Andrea Bocelli Breaks Down Unlikely Collabs With Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran & More

ISSUE 24 2018 - DO NOT EVER REUSE!!!!
Luca Scota
Andrea Bocelli

With 25.2 million albums sold in the United States, according to Nielsen Music, classical giant Andrea Bocelli is one of the world’s most revered tenors and crossover talents. For his first album of new material in 14 years, (out Oct. 26), the 60-year-old holed up in his home studio in Tuscany with producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper) in a bid to return to his roots and memories of “being a young man, playing at a piano bar -- starting over again, as it were” in his career. No stranger to unexpected duets -- previous collabs include Céline Dion and Ariana Grande -- his new project features some of pop’s biggest names... as well as his 20-year-old son.

ED SHEERAN
“Amo Soltanto Te”

“Ed is a young artist full of talent. He's sensitive and prepared besides being affable. When he asked me to sing a new edition of ‘Perfect,’ he did it with such enthusiasm and sincerity, that I couldn't say no. His excitement, coupled with that of my older sons (both fans of his) brought me to accept. We first worked separately, then we met at my house in Tuscany and continued to work in my recording studio. It's a joy to feature him on my new album, in a song that exalts, to my mind, simplicity as an end; the ideal result of a creative process. This is the power of this song -- the reason why I loved it from the very start -- because, as explained by one of the most illuminated minds of all time, Leo Tolstoy: ‘There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth.’”

DUA LIPA
“If Only”

“The voice of this very young British singer is unique, recognizable, expressive and as brilliant as her interpretative intelligence, which was clear from the very moment we started working together. It is never by chance that an artist who's barely over 20 becomes this beloved! Singing with her, I can attest to her charisma and versatility. I'm happy to have shared with such a young voice a true tribute to love. ‘If Only’ is a song that talks of the energy and values of sentiments. Thanks to Dua Lipa, the message of this song can come through stronger and have greater resonance with people of her generation.

JOSH GROBAN
“We Will Meet Once Again”

“I have an authentic weak spot for Josh: we have a longstanding bond of mutual esteem. I love the quality of his voice. He is a serious and prepared musician, a true friend. Almost 20 years have passed since Josh, at the age of 17, replaced me when, due to an impediment I could not perform, in a duet with my friend, Celine Dion. So, as I always say with a touch of pride, I feel somewhat responsible for his debut as an artist who would soon gone on to a deserved, brilliant career. Lastly, after having found a perfect balance between our voices in a version of ‘The Prayer,’ Josh and I have also done a duet of a song he penned himself. A tune of the greatest cheerful simplicity; the result of an expressiveness apparently derived from the musical tradition; a very sweet song that we had the privilege to sing together live at an important charity event, in one of the most beautiful places in the world -- Portovenere -- in the heart of the ‘Gulf of Poets,’ of course, in my beloved Italy.”​

MATTEO BOCELLI
“Fall on Me”

“Matteo was raised on ‘bread and music.’ While in high school, he also studied piano at the conservatory (where he is now studying opera). He is passionate about opera and has already performed in serious venues. He seems inclined to follow his father's footsteps, even though an artistic career is made up of many things, at times unknowable, and cannot certainly be devised at the drawing table. Plus, he's barely 20 years old. But I believe ‘Fall on Me’ is a promising start besides being for both of us a highly emotional experience... because it actually is about us. The song gives voice to a son who is growing and just taking his first steps in life, with doubts and uncertainties, and to a father that reassures him, that helps him spread his wings, a father that tries -- with all of the love in his heart -- to transmit strong values; to give answers. I have tried to transmit to Matteo, as well as to my eldest son Amos (who recently earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering) values that I believe in and that have made me who I am, but we have different voices and different life experiences. His talent is exclusively his - it's not something that a father can ‘transmit.’”

PRODUCER BOB EZRIN

“He is a giant: a piece of walking music history, a witness and co-protagonist of some of the most spectacular moments in world music since the ‘70s to date. We understood each other immediately at the artistic and human levels. It took us very little to get in sync, to have (I think I can speak for the both of us) that great feeling of being able to work together well and easily. From the very start, our collaboration was smooth, fluid, cheerful and successful. I am thus honored to have found in Bob Ezrin an impeccable producer and a friend.”

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 20 issue of Billboard.


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