Stephan Moccio

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Stephan Moccio
Birth name Stephan Moccio
Born (1972-10-20) 20 October 1972 (age 41)
Occupations Songwriter/Composer
Record producer
Pianist
Recording artist
Instruments Piano
Vocals
Years active 1995 - present
Labels Bijou Records
Universal Music Canada
Website stephanmoccio.com

Stephan Moccio (born October 20, 1972) is a Canadian pianist, composer, producer, arranger, conductor and recording artist. He co-wrote Miley Cyrus' single Wrecking Ball from her 2013 studio album Bangerz. He also co-wrote Celine Dion's hit "A New Day Has Come" with Aldo Nova, which reached and held the number one spot on the Billboard AC Chart for a record breaking 21 weeks. For the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Moccio co-wrote the theme song “I Believe” performed by Nikki Yanofsky. He has collaborated with such artists as Seal, Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, John Legend, BeBe Winans, Gladys Knight, Jessica Simpson, Shaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith, Skylar Grey, MoZella, Sacha Skarbek, Randy Jackson, DJ Khalil, Reema Major, Carole Bayer Sager, JC Chasez, Fergie, Kardinal Offishall, BC Jean, Amie Miriello, Planet VI, Boi-1da, as a songwriter, musician and producer. Moccio was one of the three judges on Canada's Got Talent, alongside comedian Martin Short.


Early life[edit]

Stephan Moccio was born in St. Catharines, Ontario on October 20, 1972 to an Italian-Canadian father and a French-Canadian mother. Moccio is fluent in English and French. Growing up in Niagara Falls, Moccio began his piano studies at the age of 3. His musical style and vocabulary are influenced by the musical genres of Classical, Jazz, Pop, Hip-Hop, Blues, and Dance.

Career[edit]

University Years-1994[edit]

Having graduated from Saint Paul Highschool in Niagara Falls Ontario Moccio enrolled at The University of Western Ontario where he studied performance and classical piano studies, under instructors John Paul Bracey and Jack Behrens. It was on campus that Moccio first introduced himself to René Angélil, Celine Dion's manager, while attending a Celine Dion concert. In 1994, after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in composition and piano performance, he was accepted into the famed Berklee College of Music. However, he chose to focus on developing his professional career and instead signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing at the age of 22. During the early years of his tenure at Sony/ATV, Moccio worked as a session musician, in-house producer and composer, attending rehearsals of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and playing in Toronto jazz clubs and hotel lounges, notably the Four Seasons Hotel's La Serre.

1995-2003: Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada[edit]

Throughout his nearly 9-year tenure at Sony/ATV, Moccio wrote for several award-winning Canadian and International artists, most notably Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, and Josh Groban. Moccio spent many months in writing sessions in Nashville, Los Angeles and New York during these years, which culminated in a lengthy catalogue of songs as musician, songwriter, producer and composer. During this time he collaborated with various artists such as Jessica Simpson, JC Chasez, Fergie, and Chantal Kreviazuk. He was a co-writer with top songwriters and musicians including Marc Jordan, Dean McTaggart, Robbie Nevil, Dan Hill, Dave Martin, and Amy Sky.

It was in 1996 that Moccio's special relationship with television programs began, with the theme for the CTV Television Network program Camilla Scott Show, which was written, performed and produced by Moccio. Moccio would go on to write and produce more theme songs for CTV shows including House and Home (1998), ETalk (2008), Vancouver 2010 Olympics Broadcast, and the Marilyn Dennis Show (2010).

A New Day Has Come (2002)[edit]

In 2001, Moccio began work on a melody that would become the chart-topping single "A New Day Has Come" sung by Celine Dion, released on her album (in both a radio mix version and 3/4 time ballad album version), of the same name in February 2002. The song broke records at the time by maintaining the #1 position on the U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary charts for 21 weeks. The single would make it onto numerous compilation CD’s and DVD’s in North America. In 2003, Celine Dion titled her live residency Las Vegas show “A New Day...”. Celine often refers to the song as being representative of the emotional struggle and consequent happiness she experienced upon becoming a first-time mother.

Moccio has relayed the story of his meeting with Celine Dion and the subsequent writing of "A New Day Has Come"; ten years prior to writing the song, Moccio approached René Angélil accompanied by his collaborator and friend Gary McAuley at a concert in London, Ontario and told René that he aspired to write Celine a song one day. Approximately 10 years later in 2001, Moccio was introduced to Aldo Nova by the Vice President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada at the time. Development and production of the song began shortly after.

2003-2009: Sing Little Penguin[edit]

In 2003, Moccio left Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada to work predominantly under his own publishing company, Sing Little Penguin. He soon moved into his state-of-the-art recording studio in downtown Toronto and it is from this space that Moccio would continue to write, record, produce for both his solo projects and various collaborations with recording artists. It was also at this time that Moccio co-founded Bijou Records with his manager, James Porter. Bijou Records would be the record label on which Moccio would release his solo piano works in 2006 and 2010.

As special projects in 2003 and 2004, Moccio conducted members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in two separate sessions at the Glen Gould Studios in Toronto. Here he recorded his orchestral arrangements for his pieces “Beautiful Things”, “Julienne” and “Hope”.

In 2003 Moccio collaborated, as both a writer and musician, with Sarah Brightman on the single “What you Never Know” featured on her album Harem (EMI/Angel). Later that Year, Moccio would go on to write the song “Tears of Hercules” with writer Marc Jordan. The song would be subsequently recorded by Josh Groban, appearing on his limited edition album With You, titled “My Heart was Home Again”, released in 2007 on the Hallmark Cards Inc. label.

Olivia Newton-John spent time at Moccio’s studio in 2005, where she recorded some vocals for her 2006 album Grace and Gratitude. Olivia recorded Moccio's tune "Instrument of Peace" (co-written with Marc Jordan and Amy Sky) and Moccio played the piano on several songs on the album.

Moccio went on to collaborate with Canadian pop group RyanDan on several songs on their debut album Ryan Dan, including the song “The Face” (written with Mark Masri), released in September 2007. The song was featured in Season 1 of So You Think You Can Dance, Canada and, in 2009, Channing Cooke danced to the song during Week 4, Season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance.

Special Events[edit]

In 2006, Moccio was invited to play at a benefit concert commemorating Bill Clinton's 60th Birthday in Toronto. He shared the stage with Josh Groban, Jon Bon Jovi, Sarah McLachlan and James Taylor. Following these concerts, Moccio received an invitation to perform a private concert for Robert Redford and his family and friends at his Utah Ranch in Sundance in December 2006.

Exposure (2006)[edit]

Moccio released his debut album of solo piano music, entitled "Exposure" on Bijou Records/Universal Music on November 14, 2006. The album was mixed by Juno Award winning engineer Vic Florencia and mastered by Juno nominated João Carvalho. The album has since sold over 42,000 copies and in 2008, became the highest charting instrumental album on the Canadian charts of the last 25 years, since Vangelis' Chariots of Fire in 1982.

2010-present[edit]

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, “I Believe” and Canada's Got Talent[edit]

Moccio found inspiration in David Foster's theme and music for the 1988 Calgary Winter Games and, upon hearing it for the first time, made a personal commitment to write a theme song for a future Olympic Games in Canada[1]

In 2008 Moccio teamed up with songwriter Alan Frew (Glass Tiger) to write "I Believe", the theme song of CTV's and Rogers Media's Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In addition to co-writing the theme song, Moccio composed and produced over 250 cues to accompany the Canadian broadcasts of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games,[2] with each cue representing different emotions associated with lead-ins to segments and events, Medal Ceremonies, and with Canadian athletes’ profiles and performances at Olympic events, telecast on various CTV and Rogers Media properties throughout the games. Three versions of the theme “I Believe” were written and recorded; an English language version sung by Montreal jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky, a French-language version ("J'imagine") sung by Quebec artist Annie Villeneuve, and an instrumental version by Moccio. On January 26, 2010 an EP titled “I Believe/J’imagine – CTV’s 2010 Winter Games Theme Song” was released on iTunes Canada. The EP contained all three versions of the theme which were all produced by Moccio. The strings component of the theme song English language as sung by Nikki Yanofsky involved the orchestral arrangement and conduction of William Ross, at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Grammy winning engineer Armin Steiner engineered the recording. Moccio arranged the music and conducted members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for the Olympic broadcast cues and Villeneuve’s “J’Imagine”.

Alongside Moccio on the piano, Villeneuve and Yanofsky performed a bilingual duet in a six-minute video that aired Canada-wide just prior to the commencement of the official closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

On March 1, 2010 "I Believe", covered by Nikki Yanofsky, reached 4 x Platinum status (CRIA[3]) in digital sales (over 160,000 digital units sold) in Canada. The same version achieved #1 status on iTunes Canada and Billboard's Canadian Hot 100 for 4 straight weeks in February 2010.

During the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in Montreal on April 2010, Moccio on the piano, along with Nikki Yanofsky and Annie Villeneuve performed "I Believe/J'imagine," as one of the production numbers, and the 2010 Canadian Olympians entered the stage.

Moccio was a judge Canada's Got Talent which aired on Rogers Media's CityTV March - May 2012.

Universal Music Publishing[edit]

In February 2010, Moccio signed a Worldwide Publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group.[4]

Color (2010)[edit]

On November 2, 2010, Moccio released his second album of solo piano music, entitled Color on Bijou Records/Universal Music. As with his previous album, Color was mixed by Juno Award winning engineer Vic Florencia and mastered by Juno nominated João Carvalho. It includes 4 tracks “October”, “Life”, “Leopold” and “Violette” that featured the orchestral treatment of William Ross as composer, arranger and conductor, recorded at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Following the release, Moccio embarked on a 24-day, 12-city promotional and concert tour across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax, during which he was featured on Breakfast Television (BT) in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto and performed on some of Canada's finest stages.

G-20 Summit and other special events[edit]

When the 2010 G-20 Summit arrived in Toronto, Moccio was asked by the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office to host and MC the closing Gala. He introduced the world leaders as well as performed live a selection of his songs, including the song “Instrument of Peace” with The Canadian Tenors.

On August 24, 2010 Moccio performed at the annual Hope and Cope Soiree Fantastique in Montreal in support of Montreal’s premiere cancer support foundation. Joele Adler, President of Diesel Canada and the Founder of the ONEXONE Foundation, was being honored. Following the event, Moccio headlined, alongside John Legend, the ONEXONE Foundation Gala in Toronto hosted by Matt Damon, where he performed live.

In December 2010, Moccio joined The Canadian Tenors, David Foster, Justin Bieber, Paul Anka, Charice, Jackie Evancho, and others for The Canadian Tenors CBC special “Season of Song: The Canadian Tenors and Friends”.

A live performance highlight in 2011 for Stephan was an emotional homecoming concert in St. Catharines, Brock University's Centre for the Arts, Sean O'Sullivan Theatre where on April 21 he performed on piano with orchestra (members of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra) and very special guest, Greek singer Giorgos Perris

On June 25, 2011, yet another superstar Greek singer Mario Frangoulis performed Moccio's song "Beautiful Things", its live debut during the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics in Athens Greece. The response since has been so positive that Mario has decided to record the song for his forthcoming album titled, "Beautiful Things".

In August 2011, Stephan was nominated for his first Gemini Award in the category - Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble). It was in recognition of his live performance on a CBC program called Solo. Previously, Stephan had been featured on CBC's Creative Block and on "Men of Music" TV series (2003)

Sponsorship[edit]

Moccio is Yamaha Artist[5] and performs almost exclusively on Yamaha Pianos. In addition, Armani Canada is a sponsor of Moccio.

Selected discography as composer, songwriter, producer, musician, arranger, programmer[edit]

Title Artist (Label) Album Year Credit Notes
A New Day Has Come Celine Dion (Sony) A New Day Has Come 2002 co-writer (Aldo Nova),[6] background vocals #1 SOCAN Award,[7] BMI Pop Award,[8] SOCAN Classic Song Award,[9] Juno nomination for Single of the Year (2003), Million-air award (over 1,000,000 BDS spins on US radio), Billboard Music Awards - nominated AC Single of the Year • produced by Walter Afanasieff • album 7 weeks at #1 in Canada (6x Platinum - CRIA[10]), #1 US (3xPlatinum - RIAA), #1 Europe (3xPlatinum - IFPI) • 5th best-selling album of 2002 • Vegas show A New Day...
Alive Edwin (Sony) Another Spin Around the Sun 1999 co-writer, keyboards, string arrangements #1 SOCAN Award (2000)[11]Juno Award in 2001 for Best Video and MMVAs People's Choice Award[12] • Top 10 at Canadian Rock radio, reached #11 at Canadian Top 40 radio • album certified platinum (CRIA[13])
Art of the Heart Joshua Payne (Verve) Your Love, My Home 2004 co-writer (Amy Sky), piano produced by Michael Omartian
Beautiful Things Mario Frangoulis (Sony) Beautiful Things Fall 2011 writer song was performed at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens Greece[14]
Break My Heart Again Sawyer Brown (Curb) Drive Me Wild 1999 co-writer album reached #10 Billboard Country Album Chart
Build My World JC Chasez (Jive/Zomba) Schizophrenic 2004 co-writer, keyboards album debut #17 on U.S. Billboard 200 • 3rd single from the album
The Face RyanDan (Decca) RyanDan 2006 co-writer, piano album Gold certification (CRIA) • Reached #59 Canadian Billboard Hot 100 • (So You Think You Can Dance Canada, featured song) • nomination - Best Mainstream AC Song (Canadian Radio Music Awards) • also recorded by Mark Masri as ""See My Face"" and in French ""Je t'attendrai""
4 July Joanna Pacitti (A&M) This Crazy Life 2006 co-written (Fergie), musician produced by Ron Fair
I Believe Nikki Yanofsky (Decca) Nikki 2010 co-writer (Alan Frew), producer, piano released as single/EP by CTV/Universal, #1 (4 weeks) Canadian Billboard Hot 100 and certified 4x Platinum (CRIA), nomination - Best AC Song (Canadian Radio Music Awards) • album certified gold (CRIA)
I'm Here (A Song for Canada) Chantal Kreviazuk I'm Here (A Song for Canada) single 2011 co-writer (C. Kreviazuk, Raine Maida), co-arranger, piano featured performance on Canada's Walk of Fame Awards broadcast on Global TV, Oct. 23, 2011
Instrument of Peace Olivia Newton-John (EMI / Green Hill) Grace and Gratitude 2006 / 2010 (reissue) co-writer, piano The song reached #30 on US Billboard Hot AC chart • album reached #2 US Billboard New Age chart • also recorded by The Canadian Tenors (The Perfect Gift)
J'Imagine Annie Villeneuve (Entourage) Annie Villeneuve 2010 co-writer, producer, piano reached #36 Canadian Billboard Hot 100
Lose Myself JC Chasez (Jive/Zomba) Schizophrenic 2004 co-writer, keyboards/piano, string arranger
Mon Héros Annie Villeneuve (Entourage) Annie Villeneuve 2009 co-writer, producer album certified Gold (CRIA) • Reached #7 Canadian soundscan album chart
My Heart Was Home Again Josh Groban (Hallmark/Reprise) With You 2007 co-writer album certified Gold (RIAA) • performed Valentine's Day 2007 on The View (U.S. TV series) • produced by David Foster • also performed live by Celtic Women on their recent world tour
Our Leaves Are Green Again Randy Bachman Jazz Thing 2004 co-writer (R. Bachman), musician also released on Randy Bachman - Live in Toronto (DVD), and Anthology (2006); performed on CBC TV special Bachman-Cummings "Together for the First Time"
Perfect Gift The Canadian Tenors (Decca) The Perfect Gift 2010 co-writer, producer album #1 Billboard Cross-over Classical chart, certified Platinum (CRIA) • also released on Canadian Tenors Live at the Royal Conservatory of Music DVD
selections from Barber, Martinu, Britten (piano / cello) Denise Djokic (Sony Classical) Denise Djokic 2002 producer East Coast Music Award, Classical Recording of the Year
Seven Various Artists (Effendi Records) Berceuses Pour Philou 2008 writer, producer ADISQ (Felix Award), Best Instrumental Album (2009)
Tears of Hercules Marc Jordan (Blue Note/EMI Make Believe Ballroom 2004 co-writer, musician, string arranger, conductor Juno nominated song in Songwriter of the Year category for Marc Jordan • also recorded by Laila Biali, Alfie Zappacosta, and Keith Harkin
To Say Goodbye To You Aselin Debison (Epic) Sweet Is the Melody 2002 co-writer produced by Peter Asher • also recorded by Murray McLauchlan
What You Never Know Sarah Brightman (Angel/EMI) Harem 2003 writer also recorded in French for the Canadian release "Tout Ce Que Je Sais" • album certified Gold (CRIA), reaching #29 US Billboard Top 200 and #7 Canada album charts; #1 Classical US Billboard album chart • #5 best-selling crossover album of 2003 (Billboard)
What You Never Know (Won't Hurt You) Hayley Westenra (Decca) Odyssey (Hayley Westenra album) 2005 co-writer album certified Gold (UK - BPI) • #3 US Billboard Classical album chart
Wrecking Ball Miley Cyrus (RCA) Bangerz 2013 co-writer Sacha Skarbek, Lukasz Gottwald, Maureen Anne McDonald, Henry Russell Walter, piano Produced by Dr. Luke, peaked #1 (3 weeks) on Billboard Hot 100 • British singer-songwriter James Arthur covered this song on Radio Hamburg in Germany in September 2013

Discography as recording artist[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album / Single details Peak Certifications
(sales threshold)
CA Quebec Album Chart iTunes Album Chart
2006 Exposure 10 1 4
2010 Color 27 12 3
2010 I Believe - Instrumental Theme 49 36
  • CAN: 5 x Platinum
2010 I Believe - Solo Piano
2012 Elements 64 42 37

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muntz Lassonde, Janelle (2010-01-26). "A Musical Olympic Bid Of His Own". Maclean's. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ Rodriguez, Juan. "Making Our Country Proud". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Gold Platinum Database". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ "UMPG Inks Deal With Stephan Moccio". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Contemporary Pianos - Stephan Moccio". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ Kawashima, Dale. "Aldo Nova & Stephan Moccio Tell How They Wrote The Big Celine Dion Hit, "A New Day Has Come"". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "SOCAN Award Winners List 1990 to 2010". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ "BMI Pop Music Awards: Winners List". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ "20th Annual SOCAN Awards Toronto 2009 - Winners List". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Gold Platinum Database". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Archived News". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Member Profiles, Rob Heydon". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Gold Platinum Database". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Mario Frangoulis at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 

External links[edit]