Matteo Bocelli: ‘I Never Felt Pressure from My Dad to Be Like Him’
The Italian musician and son of operatic tenor and multi-instrumentalist Andrea Bocelli was recently in India to work with singers Prakriti and Sukriti Kakar
Recently, Italian artist Matteo Bocelli was in India to work with singers Prakriti and Sukriti Kakar on some fresh music. Bocelli, who is the son of legendary Italian operatic tenor and multi-instrumentalist Andrea Bocelli, caught up with us to discuss his new music, his relationship with his father, future plans and more. Read excerpts:
What’s your earliest memory of music?
Wow, that’s a tough question. Growing up the house was always full of music, and even now it’s rare that there isn’t someone on the piano or singing or playing old records. I remember being really excited to take piano lessons for the first time when I was around six. I guess I wanted to play like my dad.
Being the son of Andrea Bocelli, as an artist does that come with any sort of pressure, or is it more of a case of “I’m my own person and artist doing what I love”?
Of course, there is pressure – there’s the pressure that I put on myself to be successful, there’s the pressure I feel about how my work will be judged by the world. But I never felt pressure from my dad to be like him, or even to pursue a career in music. He was happy for me to choose my own path and it’s a very happy accident that we’ve been able to work together.
I’m aware that this is your first trip to India, how has it been for you?
I’ve been working on something with some Indian artists, Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar, which I’m super excited about. I’ve also been promoting my solo music while I’m here and enjoying the food! Whenever I go anywhere new in the world the first thing I want to do is try some authentic local cuisine. I’d love to see some cricket while I’m here too, but I don’t know if I’m going to manage it. I’ll have to come back soon.
You’ve got an album coming out. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, I’m still working on it. The final tracklisting has yet to be decided so I can’t say how many songs just yet, but it will be a mixture of up-tempo bops and slower, more meaningful tracks exploring life and love. There may even be a couple of collaborations.
What’s your songwriting process and how do you balance the various artistic styles and qualities that you possess?
It usually starts with me playing around on the piano or on an acoustic guitar, messing around with ideas. I really enjoy a writer’s room environment, so usually, I’ll invite one or two writers in with me along with a producer – all people who can bring something new to the table. My training is very classical, but I have an eclectic ear, so I like to work with people that bring things I don’t. It’s a really exciting way to work. I’m very technically minded, and I go through each element of the song very forensically before I’m happy. Sometimes you kick an idea around for months and sometimes a track comes together all in one day. Every time it’s a surprise.
Your father has performed at some fantastic venues through the years, one that particularly stands out for me is the one at the King Power Stadium in 2016 when Leicester City won the Premier League. Do you have a favorite performance by your father that stands out to you?
The Ranieri coach triumph has been one of the most incredible stories of modern football. I had the honor to be there when my father sang, and it has been incredibly spectacular. You could tell that they were writing history, and that particular “Nessun Dorma” shook the stadium. I still get chills if I think about that day!!
Apart from the album, are there any other projects you’re currently working on and what else do you have planned for the year?
Yes, I have quite a few other projects in the works. Unfortunately, I’m not able to say too much right now but I’m beginning to think about ideas for my tour as well as finalizing the album. And you might even see me do some acting later this year.