RISING CLASSICAL CROSSOVER STAR
NATHAN PACHECO GOES TOTALLY INDIE, SECURING
FUNDING FROM HIS INTERNATIONAL FAN BASE VIA
KICKSTARTER FOR HIS NEW FULL-LENGTH ALBUM ‘NATHAN PACHECO II,’
HELMED IN PART BY LEO Z (JOSH GROBAN, ANDREA BOCELLI)
AND FEATURING SONGS IN ENGLISH, SPANISH AND ITALIAN
The Charismatic Performer Rose to Prominence by Recording and
Touring with Instrumental Superstar Yanni, Starred
in His Own PBS Special “Introducing Nathan Pacheco” And Released
His Self-Titled Debut on a Disney Affiliated Label
From the widely seen 2012 PBS Special “Introducing Nathan Pacheco” to the 11 soaring tracks on his new full-length album Nathan Pacheco II, this charismatic tenor is a star that just continues rising in the classical crossover world of music.
When it came time to record and promote the new album, Pacheco (http://nathanpacheco.com/) went fully indie, setting a goal of $40,000 on Kickstarter and winding up with a whopping $49,000 from his growing international fan base. “I just felt like it was the best move for me,” the singer says. “Disney was very supportive and I’m grateful for the help they gave me, but both they and I felt like their forte is in other styles of music – and I enjoyed the challenge and adventure of going out on my own for the first time.”
Pacheco got his start in 2006 when international superstar keyboardist and producer Yanni asked him to pen lyrics to some of his most famous instrumentals. Yanni met Pacheco after the singer auditioned for mega-pop producer Ric Wake (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez), who was helming the new album Yanni Voices. Pacheco recorded several new tunes on the collection and quickly gained a following as a guest performer on the “Yanni Voices” PBS Special (taped in Acapulco) and over 100 tour dates throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Yanni’s multi-faceted mentorship during these years included teaching Pacheco about various aspects of the music industry, the studio process, life on the road and how to capture the hearts of an audience. Drawing on these foundations, the singer became a budding sensation in his own right, signing with the Disney Pearl Series label to release his self-titled debut, touring the U.K. with British singer Katherine Jenkins and the National Symphony Orchestra, headlining tours in the U.S. and scoring his own PBS special.
His debut album was produced by Bologna, Italy-born producer Leo Z, a veteran of cinematic orchestrations who has worked similar studio magic for two greats of the genre some know as “popera,” Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. Leo is also one of four producers on Pacheco’s sophomore set. The others are Colin O’Malley, who wrote “Prendi I Miei Sogni” and co-wrote with Pacheco “Light Within”; William Joseph, who has worked with David Foster and helmed “Stare Con Te”; and Thomas Bergersen, who composed “Sonera” and “Light Within.”
“I know fans of classical crossover music love a good Cinderella story, which is one of the reasons why Susan Boyle and Paul Potts have been able to sell millions of albums,” says Pacheco. “I don’t have a Cinderella story to tell, but I’ve worked hard, made the most of the opportunities I have been given and have been blessed to make a living sharing the gift of music with so many people. I’ve been astounded how much demand there is for this style and the way people ‘eat it up’ when they hear it.
“When you think about it,” he adds, “there are a ton of pop stars and sensations but only a few stars in this classical crossover style of music (like Josh and Andrea) whose brilliance at it has led them to superstardom. My hope is that as I have more chances to create recordings and sing throughout the world, that I will be a part of that special phenomenon where music transcends cultural barriers and becomes a truly universal language. I always get a kick out of fans who say they don’t like classical music or opera, but they enjoy what I do.”
Even as Pacheco sings in languages he is still trying to master, he is fascinated by the way people embrace songs whose emotion emerges from beyond the literalness of lyrics they may not understand. “I think it’s comparable to the emotion we feel when we’re watching a movie and the score music swells up in the background, delivering an element of the story without lyrics,” he says. “I’ve learned that music is a language of its own and even when we don’t know exactly what the singer is saying, we feel the story being told in the way the song is interpreted. It reaches our hearts in a special way, and we all want to feel those deep emotions.”
Considering his affinity for and growing influence in the classical crossover world, fans are sometimes surprised to hear that Pacheco grew up loving pop and rock music as well. As a kid, while studying classical piano and violin, he loved singing along to Disney cartoons. While taking classical voice lessons in high school, he sang in choirs and performed in musicals – while also singing in a rock band. Pacheco credits his self-taught guitar abilities to the time he spent playing along listening to Pink Floyd and Dave Matthews.
Another notable quirk in his development is his assessment of the way his voice sounded when he first began those voice lessons. “I think I sounded like Kermit the Frog,” he laughs, “being a kid just starting out in this style, listening to Pavarotti and The Three Tenors and trying to imitate them while my voice was still maturing. Fortunately, I’ve made some progress over the years, and now without a doubt one of my favorite things to experience in life is to connect with people through music. When I’m up there on stage, all the walls, barriers and cultural differences are broken down and we’re all just sharing our love for the song. Feeling their genuine appreciation is all a part of these magical moments in time.”
The singer is looking forward to his performance on Valentine’s Day at Copley Hall in San Diego, where he has performed for the past two years with the San Diego Symphony. He will be performing with his acoustic band that includes Eric Riger, film score session veteran and world-renowned performer on the Uilleann pipes. The concert coincides with the February 14 release of Nathan Pacheco II.