1. Who are your greatest musical influences?
Without a doubt, Pavarotti and Bocelli have influenced me more with singing than anyone else.
To this day, I have no idea how Pavarotti hit the high notes like he did. It’s unbelievable. I still learn so much as I listen to his recordings. And I have loved the style of Andrea Bocelli—how he has perfectly mixed the strength of classical music with the accessibility of pop music. Because of his influence, I’ve pursued this similar genre and I absolutely love it.
2. What is your favorite venue to perform in?
That’s a tricky question to answer because there are so many amazing venues, but a couple venues that I have loved performing in—and that I would love to perform in again—are Royal Albert Hall in London and the Conference Center in SLC.
I performed in Royal Albert Hall with Katherine Jenkins on her Christmas tour and it was an unbelievable experience. There was an 80-piece symphony, a choir of 300 people, a children’s choir in addition to that, and the Welsh Guard playing brass. Singing with that ensemble behind you for a sold-out audience and then hearing the audience sing along to some of the Christmas carols—it was an experience I will never forget.
Singing in the Conference Center with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was just as incredible. To sing for about 20,000 people and to feel like I was receiving a big bear hug by the Choir singing around me—I could barely keep it together and not bawl my eyes out!
3. How did you pick the theme and songs for your latest album, Higher?
One of my favorite scriptures is in Isaiah 55 where we learn that the Lord’s thoughts and the Lord’s ways are higher than ours as human beings and that it is through the Lord’s words that we are lifted higher and that we are able to have our hearts changed.
Most of the songs from this album either quote scripture or are based on themes found in scripture. My hope is that the words and music can have an uplifting influence in people’s lives, lift them higher, and help them feel a little closer to heaven.
4. How did you feel when you heard Higher topped several Billboard charts?
I couldn’t believe it. I’m a dreamer and dream big, but I was taken back when I realized the album really was at number one. I felt, and I still feel, incredibly grateful. It’s been a wonderful experience working with Shadow Mountain Records and the entire team at Deseret Book. They all made this possible.
5. Which language do you enjoy singing in the most? Why?
I’m definitely going to have to go with Italian! There’s something so musical about that language, especially in the genre of music that I sing. On a vocal level, it’s so much easier to sing in. It just flows.
6. What's your favorite hymn? Primary song?
It kind of changes every week! But one of my favorite hymns is "In Humility, Our Savior." There’s something in the hymn that I feel illustrates a person’s attitude of reaching to heaven through prayer and humility. And my favorite Primary song is “'Give,' Said the Little Stream." My dad used to sing it to me in Portuguese while I was growing up. And it happened to be one of the songs that kept popping into my head during the first few weeks of being a missionary in Brazil when I felt quite small and defeated. But I tried to give what I could and do the small amounts that I was able to do and I found so much happiness in the process.
7. Which artist do you dream of one day performing with?
I would love to perform with Adele and Eminem! As we all know, Adele has some serious pipes and sings with so much emotion. I’d love to be able to share the stage with her one day.
And Eminem, in my opinion, is one of the most gifted lyricists I’ve come across. Even though a lot of what he does is a little “heavy” and not very family friendly, he’s got a gift for capturing emotion and allowing that to be felt through his art. I’d love to do a duet with him similar to what he did with Rihanna in 2010, where he covers the verses and then I come in with a soaring melody in the chorus.
8. How do you overcome challenges of balancing family and your career?
It’s always a challenge, especially during the times when I have to be on the road. But I try to make up for “lost time” when I am home and dedicate most of that time to just being with family and letting them know that they’re #1 to me.
9. What hobbies do you have outside of music?
Watching good movies and TV series! My wife, Katie, and I love to find a good series on TV and binge watch on Netflix of Amazon when I’m not on the road. Poldark and The Time in Between have been some of our recent favorites.
10. What's your favorite part of being a father?
The fulfillment that comes from being a dad. I discovered a whole new dimension of my heart when we had Emerson and then yet another dimension when we had Crawford. To love and be loved—it’s the best thing in the world.
11. What's something not a lot of people know about you?
I love to stuff myself with good food before I sing! I guess I’m a little weird that way. Most singers don’t like to eat anything for a few hours before a performance. But it calms my nerves and helps me have a full stomach to give support for the high notes!
12. You've traveled and performed with talented artists around the world. What missionary opportunities have come because of this?
Well, it’s neat how music opens doors and opens hearts. I’d say the neatest thing I’ve experienced has simply been to feel like a spirit friendship and understanding has been created with those of differing beliefs.
13. What's the best advice you ever received?
Keep it simple, Stupid!
Lead image courtesy of Nathan Pacheco.
Award-winning tenor Nathan Pacheco has toured the world featured alongside world-class artists such as Yanni, Katherine Jenkins, and Placido Domingo. In all of his travels across South America, through Europe and Asia, and across America, Nathan often includes spiritually rooted and uplifting songs in his repertoire. Higher is a collection of his favorite songs that connect with those spiritual moments from his performances across the world. These songs take the listener on a beautiful journey with classic hymns such as "Be Thou My Vision," soaring Italian epics like "Nella Fantasia," and modern classics such as "Forever," by Kari Jobe. Available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.