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April 23, 2024 31 mins

This week, Tommy is joined by Matteo Bocelli who recently released his debut album, “Matteo.” His self-titled debut features 12 tracks, in a mix of English and his native Italian, including the single “Chasing Stars,” written by Ed & Matthew Sheeran. Matteo’s sound is so uniquely him and it is on full display as he embarks on his first solo step into the spotlight. Yes, he has released music previously with his father, the incredible Andrea Bocelli, but this album is Matteo’s baby. Today, Matteo opens up about when he first started to fall in love with singing, trusting the timing of when he was meant to go full-force in pursuing his passion for music, how his dad has always been the most influential person in his life, learning from one of the greatest voices in the world and the pressure that comes with that, developing his own sound and stepping into his own artistry, what excites him the most with his debut album, how he has always admired Ed Sheeran and hopes to collaborate with him in the future, what his first world tour has been like, and the greatest life lessons he has learned from his father. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Hey, guys, welcome to I've never said this before with me,
Tommy di Dario. Today, my friends, you are in for
a treat because I have on one of the most
brilliant artists in the world. I actually don't understand how
someone is born with so much musical talent. This guy
just opens his mouth and I don't know heaven comes out,

but I guess it makes sense given the beyond talented
family that it comes from. I am referring to the
wonderful Matteo Bocelli. Matteo recently released his debut album and
is currently on his first ever global headline tour. Now
let's talk about the album for a minute. It features
twelve tracks and it's a mix of English and his

native Italian, and his sound is so uniquely him. If
you mix the traditional opera and then throw in some
pop and throw in some beautiful Italian with some really
great beats, you get Mateo. The album is Mateo was
first solo step into the spotlight.

Speaker 2 (01:02):
And yes he.

Speaker 1 (01:03):
Has released music previously with his father, the incredible Andrea Bocelli,
but this album is his baby, and man, it is
so good. Today we really get to know the man
behind such a magical voice. So let's see if we
can get Matteo Bocelli to say some things that he
has never said before. Matteo, how are you, my friend?

It's great to see you.

Speaker 2 (01:31):
I'm very good thanking you.

Speaker 1 (01:33):
I am fantastic you right now? Are in Italy? Right, yeah,
exactly one of my favorite places in the world. I'm
half Italian. I'm an Italian American, so I wish I
spoke the language. But I love Italy. It's the best.

Speaker 2 (01:47):
Yeah, it's really a nice place. Yeah. Sometimes people say
it's too much a holiday place. No, I can imagine
like living in Italy and working. People see it only
as the vocation place, but it's it is nice to
live here.

Speaker 1 (02:03):
Let me tell you one day, I wouldn't mind living there,
so I would see it as a living and vacation
and all the fun things. But anyway, welcome to the show.
I'm so psyched to dive into everything that's been going
on with you and your career. I've been following you.
It's really cool to see all the good things going
on in your life. But before we touch on all
of that, I'm so curious Mattello. I would love to

know do you remember the exact moment when you were
growing up that you thought, oh man, I have to perform,
I have to be an artist. Yes, it's in your family,
we all know that. But like, what was the moment
for you where you said, this is what I need
to do.

Speaker 2 (02:38):
Well, Yeah, music has always been part of my life.
I mean listening to music since I was in my
mom's belly and I started to play the kind at
the age of six years old. Singing has always been
something that I was doing, you know, by myself. And yes, definitely,
like you see, you know, like growing up, I feel
it and I saw that, you know, this passion, this

need of music was always you know, like growing and growing.
And I wasn't like really like thinking of one day
I want to be a singer. I was just simply
enjoying music, you know, until you know, I was, you know,
growing up at the age of you know, eight, ten
years old, twelve, I was bothering my father, sound engineer.

I was like, please give me some some time. I
want to record this song rather than another one. And
that was you know, the first kind of alarm. And
then yes, I was trying to because my father, obviously
he's never been the type of father that was like, yeah,
you're great. He was like always okay, yeah, but you
have to study more here. And so I was trying

to get opinions from outside the family, you know. And
so I remember sending my songs also to David Foster
that was working with my father to see the reaction
now and then him, David, he asked me to make
a record with him when I was seventeen years old.
My father was like, you're too young, You're not ready.

It was worried because you know what the music industry
is about. And I was like, I know, I'm missing
a great opportunity. But still I was probably too young
to fight, you know, with my family. But then followed
me happened in twenty eighteen, at the time I was nineteen,

and that's where I understood that something like bigger was happening.
In fact, the song had quite a good success. I
always say music wants authenticity. You know, you can fake
you can because it's about emotions and people are gonna
feel it. And I remember, yeah, because the song was,

you know, speaking about the relationship between father and son,
and it's always been you know, quite powerful, the one
between me and my father. We share so many passions
and I always love to hang out with him and
to spend time with him. And yeah, people failt it.
The song had a great success, and then the label

wanted to sign, and so I signed to Capitol, and
then yeah, I had the lock to have a great
team since the beginning.

Speaker 1 (05:14):
Well, what's so cool about your story is you're somebody
who was very patient and letting this all kind of
happen when it was supposed to. You very easily could
have said no, I want this record out now, or
I want to do this when I'm eighteen nineteen, and
you let timing happen as it should, and here you
are today. Your album dropped in September. It's fantastic. It

must be such a cool feeling knowing that for the
first time in your career, you're out on your own,
like this is your baby, this is yours. You poured
your heart and soul into this as a solo artist.
Were you nervous embarking on this new chapter as a
solo artist?

Speaker 2 (05:53):
Yes, I was. But at the same time, even though
the I was sharing the you know, the first six
for instance, at the beginning with my father, but I
had this huge jump from you know, singing a home
by myself to performing on the most important TV show,
most important stages, you know, like Madisal Square Garden rather

than Hollywootball. And theorically wasn't ready. But at the same time,
you know, the passion, the love makes you do things
that you couldn't image, you know. And so I started
to tour at least a couple of years, maybe a little
bit more with my father. So I was, you know,
kind of making my first experiences and being more relaxed

on stage and enjoying the moment. But the big big
step it's been obviously my first own concert where obviously
you know that people are coming to the show just
to listen to your voice, to yourself, where you know,
you don't sing any more four or five songs a show,
but you perform almost to any songs. It's different anybody.

It's as you said, it gives you so much satisfaction.

Speaker 1 (07:00):
And what I love about you is you have such
a unique sound. It's your sound. You really kind of
figured out what you wanted to put out there. So
talk to me about that. Because you aren't a carbon
copy of anyone. You are your own sound, which is
just brilliant.

Speaker 2 (07:16):
I really hope. I mean, this is the you know,
the most beautiful compliment I think an artist can get,
and it's you know, it's it's not even easy when
sometimes they ask you what type of genre you make?
I mean, obviously, generically i'd say probably pop because that's
always been kind of like my goal, my way of
you know, making music whenever it's about, you know, singing.

But then I mean I think kind of like everybody
ends up making music the same way, you know, unless
you're not. I mean sometimes even DJs they don't sing,
but still they put voices on their music. So it's
about I think, first of all, it's the message you
want to deliver, you know. I think everything for me
starts from there. The message guide me also on the music,

you know, because whenever you have a message of feeling
inside and I see it at the piano, kind of
like the music comes itself, you know. But then, yes,
you make I mean, you make a song and then
you produce your own way the way you feel it. Obviously,
I was born in a family where opera and classical
music was the main genre music. But so I'm really

into songs that are first of all, I like to
focus on my voice, but not because not for an
ego reason, but simply because that's what I want to get,
you know. I like when whenever I listen to a record,
where like, for example, whenever you listen to Adele, you
can really feel her voice, you know, hitting your there,
it's there, and then obviously everything that is around it

is super important. But normally I like to keep it easy,
you know, like whenever there's an orchestra, there's a piano,
and there's a there's a guitar. In this moment of
my life, in this phase, I'm looking for a very
natural and sound.

Speaker 1 (09:05):
Well, you certainly have that. And to your point, yes,
you were born and raised in this classical opera setting
an environment, but you don't seem to feel the pressure
to have to do only that because you really did
find your own sound, which is pretty cool.

Speaker 2 (09:20):
To this I always found quite funny know that you
have been feeling the pressure for the last name you bring.
I think you just have to be proud of it
if you think that your father, you know, brought a
good message, you know, made music with a good purpose.
So I've always been proud to be a Bucelli and
I think that then obviously, yes, what you feel is

that especially you know, in this first step, most of
the people that come see my shows are people that
knows me through my father. So people expect you to
make the same music, you know, to perform on stage
opera rather than crossover. So it takes time to bring
that audience into your music. But I think it's a
beautiful journey. I like the challenge and so I think

it's more this the expectation to have people waiting for
you to perform that type of music and already at
the highest level. No, instead of you know, we all
need time to grow, we will need time to process
your music. But I mean, I'm truly in a very
positive moment. I enjoy every single minute. Truly.

Speaker 1 (10:29):
What I like about your debut album is there something
for everybody? I mean a song or two of yours
will come on in the gym and I'm like, oh yeah,
I co work out to this, like yes, there's and
then you have the more the ballads and the Italian
like there's something for everybody. So for you, is there?
And I know this is such a hard question. There
are all your babies, but is there a song or
two that's particularly special for you when you perform it

off your album.

Speaker 2 (10:55):
It's not easy. There's a okay. There are a couple
of songs part of my album. One specifically that I
wrote is Honesty. I started from whenever we did that song,
I started from a concept no, to be honest that
obviously you know it's quite common as a topic probably,

but at the same time, it's to be honest. It's
always been like a thing for me since I was
a child, not because as you can imagine, I've always
been surrounded because of my father of people obviously yes
that loves you, but also other people that are there
just for your last name, just because just to take
advantage of your position, and as a kid, you kind

of like feel all these vibes, no, all this, and
it's my challenge has always been that one to try
to find people that are honest to me, people that
are with me child because of myself, because of the
person that I am, and not for what I have.
And so for example, that writing of the song started

from that, like concepts, and then specifically I wrote about
a person that is very It's been very meaningful in
my life. It's been kind of a mentor not on
my career, but on my three like day to day life.
You know, the person that you can tell anything about

and it's always going to have like a good word,
a good suggestion, you know. And I think that's that's
a real treasure. That's a real treasure you can find
in life, because I think it's everything. Know, you can
have everything, but then if you can't appreciate what you
have because I don't know, because you have a problem
because it's not it's not the same. So that's one

that's one song, honesty. But also there are songs that
I didn't write that still gives me so much satisfaction.
For example, Caruso, there's a song written by Lucidala, and
that's the song that usually I keep at the end
of the concert because people swear I switch the tone
of my voice and I go from pop to into

a more classical, you know, use of the voice. And
it's fun. It's fun because at the end, you know,
what can kind of like distinguish you from someone else.
It's obviously the color of the voice. Now and I
think the voice it's kind of like the colors on
for a piece of art, you know, the more amount

of colors and nuances you can use, and the better
it is, and so I enjoy, you know, using in
the same song the more pop sound and the more
classical one. I think the contrast of the two it's
it's it's cool.

Speaker 1 (13:41):
You like to give the audience a thrill and you
like to say, hey, you just wait to what I'm
going to pull out a mass leave next. I know
what you do. You save the big, the big moment
for the end, which is brilliant. I gets the sense
that you're very inspired by your family and your upbringing

and your values and your morals and you put that
all into your writing, right, Yeah.

Speaker 2 (14:10):
It is like that. Obviously, family has always played on
an important role in my life. My father always, Yeah,
he focused a lot on us the importance of family
because at the end thereically, you know, families are the
people that protects you know, the people that are going
to always be there for you. But also at the

same time, you know, whenever you speak about music, we
are constantly inspired by everything that surrounds us. I mean,
I hope, I mean, I guess it should be like that.
At least, you know, you can be inspired by a
book you read rather than a movie rather than someone
that you meet for the first time. Definitely. So again,
family is important, but since you leave it, since you're little,

you get more original and more exciting things from outside
obviously what you keep inside over the family art. The
velis that that your family raised you up with well,
and you're talking about real life experience too that you
put into your work, and you're writing that you have
to go experience life outside of your family like we
all do.

Speaker 1 (15:13):
So it's evident there's themes of that in your in
your music as well. You have such an eclectic, interesting style,
as I've already told you, and it's one that I
haven't heard anywhere else. That was interesting when you said
that's a big compliment for an artist, because I never
thought about it like that. But I imagine now thinking
about it and hearing that back in my head. That's
what you do want as an artist. But I'm curious

what artists inspire you that are around today. Are you
a big fan of anyone that you're like, yeah, I
really dig their style.

Speaker 2 (15:43):
Well, I probably who follows some of my interviews it's
now bored or annoyed by, but it is because I
always say the same name. I always say like that
at Scheering has always been you know, the person the
artist that inspire me the most, especially because whenever I
find not only the artistic part that is powerful, but

also the human being you know, side is whenever the
two things are like grades, it's even more I think powerful,
you know. And I had the chance to meet at
several times, and it's not just an amazing artist, it's
also an amazing human being. And again, when the two

things goes together, it's very powerful. And I think that
that's what people, you know, get whenever they listen to
his music, whenever they go listen to our counture of him.
I remember him opening for Teto Swift. That's the very
first time I saw him. He was in Toronto, and
I was simply, you know, impressed, impressed by his the

way he's so humble on stage, You just you know,
go on stage and show people what he's always been
great at again in a very easy, in an easy
way to catch everyone.

Speaker 1 (17:04):
Did you ever think he would end up writing a
song for you?

Speaker 2 (17:07):
Well, actually I never had the honor to write a
song together with him, but in this first album, there's
a song that I received from him and his brother
Matthew that it's called Chasing Stars. And yeah, I'm very
proud of that song. Again, it's a song that he wrote.
But whenever I listened to that song, I was like, whoa,

it sounds like he wrote the song for me, because
if you read the lyrics there are some similar things
between me and him about our childhood. We both have
you know, like dad that were in love with music
and they wanted to pass this passion into their kids.

And that happened both to me an ed and you know,
it's we both had a family that's always I don't know,
kind of like give. I think, you know, so much
love and so much positivity to their kids and to
never stop, you know, chasing your dream because at the end,
obviously after a certain age, maybe it doesn't make sense

anymore to chase dreams. No, I don't know, I'm not
here to judge that part, but definitely I think it's
very important to chase whatever makes you happy, you know,
because at the end, I think that's the goal of
this life. I think it's the goal is to live
a happy life and to try to be meaningful to

someone else.

Speaker 1 (18:34):
Mmmm. Well said, Well said my friend that's such an
important lesson for all of us to remember.

Speaker 2 (18:40):
I'm not here to give lessons. I don't know, but
but but it's simply the way I see I see
this life.

Speaker 1 (18:47):
It's yeah, it's how you live it. It's how you
live it. It's not it's not you saying something you
know in judgment, it's you showing how you live every
single day. And I think that's so important to have
that reminder. Because we have one life, we have to
make it the best we can, right, very true. Do
you think down the line at some point you and

Ed might collaborate on something.

Speaker 2 (19:12):
I have to deserve it. I don't know if I
deserve to have one of his songs. So I'm just
you know, I'm just already so happy to have had
that gift from him. But obviously in the future, if
there'll be a chance to make something together, I would
love to.

Speaker 1 (19:29):
Oh yeah, I think the world would also love that
very very much. Mateo, You've been performing for so long.
I'm so curious to somebody like you who's on this
amazing world tour and has been performing for quite some time.
Do you get nervous? Do you get pre show jitters
or you're just like I got this.

Speaker 2 (19:48):
Let's say that you have to have the confidence with
your voice and the confidence to say I know that
I can handle this cunsure easily. And then obviously at
the same time you do get nervous because, unfortunately, you know,
the voice is not like a It's not like a

guitar that if you break a string, you fix it
and you keep going on. Fortunately, the voice, it's very fragile.
You have to respect it and you have to do
the best you can to be in a good shape. So,
at least for me, whenever I'm on tour, I don't
touch any type of alcohol. I don't I have to

respect a certain diet because I do feel the difference
whenever I don't do this, even though I'm very young.
But then you know, only God knows. So you go
on stage and you have that kind of like fear
no to not have the voice good enough. But then

you know, usually after the second third song, you get
way more relaxed than you enjoy the concert.

Speaker 1 (20:58):
Do you have a ritual you have to do before
every single show? Are you superstitious? Is there one thing
you have to do or you just kind of go
out there and have fun.

Speaker 2 (21:07):
No, not big superstitious things. Honestly, the only thing that
I always do is obviously a good warm up, which
I think that's the only thing that really can save you,
even when the voice is not very good, you know,
like very in a good shape. That's the only thing

that can really help you. Together with the diet. Yeah, yeah,
because you know, digest for some reason is a very
big impact on the voice. So if you eat too
close to the performance, it's it's risky.

Speaker 1 (21:43):
See things that we would never know you have to
think about, but you do. That's really really cool. And
how has the tour been going?

Speaker 2 (21:49):

Speaker 1 (21:49):
You've been all around the world. You're hit in America
very soon. How's it been going?

Speaker 2 (21:55):
But it's been going great. I did my very first
tour October November twenty twenty three in Europe. Then I
did the America and the US one at the end
of twenty twenty three, so it was like end of
November December. Then I stopped for Christmas and then I
got back. Now with the first Australian tour. I've been

in Australia and I did four concerts there. The four
main cities Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Now I'm coming
back to us. I'm very excited. I have eight concerts
there and again already planning more concerts at the end
all of this year.

Speaker 1 (22:37):
That's awesome. Well, I know everyone can't wait for that,
And meter you. I'm always so interested with people like
you who have this very high performing job and you've
been doing it for a really long time now, and
it's just kind of something that a lot of teenagers,
for example, don't have experience doing. You kind of go
through more traditional ways of life, right, and you get

a job when you're a bit but you've been working
now for a minute, and again you're doing something very
high profile and very taxing on the body and on
the voice, and you're living your dreams, which is the
best part of it all. So I guess this question
is two different parts. The first part is growing up
in the family that you grew up in, did you
get a great piece of advice that maybe you haven't

talked about before that somebody gave you to pursue your
own dreams? And then the second part is do you
have a piece of advice for anyone going after their dreams?

Speaker 2 (23:31):
Definitely, it's easier to answer to the first question because
it's you know, it's easier to say to tell like
a suggestion that you received rather than give a suggestions
because it's not Again, obviously, yes I can. I can
tell one based on my life experience. But mainly I

you know, I got suggestions from my father because he's
always been the type of person, the type of father
that I really wanted to have, you know, conversations with
their kids. You always found that very important, even though
he was traveling a lot and I don't know because
he you know, he passed on me so many things,

many many, many the ones more about the vocal technique
rather than you know, how to approach this specific career,
but also more generic suggestions for life. So if I
had to pick up one, whatever you make, always make
it with enthusiasm and kind of like love, you know,

because even though in this first moment of your life
you may not be doing what you really love, probably
what you're doing is going to bring you there. Sometimes
you cannot always do what you love, but you have
to learn to love what you do. I think sometimes
that the secret of people that at the end they

get what they really want. There's some other people that
say no, no, no, you have you simply have to chase
what you love and don't care about what people say around.
It is true because if I think that, yes, you
do really have to work hard and be focused on
that specific thing if that's your dream. But at the
same time, you know, we have to be realistic. You

can like of being like Worring Buffett if you don't
start from the basic or if you don't start from
like a first job. You know, but yeah, this is this,
this suggests I would give. It's kind of this one
like I had the luck to kind of like do
what I loved since the beginning, even though I had

to to fight a little bit with my father because
it was like, you know, you have to study, you
have to and it is important. It is important to study.
It is important to get a degree. At the same time,
it's not I have to say, it's not fundamental if
you want to have a music career. No, because you
see so many people with a degree and then they

have a more basic kind of like job even about music,
you know, like you and there's some that don't get
a degree and they become superstars. But I think that
at the bottom it is important to have, like a culture.
Not because even though it's not so important for your job,
but still it's important for yourself. I think at the end,

the knowledge, I think it's the biggest kind of tool
you can have to defend yourself, to protect yourself for anything,
so for your career, for yourself in general, you know.
So yes, with my father, I was like, you have
to study this, you have to say, but yes, I

mean if I love to do music, I have to
study for what I love. So I'm going to study,
you know, at the conservative of music, and then I'm
going to try this. If at the end i'm I
won't be you know enough, you'll find something else. But
I'm more for etchieran philosophy. You know, I only have

plan A, and A was to become you know, a singer,
no matter what the level was. But for me, it's
kind of the same philosophy. That's that's what I want
to do in life. I'm not thinking of of a
plan B. But if ever in life will happen, you'll think,
you know, on that moment, certainly not.

Speaker 1 (27:31):
Now, let's just pop in my head when you were talking,
because having a backup plan, having a safety plan is
something that many people are encouraged to do. But when
you love something so much and you only see that
as your future, that's a powerful thing. And I wonder

if fast forward from you know, little Mateo to you
performing at the Academy Awards this year, when you came
out and you send time to say goodbye, which was
just one of the most beautiful moments of the entire ceremony.
And I know you just dropped that single a month
or so ago. Was that a really special moment for you?

Speaker 2 (28:13):
It was special because I was performing in front of
so many talents, and that was a thing, the hardest part,
but also times say goodbye. It's been the song that
made my father successful all over the world. So I
was a very delicate moment in any way. So but
I'm happy because luckily it went very good and I

had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people.

Speaker 1 (28:38):
And yes, it is. It's now a beautiful memory, a
really beautiful memory. Let's tell you as we wrap up,
the name of this show is called I've never said
this before, so I'm wondering, is there anything that you
can think of that comes to the top of your
mind that you want to share today?

Speaker 2 (28:57):
How stupid and the House Heroes has to be the.

Speaker 1 (28:59):
Answer whatever you want it to be. It could be
anything silly, serious, it's up to you.

Speaker 2 (29:06):
Something that I've never said before that is a little
bit weird is that I always have to align all
the light switch. It is a little bit weird because
it is but like every time I, for example, I
have to switch off all the lights, you know, and
in the same room there are more light switch. They
always have to be in the position of like a

specific position. I can't see the light switch in disorder.
They have to be perfectly aligned.

Speaker 1 (29:36):
Wow. So like every single that makes.

Speaker 2 (29:38):
Because I know I'm not the only one. People that
does this will understand, I what's the feeling.

Speaker 1 (29:45):
That's amazing. So every single light switch on a wall
like either has to be down or up or you'll
focus on.

Speaker 2 (29:51):
That when it's off as to be up.

Speaker 1 (29:54):
You know what, I can relate. I'm a little OCD myself,
so if something's out of place that's bothering me, it's
like all I can focus on and someone will be
talking to me and they'll be like, why are you
staring at the candle? Well, because it's turned too far
to the left. I need it to the right, so
you know exactly what I'm talking about. Yes, I do,
and I maybe it's an Italian thing. I don't know
because I have a lot of issues with many things

that need to be in place. So I'm with you
on that. Well, that's that's something I certainly have never
heard before from anyone. So thank you. I appreciate that.
Let me tell you, this has been so much fun.
I'm so excited for everything going on in your career.
Like I said, your album's fantastic. I'm so happy for
you on the tour. You're continuing to perform all over

the place, so everybody can look forward to following your adventures.
What is the best way for people to see if
you add more tour dates than to follow your career?
Where should we all go?

Speaker 2 (30:46):
We're definitely on my socials, but also I have a website,
my table Shady do It, and there you can find
all the infut and yeah, I hope to see there
for my concorts.

Speaker 1 (30:57):
Thank you so much, my friend, it was great talking
with you.

Speaker 2 (31:00):
Thank you, Thank you so much.

Speaker 1 (31:04):
I've never said this before. Is hosted by me Tommy Dedario.
This podcast is executive produced by Andrew Pivlisi at iHeartRadio
and by Me Tommy, with editing by Joshua Colaudney. I've
Never Said This Before is part of the Elvis Duran
podcast Network on iHeart Podcasts. For more, rate, review and
subscribe to our show and if you liked this episode,

tell your friends. Until next time, I'm Tommy de Dario
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