ve got to make the best of it.”
He ended up working for Jacob Bros. Construction, at their job site at Coquitlam city hall.
After awhile, his coworkers learned that Gerussi was a singer, and when an aspiring video producer named Rayden Wickop found out about it, Wickop had an idea – why not do a music video, on the construction site?
When he heard about it, Gerussi thought it would be an enjoyable experience, even if the video didn’t turn out, so he said yes.
“It was a lark,” Gerussi recalled.
“It was just to have fun.”
With the video’s success, Gerussi has been getting all kinds of welcome attention, with media outlets on both sides of the border reaching out to tell his story. His songs are moving up the charts once again.
“People are coming to the site to take pictures of me,” Gerussi laughed.
“It’s been incredible.”
He has just released a second video made with Wickop, “Losing myself” that uses Vancouver’s Gastown as a backdrop, and there are plans to do some more construction-related videos as well.
What was a detour may have turned out to be a boost for his career, and he is delighted and grateful.
“Never give up on your dreams,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
“You hear it a million times, but never give up.”
His website, ginogerussi.com notes that Gerussi has been immersed in music for nearly four decades.
He started playing drums when he was five, and started taking opera lessons at 12.
His uncle was iconic actor Bruno Gerussi, who starred in the CBC-TV series The Beachcombers, the longest-running dramatic series ever made for Canadian television.
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