Interview: Paolo Nutini on new album, Caustic Love

Interview: Paolo Nutini

The singer-songwriter is set to play a slew of summer festival dates, including T in the Park and V Festival

If you have turned on a radio at any point in the past month or so, you may be aware that Paisley pop prodigy Paolo Nutini is back in the game with new single ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ after an absence of five years – say three, if you take time off for honouring the extensive touring commitments which followed the release of his highly successful Sunny Side Up album. (You can listen to the new single, as well as Nutini's amazing 'Iron Sky' live session, below.)

A lot can change in five years, especially five years slap bang in the middle of your 20s. Nutini, who has always had an ambivalent attitude to fame, spent the time enjoying life’s simple pleasures – that’s walking, whittling and whisky, just so’s you know – as well as building up around 100 new songs, a dozen of which have made it on to his forthcoming third album, Caustic Love, a persuasive slowburning soulful mood piece which showcases his ongoing maturation as a singer and a songwriter.

With high-profile appearances at T in the Park and Radio 1’s Big Weekend already lined up, his ubiquity over the summer months seems assured. The List caught up with him before life gets hectic again to sample the reflections of an old soul…

Paolo on...

…bumps in the road
'There’s been things that have happened over the last couple of years that have been alien to my blissfully ignorant younger self, situations within my family that you just never thought you were going to deal with, conversations you never thought you were going to have, hurdles that you never saw coming that weren’t part of your plan when you were 18 and working out how you were going to navigate yourself to 30 if you could.'

… age being nothing but a number
'I’ve met such amazing people in their 40s, in their 60s, 70s and they completely bely their age on paper. Maybe it’s the way that I do music, but I was never in a cool indie band or hung out with all the cool arty kids when I came to London. My best mates when I was 19 were all in their 30s. I used to go to all their house parties, and they were crazier than the guys who were 17, 18. They were so much more liberated than the people who were apparently shackle-free.'

…the vagaries of his muse
'When you open your mind up and you go into a creative state, you can’t just switch if off. When you have an idea, a creative impulse and then you ignore it, it can keep you up when you just want to go to your bed – which is why it’s great to have voice recorders on your phone!'

… being a night owl
'It’s amazing the shit I set out to do at three in the morning. We did some shows in Sweden and everyone would go back to the hotel and disappear into their own little caves and I would go for a stroll around the city, headphones in. You just see all this stuff when you look up, when you’re not looking at your phone or checking out some girl or guy or looking at some nutjob that’s shouting in the street. Glasgow’s good for that, Paris is great too and London when it’s not all clogged up looks amazing. I am definitely a night person.'

Paolo Nutini plays King Tut’s, Glasgow, Fri 28 Mar and Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 29 Mar. He returns in May to play Radio 1's Big Weekend, Glasgow, Sun 25 May and the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 27 May. Caustic Love is released on Mon 14 Apr, with his first single ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ out on Sun 3 Mar.

Paolo Nutini - Iron Sky [Abbey Road Live Session]

Paolo Nutini - Scream (Funk My Life Up) [Official Audio]

T in the Park

From relatively humble beginnings, T in the Park has become the acknowledged behemoth of the Scottish festival scene and one of the UK's largest events. In 2015 the festival moved from its longstanding Balado location to the new grounds of Strathallan Castle in Perthshire. Bands appearing in 2016 include The Stone Roses…

Paolo Nutini

The Ivor Novello Award-winning Paisley pop singer-songwriter. Paolo Nutini's first album These Streets, which included hits 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' and 'New Shoes', was released in 2006 and peaked at number three in the UK chart. In his early days Nutini supported The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse and KT Tunstall and has…

Radio 1's Big Weekend

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend festival plays host to some of the biggest names in pop and rock.

V Festival

Annual two-day music festival held simultaneously at two venues, with the same bill. For 2017, Pink and Jay Z headline, as well as performances from Craig David, Annie Mac, Sean Paul, Steve Aoki, Chase and Status and many more.

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