Nek (A singer with a poetic passion for life and love)
Occhi azzuro-mare e voce di velluto, Nek ha sempre cantato ed incantato fin da giovanissimo. Partito da Sassuolo e’ poi arrivato ai palchi europei e d’oltre mare. Con ben oltre otto milioni di copie vendute e’ ancora uno dei piu’ rispettati cantautori Italiani. Testi che parlano della vita di tutti i giorni e temi che toccano tutti noi hanno fatto di Nek una voce estremamente popolare nel mercato discografico Italiano ed internazionale..
The professional musical career of the singer, songwriter and musician, known as Nek, officially began in 1991 with the signing of his recording contract with the Fonit Cetra music label. His calling however was pre-determined long before. By the age of nine he showed a remarkable ability to master the guitar and the drums along with a keen awareness of music. Filippo Neviani was born in Sassuolo, in the province of Modena, located in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, on January 6th, 1972.
In 1986, by age fourteen he had already joined his first band called “I Winchester”. The group specialized in American country and folk music as they played covers of John Denver, Simon & Garfunkel and America. The group became very popular and in demand throughout the entire province over the next three years. Filippo left the group in 1989 to join another fledgling outfit called “White Lady”; serving as both their bassist and lead vocalist. At first, the band specialized in cover versions of the London-based, English rock band, “The Police”. However, over the course of the next two years, Filippo began writing a large amount of original compositions.
He left the group to pursue his solo career and made his first professional appearance at the 1991 Castrocaro Music Festival presenting the song “Io ti vorrei”. The finals were broadcast on the popular RAI Uno television network and his composition finished in second place earning him widespread exposure. He immediately signed a contract approving the release of three albums under the stage name of “Nek”.
His debut recording “Nek” (1992) was released shortly thereafter and was considered both a commercial and critical success. Despite his relative youth, the album contained songs that dealt with delicate subject matter in an honest and mature fashion. The first single “Amami” was an immediate hit and became a favorite on the radio. His second recording was entitled “In te” (1993) and contained the singles “Uomo con te” and the title track which he presented at his debut appearance at the Sanremo Music Festival that same year. The song finished in third place in the “Categoria Nuove Proposte” (Newcomer’s Category) and dealt with the difficult subject matter of abortion as he chose the pro-life position, which drew the ire of feminists and leftist political groups.
The next year, he received an award in Rome acknowledging him as “Miglior Cantante Giovane Italiano” (Best Young Italian Singer) and he completed his contract with Fonit Cetra by releasing his third recording, “Calore umano” (1994). The album yielded hit three singles; “Angeli nel ghetto”, “Cuori in tempesta” and the title track. Nek’s themes on social issues touched a nerve among his adoring fans and his appeal began to reach outside the borders of Italy throughout all of Europe.
Nek signed his second recording contract with the international entertainment giant Warner Music Italia in 1995 (with whom he has remained with since). After a brief period of inactivity, he returned to the studio and completed his fourth album “Lei, gli amici e tutto il resto” (1997) which sold over 600,000 units and certified multi-platinum. As was popular at the time, Filippo began to release concurrently, Spanish language versions of this and all future recordings to take advantage of the growing interest in Spanish and Latin-American markets where these recordings were aggressively promoted.
Until then, Nek had avoided any lengthy theatrical engagements; however the time was right to begin extensive touring in support of his releases and growing popularity. The single “Laura non c’é” was an international success as it was released not only in Italian and Spanish, but also in French and English. The song was also entered at the 1997 Sanremo Festival and finished in a respectable seventh place. Two more singles “Dimmi cos’é” and “Sei grande” garnered ample airtime on the airwaves. Nek’s last recording of the decade, “In due” (1998) was interestingly conceived and written while on tour the previous year and he amazingly completed it in twenty-eight days. The album spawned four more hit singles and elevated him to the level of global superstar. The international tour that would follow would be his first and would include stops in arenas and stadiums throughout Europe, including Canada, South America and the United States.
Filippo would welcome the new millennium with the platinum-selling release “La vita é (2000) and during a tour stop that year at the Kremlin in Russia, Nek’s single “La vita é” was honored with the “Miglior Brano Straniero” (Best Foreign Recording Award). Nek also participated later that year in the Eighth Annual Christmas Concert at The Vatican presenting the lovely ballad from the album entitled “Con la terra sotto di me”.
His seventh recording, “Le cose da difendere” (2002) was another best-seller yielding four more hit singles and featured the production talents of Alfredo Cerruti and Dado Parsini who were already overseeing the works of Italian Female Pop Vocalist, Laura Pausini. Nek released his first greatest hits compilation “The Best of Nek – L’anno Zero” (2003) selling over 250,000 units in Italy alone. While on tour the following year, he made an appearance at Claudio Baglioni’s “O’scià” Music Festival, held annually on the Mediterranean Island of Lampedusa. This event sought to raise awareness and funds regarding the plight of illegal immigration that is plaguing the economy and stability of the Italian peninsula. Nek’s last three recordings “Una parte di me” (2005), “Nella stanza 26” (2006) and “Un’altra direzione” (2009) all proudly display his masterful weaving of complex lyrical themes with easily accessible musical sonorities that touch both the heart and soul of his fans. In April 2009, Nek performed on the “Domani” recording that sought to raise awareness and funds for the victims of the Abruzzi earthquake.
He is now on tour in support of his most recent release “E da qui – Greatest Hits 1992-2010”. To date, his recordings have sold in excess of eight million copies. Filippo was married in 2006 to Patrizia Vacondio and together they had a daughter Beatrice Maria who was born in September of 2010. For more information you can visit his website at www.nekweb.com.
Photo courtesy of: www.lastfm.com