Dj Nio is an international Hip Hop artist from Genova, Italy. He’s actually living on a cruise ship around the Caribbean where he works as Open-Format DJ.
His career spans more than 20 years, with performances across Europe, the United States, Cuba and the Caribbean, Africa and Turkey and he opened for many famous artists such as Shaggy, Alborosie, George Clinton, DJ Kool Herc, Oddisee, Sa-Roc and many more.
Dj Nio is founder and MC and Producer of the Italian Rap group Zero Plastica, part of the American collective Nomadic Wax, as well as member of Turkish crew Beton Orman. He collaborated with dozens of MCs, Producers and Musicians from all around the globe.
Alone or with his group, Nio opened for every Italian hip hop and reggae group of note along with many well known international acts: Alborosie (Jamaica), Groove Armada (UK), Signmark (Finland), Busta Flex (France), George Clinton f. Parliament & Funkadelic, KRS One, Balkan Beat Box, Luciano, Nomadic Massive, Jean Grae, Oddisee and more. His group is the first Italian rap crew to ever perform in the Bronx, where Hip-Hop Culture was born, and the first Italian rap group to be invited by the Cuban government to perform at the International Hip-Hop Festival in the legendary Palacio de la Rumba in Havana.
Dj Nio collects Rap, Reggae, R&B, Dub, and Dubstep records in every country he visits, making a mixtape to document each journey. His "NioSiddharta's Travels" mix tapes are not simply a collection of mix tapes, but a full journey into the unique underground sounds through of each place, including Morocco, Cuba, Portugal, France, the United States, Germany and more. He is also a co-producer of the "Diaspora Mixtape Vol.2", probably one of the largest Hip-Hop projects ever, featuring more than 50 Mc's from all around the globe and caught the eye of National Geographic.
As a beatmaker, Dj Nio has provided beats for dozens of international artists all over the world. He has collaborated with grammy-nominated artist Kokayi, Senegal's top political rappers Keur Gui, Cuba's LGBT queens Krudas Cubensi, Syrian-American activist Omar Offendum, Trinidad-Tobago's reggae vet Metric Man, Italian funk soul brother #1 Bobby Soul, multi-lingual Mc Lou Piensa of Nomadic Massive and Ceschi of Fake Four Inc. and heavyweight female MC Invincible, to name a few.
Whether on the audio end or with graphic design and visuals, Nio contributed to Hip-Hop documentaries in Zimbabwe ("Magamba Network", "Shoko Festival", "Zim Alliance"), Haiti ("Democracy in Haiti"), Senegal ("#Dc2Dk"), Cuba ("Afro Rap Cubano"), Italy ("Nel Ritmo di Allah", "R.A.W. Rap Lab", "AfrItalian"), as well as skateboard flicks (Aneema). He has contributed to movie soundtracks as well "Fil Janna" and "Writers - Il Film".
In 2007, Nio produced the first Hip-Hop workshop to be conducted in his own city, Genova. The workshop project was geared towards at-risk youth in Genova, providing them with a chance to learn how to rap, scratch, b-boy and graffiti art. Since then, he has continued his workshops all over the world, including workshops in the US and in Mauritania. In 2013, he brought his workshop series back to Italy once more, this time working with Albanian and Moroccan in local juvenile detention centers. During this project, he teamed up with two film-makers to document the whole project, resulting in the short documentary entitled "R.A.W. Rap Lab - Escaping through Hip-Hop".
"Long before Occupy Wall Street, Italian rappers Zero Plastica gave voice to the plight of the 99% in Italy where the messed up economy, political chicanery, organized crime, lack of opportunity and overwhelming odds stacked against regular people. The Genoan rappers have been penning Public Enemy-style lyrics for a decade". - MTV
Founded by Dj/MC Nio and MC Lure in 2001, the group is one of the most prolific and internationally known rap groups coming out of Italy. They have a long history of rapping about political and social issues, often addressing the relationship between the mafia and the government, corruption and the Vatican, the thousands of African immigrants dying in the Mediterranean sea while trying to reach Italian coasts, and the everyday struggles from workers rights to unemployment. All in all, the group is one of the few in Italy to have the courage to talk about all the subjects commonly ignored by Italian national media. Through their courage and conviction, Zero Plastica has been noticed by MTV, who produced an episode of a documentary series aired on Italian television. They have also received attention from other news sources like the BBC, Rolling Stone, Granma (the Cuban newspaper founded by Fidel Castro) as well as Berklee University, who invited the group to guest speak about rap and freedom of speech in Italy.