Andrea Bocelli is widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in the world, and as Celine Dion once put it, "if God had a voice he would sound like Andrea." His collaborations include celebrated singers like Celine, Christina Aguilera, and Mary J Blige. Andrea has performed for royalty, presidents, and celebrities, and has graced some of the world's most prestigious venues.
It's an honour to welcome Andrea as he discusses the importance of tapping into our "mystical" talent and exploring the themes of singing, love, and life.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Mr. Bocelli, when I researched your life story for this interview many areas of your life made me both sob and yet feel joyful... simultaneously. This is also how I feel when I hear you sing. I blink away my tears at the magnificence of your voice. At your gift of being able to share such immense joy and emotion with mankind. Do you feel how you sing all the time, or is the intensity of emotion something you mainly harness when you sing?
ANDREA BOCELLI: The nature of music is mysterious and it can call forth strong emotions. It moves along channels which reach straight into the most intimate parts of our psyche without being processed by prejudices or conditioning of any sort. This particular condition lends music special properties which I myself, in a certain way, without going as far as to implicate the supernatural, do not hesitate in defining as a mystical experience.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Do you feel your musical voice is richer as a result of your blindness?
ANDREA BOCELLI: It is not the absence of defects which determines the success of a great singer but the presence of great talents which are nothing else if not gifts from heaven above.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Amidst all of your fame and great fortune you have remained so humble, kind, generous and charitable. Before you even sing, your beautiful persona shines. What keeps you so sweetly grounded?
ANDREA BOCELLI: I can't imagine in what way and why I should be different to the way I am. Instead I think that society today would need to recover those values of simplicity and modesty which, freeing us from the frenzy of the pursuit of success at all cost, would give us greater trust in the future for the generations that will follow us.
GABRIELLE REILLY: Do you have a favorite life philosophy that you would like to share with our readers?
ANDREA BOCELLI: Love is the driving force of the world: without love there is no life and, I would hazard to say, there is no music either, because also music is love; whether one gives it or whether one receives it as a gift, it is always and only an act of love.