The greatest voices have already accompanied Stephan Moccio in the studio, whether they belong to Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, Miley Cyrus or Josh Groban. But this time around, it was solo – armed with his only piano – that the Canadian recorded his very first Christmas album.
Exit the big orchestras, the ambitious and supported productions, and all the flaflas. Stephan Moccio admits, he now thirsts for simplicity when it comes time to put new melodies on record.
In fact, his simple piano has accompanied him faithfully since the start of the pandemic. From his studio in California – where he set up his house a few years ago – the musician claims to have recorded “a few albums” in recent months. After his Tales of Solace, published in the summer, Stephan Moccio recently launched Winter poems, deposited in the bins at the beginning of the month.
“And I probably have one or two albums already ready for release in 2021,” he laughs.
Music, he does not hide it, has been a real buoy, a therapeutic escape route in recent months. Because Stephan Moccio was initially to spend a good part of the year traveling across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, as part of a world tour.
The pandemic, of course, has dampened this momentum. But not his passion.
“I didn’t want that downtime to be wasted. If music has taught me anything, it’s discipline. So I recorded music every day for several hours. If I was lucky I had a few minutes I could save from each session. But the important thing for me was to feel that this talent was being used “, he confides, in an interview with Newspaper.
Christmas without words
This is how he was able to complete a long-standing project, that of recording a Christmas album.
Admittedly, the market is practically saturated with them, with new offers being added each year to this very specific catalog. However, Stephan Moccio’s was going to stand out in an obvious way.
“Yes, there are plenty of Christmas albums. But instrumental Christmas albums? That, I don’t think there are many. Since that of André Gagnon [lancé en 1992, NDLR], I don’t remember hearing one particularly striking, ”he says.
“I love Michael Bublé, Nat King Cole or Mariah Carey, these albums that make you dance and party. But what I wanted was something more introspective. With the year we’ve all been through, that seemed particularly apt at this time, “adds Stephan Moccio.
Classics and novelties
This is how he put on record 11 essentials of the Holidays, to which he adds his musical flair thanks to new arrangements (“but I haven’t changed the melody too much!” He hastens to clarify. ).
To these Small Santa, O Holy Night and White Christmas In addition, there are three original compositions of his own, each evoking memories of childhood, more specifically his Christmases spent in Quebec.
One of these titles, Wistful, was spoken by Natalie Hemby and Gary LeVox (frontman of the band Rascal Flatts) for a solo album by the latter. The result, renamed Christmas Will Be Different This Year, was unveiled a few days ago.
A title could not be more appropriate, given the circumstances.
Because yes, indeed, Christmas will be very different this year because of the pandemic. That, Stephan Moccio knows well.
“This is the first time in my life that I have gone an entire year without seeing my parents, who still live in Canada. Yes, we see each other on FaceTime from time to time, but it’s not the same at all. I think of my two children who will not be able to see their grandparents and hug them for the holidays … It’s crazy what we are going through right now, “he says.
The album Winter poems is currently on the market.