Italo-Scottish crooner Paolo Nutini was raised on chips and deep fried Mars bars, but listening to his swooning torch songs you’d never guess it.
Paolo Nutini, despite the Italian name, is as Scottish as bagpipes and fried Mars bars.
Which are incidentally a bit of a specialty in the Paisley chip shop his family have run for four generations.
“We don’t have it on our menu,” explains the 19-year-old, “but if someone comes in and asks for it... I’ve tried it, I think it’s fucking amazing. Imagine a crispy melting hot chocolate bar.”
Deep-fried chocolate must have been one of the things Nutini missed when he left for London in order to record his debut album. He still prefers home to the big city, and admits to feeling scared when he moved there, something the title track from his debut These Streets touches on.
“I just hated it. Moving there was the last thing I wanted to do,” he says, but with his career taking off, he must now be glad he did.
Perhaps it’s his nature, or perhaps because his exposure to the media is still fairly limited, but Nutini’s a refreshingly honest interviewee. Take for example his reaction to being told that he was in for a hard slog if he wants to break America.
“I just looked at him and said, ‘Is that supposed to be an incentive?’ If life’s shit, I’m not going to deliver, that’s it. The moment you look at your voice being the only thing you’ve got, your life dependency, that’s too much pressure to be put on something as natural as singing.”
He worked with a number of producers on the album, including Rollo from Faithless and Guy Chambers, most famous for working with Robbie Williams and James Blunt. I ask Paolo about working with Chambers, having heard they didn’t get on well.
“It was like working with a fucking head teacher,” he vents. “It was disgraceful... I don’t think he had it set in his mind that this was a co-writing session. This was me maybe singing a few of his ideas. I wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as I could.”
Being a handsome young chap, it’s not unimaginable that the record company might try and market Paolo to the teenyboppers. They’ve already asked some favours of him in order to promote the album, and he’s not impressed. “There’s some stuff you don’t find out about until perhaps it’s too late to change it, and that is when it gets really annoying. I’m not going to get gunged on SM:TV. The man that gunges me is the man I kill.”
Even Noel Edmonds?
“No,” he laughs, “that’d be alright.”
Given the maturity of his voice and some of his lyrics, it’s easy to forget that Nutini is barely out of school. But every so often that youthful passion slips out, like when he discusses the idea of record company executives telling him to do something he doesn’t like.
“Fuck the fact that it’s a business. You’re telling me to do something I don’t want to do. You’re not my dad or my mum. If anybody starts treating me like a kid...” Paolo trails off, but he’s already made his point. You just wonder how many times he'll need to make it in the future.
His albums to date have gone ten times platinum, and rising – making Paolo Nutini one of the biggest new stars of the past decade. A proud Scotsman, he also has a close affinity with Irish audiences. Which is why he is looking forward to his upcoming show in Marlay Park – for which he chose the bill himself. Here he talks Scottish independence, dope, songwriting – and lost more besides...Read More
We go mad for the upcoming Marlay Park gigs, interviewing the acts, and also meet the force of nature that is Florence Welch...Read More
Dublin's outdoor spaces are earning their keep this summer with Marlay Park adding Paolo Nutini, Imelda May, Alabama Shakes and former Supergrass man Gaz Coombes to its line-up.Read More
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Paolo Nutini at the 3Arena, November 3rd, 2014Read More
He performed the classic Buzzcocks tune live BBC Radio 1.Read More
The track featured on his 2014 hit album Caustic Love.Read More
Recent Hot Press cover star Paolo Nutini has announced his biggest Irish shows to date. They take place on November 2 in the Belfast Odyssey and the following night in the Dublin 02.Read More
The recent Hot Press cover star debuts at the top of the Irish Album Chart.Read More
With a headline appearance at Electric Picnic just confirmed, hazel-eyed soulboy Paolo Nutini is about to jump back into the pop frontline. He discusses his new album, a troubled contemplation on the meaning of true love, and reveals that, despite rumours to the contrary, he's merrily single.Read More
Honeyvoiced Scot makes soulful comebackRead More
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The current Hot Press cover star's new album is available to pre-order right now.Read More
In our latest issue's cover piece, the returning artist talks about his ever-lowering tolerance for naysayers.Read More
Paolo Nutini on getting "adventurous", Tinie Tempah on hanging with Prince William and Brangelina, plus, in the world of film, interviews with the likes of Dylan Moran and Tinie Tempah.Read More
Will hit the Marquee in JulyRead More
‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ hits the internet tele waves.Read More
The Scottish heartthrob offers up a tune from his forthcoming third album.Read More
Paolo Nutini returns to live duty on March 20 when he plays the Dublin Olympia – a gig which is guaranteed to sell-out in nanoseconds.Read More
Hear 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' now.Read More
Caustic Love, partially recorded in Ireland, is out in April.Read More
Despite selling four million albums and being drooled over by a goodly part of the world’s female population, Paolo Nutini remains one of the most affable, down-to-earth stars around. Ahead of his headline show at this year’s Oxegen Festival, Celina Murphy catches up with the Scottish heartthrob to talk awards, heroes, illegal downloading, Red Bull Jagerbombs – and his new musical direction.Read More
Hot Press cover star opens up about his influences, citing the Kildare folk legend among them and notes the importance of Irish music to his careerRead More
The line-up is starting to look seriously tasty!Read More
Arthur's Day celebrations at the Olympia Theatre, DublinRead More
Belsonic, Custom House Square, BelfastRead More
Following one of the best sing along performances on Oxegen's main stage at the weekend, this ever charming Scot has confirmed two dates in Castlebar and Killarney this September.Read More
An extraordinary talent he may be, but Paolo Nutini is one of the most unassuming and likeable stars to have emerged in aeons. He talks about his Italian heritage, the influence of Damien Rice, marijuana as a source of inspiration and why he avoids blogging like the plague.Read More
Hot Press cover star Paolo Nutini talks to us from behind the scenes of our exclusive photo shoot with Mark Nixon!Read More
It's all part of a major Hot Press interview, out on Thursday January 29.Read More
Fans get up close and personal with the Scottish chart-topper, who stayed later than intended due to the huge crowd!Read More
In what was undoubtedly the longest queue the Signing Tent has seen all weekend, girls went crazy for Mr. Nutini.Read More
The Hot Press Singing Tent at Oxegen will host the likes of Paolo Nutini (pictured), Razorlight, The Virgins, Fun Lovin' Criminals, The Blizzards and more...Read More
He will be playing three shows in Dublin and Belfast later this year.Read More
Catch him in Dublin and BelfastRead More
The Scottish singer-songwriter is doling out an early Christmas present to his underage fans.Read More
Nutini reckons his live performances are ‘a more raw and raucous affair’ than his recordings, but this isn’t something which comes across here.Read More