Nico (Romanian singer)

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Nico
Flickr - proteusbcn - Semifinal 1 EUROVISION 2008 (128).jpg
Background information
Birth name Nicoleta Matei
Also known as Nico
Born (1970-02-01) 1 February 1970 (age 47)
Origin Romania
Genres Pop, R&B, Rap
Occupation(s) singer, TV personality, spokesperson
Years active 1999–present
Website http://www.nicomusic.ro

Nicoleta Matei, known by her stage name Nico (born 1 February 1970), is a Romanian singer, TV personality and spokesperson for Catena (ro) in Romania. In her country, she is known for having collaborated with several Romanian hip hop artists, such as Morometzii (in 1999), B.U.G. Mafia (in 2000, 2002), Cabron (in 2003, 2007, 2010), Puya, Blat Jargon, and Codu Penal. She is considered one of the best Romanian voices ever. She represented Romania along with Vlad in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with the song "Pe-o margine de lume".[1]

Biography[edit]

1970-2000: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Nico was born and raised in Ploiești, where she still lives. In 1990, she graduated from The Popular Art School and starting with 1996, she attended several Romanian music contests, winning many prizes. Since 1996 she is the main voice of the Toma Caragiu Theater in Ploiești, winning for 4 years in a row the award for the Best Female Vocal Performer on The National Festival of Variety Shows in Theatres in Romania. In 1998 she made her first TV appearance, together with Horia Brenciu on a show called Sarabanda, where she used to cover many of Romanian and international hits. In 1999 she made her first major participation on a national music competition, called Mamaia Music Festival, finishing 2nd on the Composing Section with the song Si Daca Viata Mea.

2002-2003: The Breakthrough and Gand Pentru Ei[edit]

In 2002 she made a guest appearance on the chorus of "Cine E Cu Noi", a song released by Romanian Hip-Hop group B.U.G. Mafia, which became an instant hit. Following the success of "Cine E Cu Noi", she continues to collaborate with several Romanian Hip-Hop artists, at the same time with the recordings for her first solo studio album. In 2003 she released Gand Pentru Ei, her 1st solo material of R&B and Hip-Hop Music. The album contains collaborations with Puya and Cabron. The only single released from the album was Nu Pot Sa Mai Suport (I Can't Stand Anymore), a featuring with Cabron. The song was a smash hit in Romania, remaining her signature song. Later that year she represented Romania at the Golden Stag Festival, with the song Heaven Knows, a Filippa Giordano cover, finishing 2nd.

2004-2007: Asa Cum Vrei and Cast Away[edit]

In 2004 Nico participates at several International Music Competitions in Bulgaria and Kazakhstan and once again at the Mamaia Music Festival in Romania, finishing 2nd on the Composing Section with the song Spune Da, Spune Nu. In 2005 she released her 2nd studio album, Asa Cum Vrei. Laurenţiu Duţă wrote the first and only single released from the album, also called Asa Cum Vrei, a pop song which received critical acclaim from media and was played on the majority of the radio stations in Romania. Asa Cum Vrei is one of Nico's most popular songs. In 2006 she recorded Vocea Inimii, a song written by Marius Moga for the soundtrack theme of Romanian soap-opera with the same name. Nico also made a guest appearance on some of the series episodes. Cast Away, her 3rd studio album was released in 2007. Cast Away and Dulce Amaruie were the two singles released from the album, the second one being composed by Costi Ioniţă.

2008: Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Nico (left) with Vlad Miriţă performing Pe-o margine de lume in the UK, during the Promo Tour

In February 2008, Nico and Vlad won Selecția Națională with the ballad Pe-o margine de lume. The song represented Romania in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade, Serbia. The song managed to finish 7th on the Semi-final, allowing the duo to perform also on the Grand Final, where it has finished the 20th, with 45 points to a big disappointment through Romanians. However, Pe-o margine de lume was not a failure, as the song received the Composer Award at the Marcel Bezençon Awards, later that night.

2009-2013: Love Mail and other releases[edit]

After the Eurovision, Nico started to work on new material. In May 2009, she released a new single called Love Mail, a Pop song which was a moderate success in Romania. In 2010, she released Poate Undeva, the single being preceded by her 4th studio album, called Love Mail. On the next 3 years, Nico released several singles, but due to the lack of promotion they failed to gain much attention from media or the public.

2014-2015: Return to prominence with Clipe[edit]

In 2014 Nico returned to her first love, R&B, with the release of her next single, Clipe, a collaboration with Romanian rapper Shoby. Laurentiu Matei and Ovidiu Iordache wrote the song for Nico's forthcoming fifth studio album. Cat Music Label released "Clipe" on June 5, 2014. The song received generally positive reviews from media, the public and the music critics, most of them considering the track as one of the best singles released by the singer so far and one of her best releases in years. Although "Clipe" did not received a full-length music video, the song managed to reach more than 2 million YouTube views based only on a Lyric Video release. Nico performed live "Clipe" on various music shows such as "2014 Bucharest Christmas market", "2015 Bucharest Music and Film Festival", "Alba Iulia Music Fest 2015", "2015 Dan Spataru International Music Festival", being accompanied by "The National Radio Orchestra" or "The Romanian Radio Big Band".

Following the success of Clipe and the release of her 2015 single, called Alt Inceput, Nico decided it was the right time to put out a new studio album, due to release somewhere in 2016.

2016-present: In Locul Tau, Motive and TCDU[edit]

On February 1, her 46th birthday, Nico released a new single called In Locul Tau, as a gift for her devoted fans. The song gathered generally positive reviews, managing to maintain an ascending trend in her career, reaching more than 3,8 million YouTube views. Nico wanted that her follow-up single would be a song everybody would see it as Clipe Part II. So she decided again to work with the same production team that wrote Clipe in 2014. This time, Nico herself got involved in the song's composition and that makes (Sa-mi Dai) Motive the first single she released as a co-writer. The song was released under Cat Music Label on June 30, 2016 with a new studio album following right after. Motive, her 5th album was released under Cat Music Label on July 15 and contains 11 songs, including her latest singles. Following the release of her new single and album, Nico was announced as a new contestant of the Te cunosc de undeva! talent show, starting September 2016 on Antena 1 (Romania). In December, for 5 shows in a row, Nico was the special guest of the traditional "Christmas Concert" held by Ștefan Bănică Jr.. On the fall of 2016, it was reported that Nico started to work on new material with Radu Sîrbu, ex-member of O-Zone band. Indestructibili, the first single produced by Sîrbu was released in February 2017, with a second one, called A Little Late, to follow in April 2017.

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

  • 2003 Gand Pentru Ei
  • 2005 Asa Cum Vrei
  • 2007 Cast Away
  • 2010 Love Mail
  • 2016 Motive

Singles[edit]

  • Nu Pot sa Mai Suport, featuring Cabron
  • Asa Cum Vrei Peak: 98, Romanian Top 100
  • Vocea Inimii
  • Cast Away
  • Dulce Amaruie
  • Pe-o Margine De Lume Peak: 24, Romanian Top 100
  • Love Mail Peak: 3, Romanian Top 100
  • Poate Undeva
  • Mai Da-Mi O Sansa
  • 100 De Zile
  • 9, featuring F.Charm
  • Clipe featuring Shobby
  • Alt Inceput featuring Sonny Flame
  • In Locul Tau
  • (Sa-mi Dai) Motive
  • Indestructibili
  • A Little Late

Music Competitions, Awards and Nominations[edit]

Year Competition Category Song/ Album Result
1999 Mamaia Music Festival Creation Si Daca Viata Mea 2nd place
2003 Golden Stag Festival Best Interpret Heaven Knows 2nd place
2004 Mamaia Music Festival Creation Spune Da, Spune Nu 2nd place
Voice of Asia Final If You Go Away 1st place
Discovery Final 1st place
2005 Selecția Națională Final All The Time feat. Mihai Trăistariu 3rd Place
2006 Selecția Națională Final Jokero feat. Akcent 2nd Place
RRA Awards 2006 Best Pop Song Asa Cum Vrei Nominated
Best Female - Nominated
2008 Selecția Națională Final Pe-o margine de lume feat. Vlad Miriţă 1st place
Eurovision Song Contest 2008 Semi-Final Qualified
Final 20th Place
Marcel Bezençon Awards Won
2009 RRA Awards 2009 Best Pop Song Won
2010 International Competition Of Istanbul Songs Final Ah Istanbul 1st place
2011 RRA Awards 2011 Best Album Love Mail Nominated
Best Pop Song Poate Undeva Nominated
Best Female - Won
2012 RRA Awards 2012 Best Pop Song Mai Da-Mi O Sansa Won
Best Female - Won
2015 RRA Awards 2015 Best Female - Nominated
2016 Te cunosc de undeva! Final Let's Get Loud 4th Place

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Todomondo
with "Liubi, Liubi, I Love You"
Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest
2008
(with Vlad)
Succeeded by
Elena Gheorghe
with "The Balkan Girls"