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“It’s a follow-up to Amore. I waited eight years to do it. This has special, extra meaning for him because he was a piano player in a bar when he was younger, and he played a lot of these songs. Can you imagine walking into a bar and seeing Bocelli before he was famous singing September Morning?
“That’s what this album is, and I think it’s his favorite record in a long time. Because he doesn’t like to do pop music – that’s why I found Josh Grobin. Even so, he’s totally authentic. He didn’t just learn how to do this music; he lived this music. That’s how he made a living. So when he sings September morning, he means it.
“Getting ready for this record, I had some preliminary meetings with a wonderful guy in Bocelli’s camp named Felippo Sugar, who owns Sugar Music. Felippo is a great music lover and has great ears, and so I sat down with him and one of my A&R people, Jay Landers, and we concocted a list of about 60 songs.
“Then I flew to Italy with a guitar player, Ramon, who plays on the record. Ramon and a programmer and I sat in a room with Bocelli for about two weeks and we went through the list: ‘What about this? What about this? Go to the Internet, get the lyrics!’
“The duet with J. Lo came really late. I was pushing Bocelli to do a song called Contigo en la Distancia, but he didn’t want to do it. I said, ‘Well, we need another Spanish song, dammit!’ And I was going home the next day. After lunch, he came to me and said, ‘What about Quizás?’ He played me some version of it, and it was fucking horrible. It was unlistenable. I said, ‘Are you fucking kidding me? This song’s a joke.’
“He just said, ‘Listen to the chords, listen to the melody. Sit and think about how you, David Foster, would change it and make it sexy.’ And when I started peeling back the layers of the song, I discovered this beautiful melody. I changed some chords, slowed it down, put a flamenco guitar solo in and a violin, and then I thought about the duet with J. Lo. It became a really sexy piece of music. Sometimes that’s how it unfolds.”