Multiple Grammy and Academy Award-nominated composer, songwriter and producer Stephan Moccio restores our inner calm in his debut album, Tales of Solace, writes Nick Benson.
After writing chart-topping hits for the likes of The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Céline Dion and Avril Lavigne, songwriter and composer Stephan Moccio has now taken a step back to focus on himself, as well as the whole of humanity.
Following a turbulent few months of global lockdowns, anxiety and economic uncertainty brought about thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, Moccio is attempting to restore calm with his debut album.
With the bombardment of 24-hour rolling news and ever-present social media, we live in a world that moves fast, perhaps too fast. What we could all do with is music that is good for the heart and mind, restoring our inner calm no matter what our language.
Released on Decca Records, Moccio’s aptly titled Tales of Solace is a provocative album of melodic, tender piano meditations set to soothe the soul, composed, performed and recorded on Moccio’s prized, custom-made Yamaha YUS5 upright piano.
Since the release of his first single Fracture in mid-April, Moccio’s songs have racked up over 32 million streams.
Exploring some of life’s more profound themes, Fracture was written in response to personal relationship struggles, while the track Nostalgia contemplates ageing through the eyes of a Hollywood starlet past her prime, her illustrious career behind her, and is drawn also from personal experience.
On this new music, Moccio returns to his roots in classical composition and back to the instrument he knows best, the piano. But if truth be known, the piano has never been too far away. In fact, they are inseparable. Throughout his career, you can hear his performances on countless recordings by the world’s biggest artists. He has written and composed songs for global stars: Wrecking Ball for Miley Cyrus, A New Day Has Comefor Celine Dion and Earned It for The Weeknd – a track for which he received an Oscar nomination.
On the focus track Lumière Moccio says: “Lumière which means ‘light’ in French reflects the sense of hope and nobility that life’s moments can surprise us with. It is difficult for everyone to fight the resistance of life’s challenges – and this music piece inspires and comforts me upon every listen…it is never as bad as we think it is…”
His classical upbringing and discipline combined with his pop song-writing sensitivities gives him a unique edge in the piano music genre. It is why he has been recognised for his impeccable mastery of hand-crafted melody, arrangement, harmonic depth and a provocative pianistic touch.
Moccio creates music that moves you, music that is built on years of experience and dedication to his craft and continues to win over audiences globally. It is his ability to convey emotion without words that is so special: writing melodies that course through his emotive and delicately wrought compositions. This new solo piano music is romantic, organic, raw and honest, revealing a more sensual and vulnerable side of this multi-faceted artist.
“I needed to recalibrate on many levels – musically, personally and mentally,” says Moccio. “Solitude and quiet, in a noisy world, are elements I have been craving for a long time. Naturally, it made sense to engage in an intimate conversation between myself and the instrument which has been faithful to me my entire life. Strip it all down…one person, in one room, with one instrument.”
Sometimes music can say so much more than words. In its purely instrumental state, the blissfully flowing sounds of Moccio’s piano playing span the depth of human emotion, with its tender, beautiful, dark and light tones. Perhaps it is truly, sincerely the most international music, transcending cultures, because it has no lyrics. It’s music that can be universally understood – and felt.
Tales of Solace by Stephan Moccio is out now on Decca Records.