Italian singer & songwriter Matteo Bocelli, 24, who is the son of legendary classical/opera/pop singer Andrea Bocelli, appears ready to forge his own career in the music business. He has signed as an artist with Capitol Records, and he’s just released his debut single & video, “Solo.”
“Solo” is a beautiful pop ballad that shows that Bocelli is a talented young artist who has a bright future. This single showcases his expressive, soulful voice, which is not as operatic or classical as his father’s style, but clearly has much of the emotion and depth.
Bocelli is also emerging as a promising songwriter. He co-wrote (with Marco Guazzone & Fiona Bevan) “Solo,” and he has written about a hundred songs. Notably, Bocelli co-wrote the popular ballad “Fall On Me,” which was released three years ago as a duet by Bocelli and his father. He wrote this song with Ian Axel & Chad Vaccarino of the duo, A Great Big World. “Fall On Me” has also been recorded by A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera.
Currently, Bocelli is performing live with his father on several shows in the U.S. At a recent Hollywood Bowl concert, Bocelli made a strong impression, introducing his song “Solo” and singing a duet with his father on “Fall On Me.”
In addition, Bocelli will be releasing new singles in the months ahead, leading up to his projected album release in the summer of 2022.
Bocelli grew up in Italy, where at age 6 he started to sing and learn piano. When he was 18 he debuted onstage, singing Verdi at the Rome Colosseum. Much of the world first heard him on “Fall On Me,” which he co-wrote for the elder Bocelli’s best-selling 2018 album, Si. This single was also featured in the soundtrack of the Disney movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
We are pleased to do this new Q&A interview with Matteo Bocelli. He discusses his songs “Solo” and “Fall On Me,” his new career as a solo artist, and his songwriting.
Here’s the video of Matteo Bocelli’s debut single, “Solo.”
DK: I read that you started to play piano at age 6. What was it like, learning to play music, with your father being Andrea Bocelli?
Matteo Bocelli: Well as you can imagine, I always saw my father with the eyes of a son, and not as a music fan. This is the reason why making music felt normal to me, and I didn’t feel any pressure. It was fun and stimulating to have someone that was making music, and with whom you could share thoughts and ideas. It’s always been a fantastic process and joy, to experience music with my family.
DK: Did your father encourage you to play piano and sing when you were young?
Bocelli: He always thought that in general, it’s good to learn and to know things. Since he was a musician, he thought that it would be nice for his kids to enjoy music and to discover that world. But he always kept the decision in our hands. It’s never been an obligation. Of course during the years, there are moments where it’s tougher, where playing the piano and learning music can be hard. But he always encouraged us, because I think it’s the rule of our father to teach you that with everything you begin, to bring it to the end and don’t leave things in the middle. So today I feel lucky to have studied music, and that I can accompany myself on the piano when I sing.
DK: You’ve had training in classical music and opera, although your songs “Fall On Me” and “Solo” are more pop. With the songs you’re writing now, will it be a mixture of pop, classical and opera?
Bocelli: It’s going to be mostly pop. I grew up in a family where the main music was opera and classical, and we listened to singers like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. So of course I was influenced by that, but the genre I’m going to be doing is more pop, and I hope it’s going to be an original pop sound.
DK: In addition to being an artist, you’ve been developing your songwriting. Can you talk about your songwriting?
Bocelli: I have to say, songwriting for me has been a surprise. Before I signed with Capitol (Records), I was just recording ideas on my phone and develop it later. It was in a beginner way.
Here’s the video of “Fall On Me,” by Matteo Bocelli &
But when I signed with Capitol, I had the honor and pleasure to work with a lot of composers and authors, and that’s where the change arrived. I learned how to write better, and how to develop songs and ideas. It’s been a long process but I really enjoy it, and now we’ve got almost a hundred songs, I think that the writing has been a fascinating process, because it’s where the magic happens. Of course, performing live gives you different emotions. But the writing is the most creative. I really enjoy it, and it’s been a beautiful experience.
DK: I like the duet song you sang with your father, “Fall On Me.” How did you write this song with Ian Axel & Chad Vaccarino of A Great Big World?
Bocelli: The music was totally written by them. We co-wrote the lyrics. Originally, the song was born as a solo song, and we transformed it into a duet, and in particular we worked on the Italian lyrics. We feel proud to have added our ideas and worked on this song, that is very beautiful music.
DK: I like your new single, “Solo.” What inspired you to co-write this song?
Bocelli: “Solo” was created in Milan (Italy) almost two years ago with Marco Guazzone & Fiona Bevan. The inspiration was taken by a fragile aspect of my character, that is loneliness. I’m probably a little fragile because since I was a little boy, I was used to seeing my father travel all around the world, and for a little boy, it’s not easy to see his father leaving home for long periods of time. And today, I see myself in the same role—I now travel all over, leaving my family and friends at home…all the people that I love. It’s not easy, and the emotions that I felt while traveling, I want to put it in the song and share it. But of course at the bottom of everything, I have a big passion for music that makes everything [worth it], and this is the most important thing.
While the song may be felt in a sad way, in reality, the song has both sad and positive feelings. It’s connected to a sense of hope, even if you feel “solo,” which in Italian means “alone.” Even if you feel alone, you always have to focus on your goals and what your dreams are. So “Solo” is a song that can encourage people who often feel lonely, and I hope that people will enjoy it and this message.
DK: On “Solo,” you worked with producer Jesse Shatkin (who is known for his work with Sia and Kelly Clarkson). Have you also worked with him on some of your other songs?
Bocelli: Yes. Jesse’s a fantastic person. Luckily, during “Solo,” we worked together online during lockdown because we couldn’t work in person. But a few days ago in Los Angeles, I had a chance to meet him in person for the first time, and we worked together. It’s been very good, and he’s like an inspirational person.
DK: Are you working on a full album? When do you think it will come out?
Bocelli: My first album will be released around summer of 2022. But before then, there will be more singles released. I’m enjoying it very much. I’m excited for this first release, and I can’t wait to share my other new songs.
DK: Thank you Matteo for doing this interview. Is there anything else that you’d like to mention for this article?
Bocelli: There’s one last thing to tell you. Of course when you’re making music, you want to be authentic. I’ve always thought that you never have to forget where you come from. So I think that my Italian identity is important to market…to underline it. My first release, “Solo,” was in English, because it’s the international language that’s understood by everyone. But on my album, there will be music in Italian as well.