After releasing his debut solo single, appropriately named “Solo,” in 2021, Italian singer-songwriter Matteo Bocelli is stepping into the spotlight ten toes down with his first full-length studio album, ‘Matteo.’
Despite the record being his first LP, Matteo is no stranger to stardom. At age 25, the Forte dei Marmi native—who just so happens to be the son of the legendary Andrea Bocelli—has already traveled the world as a singer, performing on some of the world’s biggest stages, including the Rome Colosseum. This experience, paired with the invaluable wisdom gained from his father, has allowed Matteo to grow his artistry “a great deal in a short amount of time,” he tells Pop Crave. What Matteo possesses is rare for a debut act, making his rise as a solo artist all the more exciting to watch as he continues to make his mark on the music industry.
‘Matteo’ features 12-tracks in a mix of English and Italian, serving as a love letter to the culture that has championed the Bocelli name for nearly three decades now. On the importance of representing Italian culture through his music, Matteo says that “singing in my own language allows me to express my truest feelings.”
The album is backed by writing and production contributions from powerhouse names in music like Jesse Shatkin (Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Sia), Stuart Crichton (Backstreet Boys, Kesha, Louis Tomlinson), and PARISI (Black Eyed Peas, Ed Sheeran, Swedish House Mafia). ‘Matteo’ also saw support on the tearjerking “Chasing Stars,” which was written by Ed and Matthew Sheeran. The Capitol Records artist will perform the single alongside the rest of the album when he hits the road for his first ever headlining tour, ‘A Night with Matteo,’ starting September 30 in Berlin.
If it wasn’t clear already, Matteo Bocelli is here to stay, and his star is shining as bright as ever.
Pop Crave caught up with Matteo to discuss his debut album, ‘Matteo,’ collaborating with longtime inspiration Ed Sheeran, embarking on his first solo world tour, ‘A Night with Matteo,’ and more. Keep reading for the full interview!
Hey, Matteo! Congratulations on the album release! How does it feel to finally have this project out in the world?
Thank you! I am so excited for the release of my first album and the upcoming tour. The album is something we have been working towards for a very long time, so to be able to see everything come full circle is very rewarding.
With the album being self-titled, how would you say it encapsulates you as an artist?
I’ve spent the past year or so working on my debut album. It’s been a period of huge creative and emotional development, and I’m really excited for you all to finally hear it. Working on this album was a great outlet for me during tricky times. I was able to put all my feelings and emotions to paper and dive into this project. As a result, I was able to create an album that I hope provides others the chance to get to know me a bit better.
I read that Ed Sheeran is a longtime inspiration of yours. What in particular draws you to his music, and how did your collaboration with him come about as co-writer of “Chasing Stars”?
It was very exciting for me to be able to have a piece of work from Ed Sheeran as part of my first album. I have been a fan of his ever since I was little. I have admired his work since the very beginning, so I was thrilled to get the chance to work with a legend like himself. The song that Ed and Matt wrote together was so beautiful and truly didn’t need many adjustments or fixes on my end. I changed a few aspects when it came to my style of singing, but the song was beautiful from the beginning. It has been a beautiful experience I will never forget. I hope everyone will really appreciate this song.
Speaking of collaborators, the record is stacked with other iconic names in the industry, like PARISI, Jesse Shatkin, and Stuart Crichton. How special was it to work with such renowned producers on your debut album?
I feel so privileged to be working with so many incredible artists for my first album. I was lucky enough to get to work with Jesse Shatkin on “Solo” and “Close”, which is a really special memory for me because those are two of my first releases. I also enjoyed being able to work with someone I consider a great friend and talent, Stuart Crichton, for my single “Close”. The Parisi brothers have also been incredible to have involved in this project, and I have really loved all the stuff we’ve been able to create all together.
You’ve performed alongside your father on some of the biggest stages in the world. With that being said, has taking a leap into the spotlight as a solo artist been intimidating at all?
I am very fortunate to have had such incredible experiences so early on in my career. I am grateful for these past opportunities, as I believe they have exposed me to so much and allowed me to learn a great deal in a short amount of time. Of course, it can be a bit nerve-racking to go out and do anything for the first time, but with those nerves comes a lot of excitement!
Speaking of your father, the legendary Andrea Bocelli, what advice has he given you that you’ve held onto throughout your solo career?
My father has taught me a lot of lessons that are helpful in both my career and day-to-day life. Being a global artist, he is obviously full of advice that has been very helpful for my career. He has helped with tips when it comes to vocal techniques, stage presence, and live performances. But the advice he is most concerned about is the advice from a father. At the end of the day, he is my dad, who wants my siblings and I to remember the values we were raised with and treat everyone with respect.
You’re embarking on your first-ever solo world tour, ‘A Night with Matteo,’ starting this autumn in Berlin, Germany. Can you tell us a little bit about what fans can expect from it?
I really wanted the audience to feel like they were truly having “a night with Matteo.” Meaning, I want it to be intimate and feel like you can really connect with everyone in the room. I think also keeping a simple setting allows for the songs to really shine on their own.
Do you have a song on the album that you’re most excited to perform live?
Yes, I have one song that hasn’t been released yet called “Beautiful Disaster” that I am really excited to perform live. I can’t say much more about it now, but I have loved singing it casually around the house and look forward to singing it on stage.
Editors note: This interview took place prior to the album’s release. “Beautiful Disaster” is out now.
The album is sung beautifully in a mix of English and Italian. Why is it important for you to represent your Italian culture through your music?
I really love how different languages allow you to convey emotions more clearly. Obviously, singing in my own language allows me to express my truest feelings because of the familiarity I have with the words and sounds. I also think the Italian language is beautiful on its own, and when sung, it becomes even more beautiful.
International music has become increasingly popular in the U.S. in the last decade, particularly Latin music and K-pop. Do you have hopes of Italian music making a similar impact in the States and other countries around the world?
It is really nice to see the increase in international music growing so much. I would love for others all over the world to get to experience more Italian music. It has a beautiful sound that I think can be appreciated by many people, even if the language is not their own.
I have to say, “Fasi” is such a standout to me! What was the process like for creating that album track?
I was in Milan with Francesco Catitti and Davide Petrella, two amazing producers and composers, when we wrote this song. We started this session in the same way a lot of writing sessions begin: speaking about our own lives and talking about any and everything. We ended up with this beautiful song that does a good job of describing a particular phase in my life.
With your first solo album in the books, how do you hope to evolve as an artist from here on out?
I think every artist evolves through the years. I am truly happy with this album, and it has been very cool watching this album evolve through the years of writing it. I have been working on it for the past three years, and I’m really happy with the end result and the final choice of songs. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I will be happy if I am able to continue creating work that I am passionate about and that is authentic to who I am in that moment of my life.
Matteo Bocelli’s debut album, ‘Matteo,’ is out now.
The U.S. leg of his first solo world tour, ‘A Night with Matteo,’ begins November 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.