Dj Nio

Multimedia Artist

Multimedia Artist



Nio is a Dj, Producer, Mc and Graphic Designer from Genova, Italy. He is a founding member of the rap group Zero Plastica and Artistic Director for Nomadic Wax, a Brooklyn based media company and indie label. 

His career spans more than 20 years, with performances across Italy, the United States, Cuba, Senegal, Germany, Mauritania, Holland, The Caribbean, Turkey and world wide collaborations.
He opened for major artists such as Shaggy, Dj Kool Herc, Krs One, Alborosie, George Clinton f. Parliament & Funkadelic, Mario Biondi and David Rodigan, to name a few.

He's been evolving his unique style thanks to his travels and thanks to the endless amount of artists he have met around the world. All these experiences drove Nio to elaborate his personal vision of Hip-Hop Culture and Music: a Universal Language that can go over all barriers and limits of nationality, religion and any kind of prejudice. To Nio, Hip-Hop is World Wide Language.

As a Dj he easily spins from Golden Age Rap to Reggae classics and Ska, Funk, Soul, R&B, House, Electro, Dub, Dubstep and more, according to the context he's called to perform in. 




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 BoxLuciano, 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 MoroccoCubaPortugalFrance, the United StatesGermany 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.



From 2007-2010, Dj Nio hosted a show on KEXP New York Radio 91.5 FM alongside Benny Beats a.k.a. Ben Herson of Nomadic Wax. The show -"Mo' Glo: Modern Global Music"- was a weekly mix show of hip hop and underground sounds from all over the world.



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.



When he was was a teenager, Nio was a graffiti artist, but after a bad episode with the police, he decided to evolve his passion for lettering and shapes into more formal graphic design. His works have been featured in many different countries.



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".



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".



"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. 



Along or with his group, Nio has been supporting and contributing to the cause of many NGOs and associations, doing benefit projects and events. Here's a brief list of some of them.