Stephan Moccio (born October 20, 1972) is a Canadian pianist, composer, producer, arranger, conductor and recording artist. He co-wrote Celine Dion’s 2002 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 with Alan Frew the theme song “I Believe” performed by Nikki Yanofsky in English and Annie Villeneuve in French. He has collaborated with such artists as Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, BeBe Winans, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Reema Major, Carol Bayer Sager, JC Chasez, Fergie, Kardinal Offishall, Boi-1da, Lauren Christy, as a songwriter, musician and producer. He currently records under the mononym “Moccio”. Moccio will be one of the three judges for the upcoming season of Canada’s Got Talent, along side comedian Martin Short.
Following highschool, 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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, 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) 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.