This week’s conversation is with Stephan Moccio, a producer, composer, recording artist and musician behind some of music’s most massive, inescapable global hits.

In 2013, Stephan co-penned the quintuple-platinum song “Wrecking Ball” with Miley Cyrus.

Following the song’s success, Stephan quickly became one of the industry’s most sought-after and in-demand producers and songwriters, going on to co-write and co-produce the two end credit songs for the film Fifty Shades of Grey: the quintuple-platinum “Earned It” with The Weeknd and “I Know You” with Skylar Grey.

Stephan also co-wrote the Celine Dion come back hit “A New Day Has Come” and produced/co-wrote the quintuple-platinum song “I Believe” for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

I really enjoy getting a chance to speak with artists on Finding Mastery because there is this tension that exists between art and commerce, and it’s something I want to continue exploring.

Art is subjective – yet commerce is not.

We live in an era where data driven decisions have become the norm.

For some lines of business this can be great, but it also can limit creativity and stifle innovation.

Many of us experience these same pressures – whether you work in the corporate world, entertainment, or sport.

So while Stephan’s craft is music, I really think this applies to all of us.

In Stephan’s case – his conundrum is centered on the type of music he chooses to make. Make music he know will sell? That the labels will love? Or music that he connects with? Music that touches his heart.

That’s at the center of this conversation – Stephan shares how he’s gone about navigating that tension between selling out and making music true to him, why he’s been willing to take risks, and how’s he gone about adjusting as the music industry has rapidly evolved.

Authenticity. Risk. Adjusting.

Three components that I think are at the foundation of mastery.

“No one’s going to give you what you want better than yourself so you have to go get it.”

In This Episode:

  • Moving from home (Toronto) to LA to take advantage of the opportunities in front of him
  • Producing Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and how that changed his life
  • His struggle with finding balance between work and family
  • How he thinks about success
  • The responsibility of an entertainer
  • Why he believes having amazing parents allowed him to be so good at what he does
  • The importance of discipline when it comes to becoming great at something
  • How music have become “dumbified” over the last 50 years
  • The issue with technology when it comes to music
  • What he covets: the space to create and hear himself think
  • His struggle with art vs. commerce… when is it selling out?
  • Why he’s willing to take big risks
  • The way compensation has changed in the music industry throughout the years
  • His outlook on failure


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS




“My mom always taught me, ‘Someone’s got to be great in the world. Why can’t it be you?’ That’s just such logic, it just makes so much sense to me.”

“If someone’s got to be the best at something, why can’t it be you? As long as you work your ass off and have discipline. The discipline I learned as a musician I’ve applied throughout my entire life. I’ve been practicing piano since I was 3 years old.”         

“Great artists are psychologists as well. We are conductors trying to guide emotion to the right place.”

“You might as well do what you love, because if you don’t, somebody else is going to tell you what your priorities are. You might as well make your own priorities in life.”

“There’s just the right balance of finding a piece of art that touches the world while feeling like you haven’t sold out.”

“If you want to be in the one percenters of the world, you have to do those things that are in the one percent as well. Meaning take those colossal risks.”

“It all comes down to being truthful with yourself and people around you.“

“I’m in a profession that deals with human emotion, so if I don’t understand myself, then I can’t sell my art. But if I do understand myself, then it will move everybody else.”


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Composer |

Stephan Moccio is a Grammy and Academy Award-nominated composer, producer, pianist, arranger, conductor and recording artist. He co-wrote and co-produced the two end credit songs for Fifty Shades of Grey and its soundtrack: "Earned It" and "I Know You".