Andrea Bocelli’s younger son Matteo, 21, inherited his father’s bone structure — as well as his soaring vocals.
The Italian tenor, 60, just released Sì, his first album of original songs in 14 years, and the collection includes a slew of surprising duets, from Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran … to son Matteo! The father-son duo collaborated on the uplifting ballad "Fall on Me," and social media has been buzzing about Matteo as he’s made the rounds performing the track with his dad.
PEOPLE caught up with Matteo and his father for the current issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
Below, everything you need to know about the rising star.
His dad has warned him of the pitfalls of fame.
“I hope very much that this would be a first step for Matteo along many steps in his career, but my hope for him especially is that he stays who he is, that he remains anchored to the values that he grew up with in our family and does not fall into the traps that many have fallen into,” Andrea says of “Fall on Me” launching Matteo’s international presence. “I would never forgive myself for this debut if that happened. You have to stay modest and humble.”
Matteo wasn’t originally supposed to record “Fall on Me” — because his father wants him to finish school first!
“He was not in my plans — I actually didn’t want him to participate in the recordings, because I believe he needs to finish his studies at the conservatory,” Andre says (through an English translator) of Matteo, who currently studies music at the Conservatory of Lucca in Italy. “But we had a great opportunity, and we took it because it was a great song. But it doesn’t mean in any way that he’s arrived!”
Record producer Bob Ezrin told PEOPLE the story behind the father-son collaboration.
“The demo for the song in English was sung by him,” Ezrin says. “So, when they sent me the song, I heard this voice and I said who’s that? And they said, ‘Well that’s Matteo, his son,’ and I said he’s fantastic. Let’s not do this as a love duet — which is what it was originally written for — let’s do it as a dialogue between father and son. The son, who is confused about life and looking for guidance and the father who speaks to him maybe from far away and tells him that everything will be okay. It was an experiment; it could have been terrible, but it came out great. From the moment that they sang together, I knew that this was a beautiful, perfect record.”
Bella Hadid is an old family friend.
Last summer, Matteo shared a photo with the 22-year-old model at a Bulgari dinner in Rome.
“Always good to see a special friend after many years,” Matteo captioned the June 29 post, which Hadid’s mom, Yolanda, liked. “It’s been wonderful to spend some time with you! You were absolutely stunning last night.”
Hadid hinted at their longtime friendship in her response, commenting, “12 years later!!!!! So great to see u Teo,” along with two hearts.
Matteo is a middle child.
Andrea has three children: Matteo and his older brother Amos, 23, from his first marriage, and 6-year-old daughter Veronica with wife Veronica Berti, 34. Both Matteo and Amos frequently document their family’s tight familial bond on social media.
He’s sung since he was young — but only recently in front of his dad!
“I was always singing since I was a child, but I was doing it just in front of my mom — never my dad because I was a little bit shy,” says Matteo. “Then one day I said, ‘Probably it’s better if I receive maybe a little direction from my dad.’”
Now, “I’m used to singing for fun with him,” adds Matteo. “I study with him, so being in the studio with him has been fantastic.”
He’s played piano since he was 6 years old.
“I’ve been into music since when I was a kid. I was following my dad when I could, and I played the piano since I was 6 years old,” says Matteo, who when he was younger was hesitant to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“My father the first time said, ‘Why don’t you start playing the piano now just to see if you like it?’ So I started and at the beginning, when you’re younger, you want to resist your parents — with this case it would be my dad. But then, with years, I really appreciated the subject that I was studying,” Matteo adds.
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