As the birthplace of Opera, music has long been a salient part of Italian culture. Music is not only a cultural marker of Italian national and ethnic identity, but also an important part of Italian society and politics. Today, Italy is a key player in the music industry and is home to a wide array of artists across a myriad of genres — from classical music to modern pop.
In our series ‘5 Artists You Should Know,’ we introduce you to local talent from regions all over the world who are dominating their local territory. We’re excited to tell you more about these five rising artists in Italy: Ludwig, Mattak, Missey, NASKA, Nu Genea.
Born and raised in Rome, Ludwig developed a passion for electronic music at a young age and began his music career in the local scene — playing in the hottest clubs as an opener for bigger artists. His big break came in 2018, when in addition to his beat-making projects for other artists, he released his first single “Un po’ de que.” The single was an instant success — with over 13 million streams, it became a viral hit that helped Ludwig build a dedicated fan base. This was followed by the release of “Domani ci passa” in 2019 which became Ludwig’s first-ever certified Platinum single by FIMI in 2020. Amassing over 53 million streams on Spotify alone, the single solidified Ludwig’s place in the Italian pop scene and brought Ludwig to the forefront of Italy’s rising artists. With multiple sold-out shows in popular venues across Italy and Europe, Ludwig is not one to be missed!
Swiss-Italian rapper Mattia Falcone, aka “Mattak”, is well-known for his reputation as the most influential current rapper in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Heavily inspired by the rap music of Eminem, Ludacris, and Fabri Fibra, Mattak began freestyling and improvising rhymes with friends at the young age of 15. Beginning his music career in 2011 as one half of the duo Poche Spanne alongside rapper Funky Nano, the duo released their highly successful mixtape Spanna- Ti in 2013, establishing a name for themselves in the Swiss and Italian rap scene. In 2014, Mattak launched his solo career with his feature on Machete Mixtape, Vol. 3 after winning the online contest “Join The Crew” launched by the Italian label Machete. This was immediately followed by his win in “Back to The Skillz”, one of the most well-known freestyle rap contests in Ticino, in 2015. Following collaborations with some of the most prominent figures of Italian hip hop, such as: Inoki, Kiave, Machete crew, E-Green, and Terron Fabio (Sud Sound System) amongst others, Mattak released his first single “Woah” in 2018 which instantly became a viral it. In 2021, he released his 14-track debut album Riproduzione Vietata, amassing millions of streams both locally and internationally. With over a million streams on the track “L’anima giusta” alone, Mattak is definitely one of Italy’s most popular rising artists to look out for!
Milan-based pop artist Francesca Sevi, better known by her stage name Missey, is one of Italy’s newest rising artists. Missey first rose to the spotlight in 2019, with the release of her singles “Kaldera” and “Oslo.” In 2020, she released her debut EP Prima parte del celeste, which garnered her a significant fanbase. In July of this year, she released her highly anticipated second EP FUTURO3, which reached 280,000 plays on Spotify alone upon its release. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the most fascinating and original of Italian R&B”, Missey is also among Rolling Stone’s list of the 22 emerging artists of 2022. With her brand new single “Balaclava” (a collaboration with Catalan artist Julieta) gaining worldwide attention, Missey is on the rise and not one to miss in Italy’s growing music industry.
Born in 1997, Diego Caterbetti, better known as NASKA, grew up listening to and idolizing 90s/early 2000s pop-punk bands such as Blink-182, Sum 41, and Simple Plan. Establishing himself as one of the most followed Twitch streamers in Italy (averaging 5K viewers per livestream), NASKA kicked off his career before his live streams on Twitch helped him build a loyal and dedicated fanbase. In 2017, he released his first single “X SEASON” which amassed over a million streams worldwide. Earlier this year, he released his highly anticipated debut album REBEL – a 10-track vibrant and upbeat album that brought pop-punk back to the mainstream. Debuting at #22 on the Italian Top 100 Albums Chart and staying for 9 consecutive weeks, it is no surprise that he is one of Italy’s biggest rising stars. In September, he released the deluxe version of REBEL, with two new tracks and two unplugged versions – peaking at #4 on the Apple Music album charts and securing his spot as one of Italy’s undeniable phenomena.
Composed of musicians and producers / DJs Massimo Di Lena and Lucio Aquilina, Nu Genea pay homage to their hometown and to the Mediterranean culture by artfully combining a collection of acoustic instruments, electronics, synthesizers, and voices. The group first gained popularity after the success of their first album, The Tony Allen Experiments, a collaboration with Tony Allen (original drummer of Fela Kuti). In 2018, they released their second album Nuova Napoli with their own label NG Records. The album was a smashing success — highly appreciated by specialized critics and hitting the market as one of the best-selling vinyls in 2019 according to the Discogs platform: #2 in the global market, #1 in Italy, and #2 in France. In May of this year, Nu Genea released their third album Bar Mediterraneo for NG Records/Carosello Records, amassing millions of streams worldwide. Definitely not one to miss, Nu Genea continue to grow in popularity as their music continues to explore uncharted territories — scouting the music from the past and elaborating it in an original groovy equation fully pervaded by disco, funk, boogie, electronic, dub, folk, and much more.