The Big Interview: Home Is Where Paolo's Art Is; Growing Up in Scotland Provided the Inspiration for Rising Star Nutini Paisley's Paolo Nutini Reveals His Starting Point in the Music Business - Writing Lyrics about an Old Firm Game at the Age of 11

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), September 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

The Big Interview: Home Is Where Paolo's Art Is; Growing Up in Scotland Provided the Inspiration for Rising Star Nutini Paisley's Paolo Nutini Reveals His Starting Point in the Music Business - Writing Lyrics about an Old Firm Game at the Age of 11


Byline: BY PAUL ENGLISH

He's written hit songs about being homesick for Paisley, being dumped by an older woman and a request for one last hurrah with a love he was set to lose.

But Scots singing sensation Paolo Nutini has revealed how he was first inspired to write lyrics after an Old Firm thrashing.

The 19-year-old - whose album These Streets has been the surprise hit of the summer - has revealed how his first published lyrics were penned while listening to commentary of a Celtic v R angers game in a supermarket car park as his mum went for the messages.

Paolo is sipping champagne backstage at the V Festival, having granted the Record's Saturday! magazine exclusive access to shadow him at the bash in Chelmsford, Essex.

But as he comes down from the high of a sensational gig the emotionally-literate teen's thoughts are drifting closer to home.

He says: "I first found myself writing wee things when I was a lot younger. In fact, the first ever thing I got published was a wee poem I wrote about C eltic beating Rangers 5-1 when Jozef Venglos was the manager.

"I was sitting in the car outside ASDA. I was drawing out the game as it happened from what I could hear on the radio, and writing wee lyrics down."

The results were published in Celtic's official magazine.

"It's really nothing to do with being a Celtic or Rangers fan," says Paolo, whose ambition remains to play at Celtic Park.

He was just 11 years old then. Eight years later, he's writing about falling in and out of love and missing his home in Renfrewshire.

Fresh from his storming performance at the Virgin Mobile's Union Tent - where stewards had to turn hordes of eager fans away from the packed arena - Paolo's trying to describe how it feels to do what he's just done.

"I'd heard there were a lot of people out there, and I had one look in the tent," he says, smiling and shaking his head to show he still can't believe it. "But when you're waiting outside you don't really know what's going on.

"It's a good feeling but there's a lot of promotion. A lot of work goes into doing this sort of thing - sitting around, answering questions from strangers, the same questions. It can be a bit mad.

"But when people are showing up for a gig, that's amazing. Today is the reality of the situation. And it's very, very special."

So, for any other 19-year-olds wondering what it feels like to be playing the same festival as giants like Paul Weller and Radiohead, you'll just have to use your imagination.

"I can't describe it," says Paolo, who releases new single Jenny Don't Be Hasty on Monday. "You know when something great happens, something really special, something you never really expected to happen? That becomes a special day.

"It's an adrenaline rush more than anything."

No kidding. Paolo's performance - days after a support slot with the Rolling Stones - had the tent swaying. Girls crammed along the crush barrier, hopelessly flirting with the young man on stage singing with a voice somewhere between Terence Trent D'Arby and Adam Levine from Maroon 5.

From our vantage point offstage left, you can see the crowd warm to his songs, despite only two of them having been released as singles - These Streets, and only one which could be regarded as a bona fide hit, Last Request.

It's all over in just 25 minutes. Paolo and his band exchange adrenaline-fulled embraces as we follow them off-stage.

If this is what this boy is capable of after 20 minutes, then where'll he be after five years? He was discovered purely by fluke after winning an ad-hoc singing competition hastily arranged by a Clyde One DJ filling in for the late arrival of then local hero David Sneddon in Paisley.

Playing in his school uniform, Paolo was spotted by talent scouts. Since then he's been hailed by Ahmet Ertegun, the man who signed soul legends Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. …

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