‘Hackney Diamonds,’ the Rolling Stones’ new album, has an Italian heart. The sound engineer who worked with the Stones on their first record with unreleased material in 18 years, due out on October 20, is in fact Marco Sonzini, born in 1984 in Piacenza, Italy, who moved to Los Angeles in 2009 for what was supposed to be a 10-month specialization course.
Marco has now become a reference point for Italian and international artists recording music in California. Under his fingers, the 12 tracks on the album, recorded at various locations around the world, including Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles and Metropolis Studios in London, have passed. His passion for music dates to childhood, stimulated by his family with the gift of a guitar at age 7.
Born in Piacenza, he graduated in classical guitar from the Piacenza Conservatory and graduated in Science and Technology of Music Communication in Milan. After graduation, he decided to deepen and perfect his training in the world epicenter of music production and in 2009 moved to Los Angeles on a 10-month visa to take an intensive audio engineer course at the Los Angeles Recording School.
Thanks to a meeting with producer-songwriter Saverio ‘Sage’ Principini, who ran the studio where Vasco Rossi held his recording sessions in Los Angeles, he began working at Speakeasy Studios, and his name began to circulate in the ‘ring that counts’ of Italian and international music. In 2017 he moved on to Hollywood’s A&M Studios, the studio where ‘We are the world’ was recorded and joined the list of ‘on call’ sound engineers, those that studios call when they need specialists.” On one of these ‘on-call performances,’ 2 years ago, he made another decisive encounter: It was 11 o’clock at night, he got a call asking if he was available immediately, went to the recording room, and found out the call was for Elton John, for what would become the duet with Stevie Wonder ‘Finish Line.’ That night he met producer Andrew Watt who called him to join his team working for most of the U.S. superstars. Many dreams have already been fulfilled, but Marco Sonzini still has one in the drawer, linked to his past as a guitarist: working with Eric Clapton, his idol since childhood.