Roberto Festari (a.k.a. Nick Festari) started to study piano at 9 years old. When he was 16, he became one of the organists of his parish. It was there that he took his first steps accompanying a talented choir during the liturgical celebrations and performances. In 1987 Nick Festari started to cooperate with Claudio Accatino and Federico Rimonti who began to work with the well-known dance producer Mark Farina. Late on Claudio and Federico started their own label, “HI-NRG ATTACK”, where Festari was involved in writing almost 800 songs in about 20 years, also arranging and often singing these tracks behind many aliases, with his own particular style, achieving great success with Japanese fans and almost everywhere Eurobeat and Italo-Dance music was appreciated.
In the summer of 2013 Nick decided to take the plunge into a solo career and left the Eurobeat and Dance scene, as well as HI-NRG ATTACK, which, up until that point, had provided him with satisfaction and professional skills. Nick Festari has now dived into pop-rock music, trying to reach for a totally new audience.
It’s rare for me to like an album the first time I hear it. I’ve always found comfort in familiarity; usually new songs have to “grow” on me. But it was love at first listen for “This is me... Slower and Faster”, Nick Festari’s brand new 6-track EP. It’s the kind of music you can listen to with your eyes closed and see the all kinds of imaginary pictures in your head; the kind of music you blast with the car’s windows rolled down; the kind you sing along to with the enthusiasm of a fevered tent-revival disciple. “This is me... Slower and Faster”, gives you chills from its first notes, which open with the upbeat You Wanna Make Me Fly (I Know You Belong To A Dream).
I saw a certain spark of potential when I read Nicks previous credits but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tuned into “This is me... Slower and Faster”, without any high expectations; what a monumental and rewarding surprise it was when I found out how much Nick had refined his sound and matured his songwriting after 30 years! I think the biggest change is that Nick’s singing has not only improved in skill but also in method. His voice is dynamic and emotional, and anytime there is a screaming element, it is surgically placed and serves the song instead of being there for no apparent reason.
The songs on the album are of an extremely high and consistent quality. Every song is melodic and enjoyable and integral to the EP – there are no “fillers” that beg to be skipped. The songs have a vast, epic quality and even old-school approach to them that makes Nick Festari unusually powerful compared to a lot of other “modern” pop- rock bands.
Music is subjective; not everyone is going to like everything. But Nick Festari’s is the real deal, just listen to the string orchestration and vocal harmonies on Wings Of An Angel to appreciate the musicality of the artist. The Song I Wrote For You and There Will Be No Prize are not your typical pop-rock songs, but have almost Techno or Eurobeat, electronic mixes built-in, that will put your spirits in a wonderful zone. You’ll love driving through the city late at night, listening to these at full volume!
Musically, I have to talk about Don’t Throw The Dice with it’s beautiful guitars, drums and stupefying vocal harmonies, as well as the piano driven ballad, Don’t Slam The Radio, which is probably my personal favorite on the Ep. Over and above being a great performer, Nick proves himself to be a superbly scrupulous musical arranger on these songs. Beautiful, uplifting chord progressions, luscious harmonies and ear-catching melodies are ever present here.
If you’re already a fan of Nick Festari, then you know that this album is much more ‘wicked’ than anything he has ever done before! If you’ve never heard of Nick or listened to him before, then crawl out from underneath that rock you’ve been living under, and grab “This is me... Slower and Faster” now!