Although Paolo Nutini always expected to follow in the one hundred year old tradition of working in the family fish and chip shop, the influence of his music loving and piano playing grandfather Giovanni (known as Jackie) proved irresistible and he decided to pursue a career in music. In 2003 while attending a homecoming concert by local musician David Sneddon, (the winner of the first season of the BBC TV talent show Fame Academy), it was announced that Sneddon had been delayed and the fearless fifteen-year-old Nutini jumped up on stage and sang. It was to be a defining moment. In the audience that night was Mercury Records employee Brendan Moon who soon became his manager and put him in touch with Jim Duguid, drummer with the Scottish band Speedway and the pair soon started writing material together. Outside of songwriting his introduction to the music business was the far from glamorous, with the job of being a roadie for Speedway and then working as a gopher in Park Lane Studios in Glasgow. Later after moving to London, Nutini built a live reputation in small clubs and at the age of eighteen (just) he signed to Atlantic Records and received the seal of approval from the label's founder, the legendary Ahmet Ertegun, who hailed the young Scot as the most promising young artist the label had signed in years. This coming from such a man was quite an accolade given the mass of talent that Ertegun had signed over the years (including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Ruth Brown).
Nutini's 2006 debut album These Streets was an immediate hit and was preceded by a free download of the title track and the official release of the single 'Last Request', which peaked at No 5 in the UK charts. Hitting the shops in July 2006 the album reached No 3 and went on to become a huge and multi-platinum international success with global sales in excess of two and a half million copies. A heavy touring schedule saw Nutini supporting the Rolling Stones and Paul Weller plus appearances at numerous festivals including V, Wireless, Oxygen, T In The Park, Austin City Limits, BBC Radio One's Big Weekend and the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. Helping consolidate the album's success it yielded further hits with the Top 20 hit 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' and the Top 30 'Rewind' and 'New Shoes'.
After spending much of the next two years touring and promoting the record the first signs of his second album came with the release of 'Candy' in May 2009 with Sunny Side Up following in June. The single broke into the Top 30 at No 19 while the long-player topped the UK charts where it went five times platinum and won the Best Album category at that years Ivor Novello Awards and while the subsequent 'Coming Up Easy' and '10/10' failed to chart 'Pencil Full Of Lead' reached No 17.
Despite his records only making a minor impact in the USA, Nutini's songs featured heavily on TV shows such as Scrubs, One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy and CSI: NY while a popular live performance on highly rated The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien followed almost exactly a year after his debut on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Nutini was also invited to record 'One World' for the all-star album Johnny Boy Would Love This: A Tribute To John Martyn.
Embarking on a mammoth tour which saw him on the road for almost two years Nutini performed at the Glastonbury Festival, made a return to the Montreux Festival and joined Duran Duran, Stereophonics and Snow Patrol for a successful appearance in Hyde Park at the opening ceremony concert of the 2012 London Olympics. Exhausted by touring and a split with his long-term girlfriend, Nutini returned to his home town and took a long break from making music only re-emerging in 2014 with one of the year's highlights; Caustic Love his third, best and most soul-soaked record to date, and despite the singles 'Better Man', 'Iron Sky' and 'Let Me Down Easy' only achieving minor chart success, 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' reached No 12 in the UK and became his highest charting single since his 2006 debut.
With steady sales and solid chart success Nutini has established himself as a gifted soul influenced vocalist with a wide octave range. With recognition from the music business he has won numerous industry awards including an Ivor Novello and an Irish Meteor Award for Sunny Side Up, an ASCAP Award for 'New Shoes', a UK Music Video Award for 'Candy' plus a Q Magazine Award, two UK Festival Awards, a Tartan Clef Award and a Scottish Fashion Award. His incredibly mature and versatile voice takes inspiration from and filters influences as diverse as Bob Marley, Portishead, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, John Martyn and Van Morrison to create something truly unique and there's little doubt that by beginning his career with a series of such high quality records he is destined to be one of the UK's most important and enduring artists.
Copyright © 2017 Omnibus Press