After years of performing alongside his father, Matteo Bocelli is stepping out on his own.
On Friday, the pop singer and son of Andrea Bocelli released his latest single “Chasing Stars,” a sentimental ballad penned by Ed Sheeran and his brother Matthew — fittingly about an artist whose motivation came from his father.
“[Ed] sent me a few songs, but the one that really, really, really I loved so much was ‘Chasing Stars,'” Matteo tells newsmoi of the song, which is set to appear on his upcoming self-titled debut album. “The story was fitting so much to myself because, of course, we both had in common the fact that we were born in a family that loved music, and this passion was given from our parents.”
The 25-year-old singer-songwriter was “super, super excited” to work with Sheeran, 32, as he’s been a fan of the “Thinking Out Loud” performer since childhood. “I remember seeing him in concert. He was opening for Taylor Swift in Toronto,” says Matteo. “So you can imagine how I feel to have a song of his on my first album. It’s pretty cool and exciting.”
Upon hearing “Chasing Stars” for the first time, he already felt the song was “perfect as it was,” but he reworked some of the vocal parts to fit his own style — and Sheeran was happy with the results. “I felt like he respects every artist’s [personal] ideas, [and wants you to] feel comfortable and authentic in what you do,” explains Matteo.
Listeners will learn more about the vocalist through his upcoming debut album, which sees him stray from the classical material he’s performed with Andrea in the past and lean into pop music.
“I was born in a family where we used to listen to classical music, opera and great performers like Frank Sinatra, Charles Aznavour and Whitney Houston,” says Matteo. “But I was growing up in a different generation, so I was listening to Ed Sheeran and Eminem. At the end, we are a sum of our experiences and the ones we receive from the outside.”
Matteo will be released on Sept. 22, acting as both an artistic achievement for the musician and “a good gift” for Andrea, as it’s also his birthday. “It’s quite funny — I swear I didn’t choose the date. It was given by the label,” he says with a laugh. “So, it’ll be quite a pretty thing.”
He’s put the album together over the past three years, and its lyrics encompass many experiences he’s had in that time. “I feel like I’ve been able to really put in these songs all the things I wanted to talk about, from love songs to the ones about things that really mean a lot to me in my life, like friendship,” says Matteo.
While Andrea is proud to see him flourish as a solo artist, Matteo’s sound is quite different from what his father’s used to, as the renowned tenor grew up listening to opera and classical music.
“The most pop thing he could have listened to was Frank Sinatra, so you can imagine his level of knowledge in the pop world,” he quips. “I enjoy sharing music with him — some he likes a lot, some less. But at the end of the day, I have to like the stuff I make, and if I’m happy, he’s happy for me.”
After the album’s released, Matteo will embark on a world tour of his own in the fall. He’s previously toured the world — and performed at Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s wedding — with his father, but the upcoming shows will mark his first time commanding an audience on his own.
Billed as “A Night with Matteo,” the concerts will be very simple, offering the performer a chance to showcase his voice as he warms up as a soloist. “I thought this was the best way to present myself because I’ve always been very into my piano and performing with my voice,” he says. “I want it to be very intimate.”
For someone who’s used to being a special guest at Andrea’s massive shows all over the world, Matteo feels a newfound pressure ahead of the upcoming performances — but he’s up for the challenge. “You can imagine how different it is to go and perform on a stage knowing all those people are there just for you,” he says. “But we live for this, and I’m super happy.”