Born and raised in Paisley, Scotland, Paolo Nutini is a 19-year-old singer/songwriter blessed with a soulful, passionate voice and the natural gift of being able to tell a story in a song. Like many truly inspired singer/songwriters before him, Nutini absorbed classic soul artists from both sides of the Atlantic and channeled their influence into something original, captivating and dynamic.
Despite his Italian name, the Nutini family has lived in Scotland for at least four generations. Paolo's musical education began with his late grandfather, who introduced him to Scottish folk songs as well as a wide range of other styles. "He was a big music lover, my Nonno," Nutini says. "He loved boogie woogie piano, he adored opera, and it was he who really encouraged me to sing. He always wanted somebody in the family to make music their living. He's not around to see it, unfortunately, but I'm doing just what he wanted. I'm doing it in his honor."
Paolo's exposure to classic R&B stars like the Drifters and Ray Charles came via his dad and aunt's record collection, while his own post-adolescent explorations brought him to the work of such troubadours as John Martyn and Van Morrison. Nutini first started singing publicly in his school choir, and though the choirs choice of songs were hardly his favorites, one teacher quickly spotted his prodigious talent and guided the young singer through a more soulful repertoire.
A truly charismatic live performer, Nutini has supported such superstars as Paul Weller and the Rolling Stones in addition to making sensational TV appearances on Top of the Pops and Later with Jools Holland. In May 2006, Paolo appeared at the New York Pops Birthday Gala at Carnegie Hall at the personal request of the evening's honoree, the late Atlantic Records Founding Chairman Ahmet Ertegun. In July, Nutini brought the house down during a special tribute to Ertegun and Atlantic Records at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The only new artist on the bill, Nutini shared the stage with such icons as Solomon Burke, Robert Plant, and Kid Rock. One of Paolo's heroes, soul legend Ben E. King was so impressed that he invited him on stage to sing with him, an amazing moment for the young singer.