Nisa

  • Born: (Naples, Campania, Italy)
  • Died: (Milan, Lombardy, Italy) age 59

Nisa, pseudonym of Nicola Salerno, was an Italian lyricist; he formed a famous songwriting duo with Renato Carosone.
Nisa's first hit was Eulalia Torricelli of 1947. The humorous song was about the unhappy love story between a wealthy girl from Forlì and a guy named Giosuè. Nisa put the whole team of songwriters in the lyrics, as heirs to the beautiful Eulalia: "Un castello lo dà a Nisa, un castello lo dà a Redi, un castello, ma il più bello, al maestro Olivieri lo dà" ("she gives one castle to Nisa, one castle to Redi, but the most beautiful ones goes to Maestro Olivieri").

Nisa and Carosone met in 1955. It was Mariano Rapetti , Ricordi record company's director - and father of Mogol , a very famous Italian lyricist - who suggest them to work together in view of a radio contest. Nisa brought Carosone three texts to be set to music. One of them was titled Tu vuo' fa l'americano. Carosone had an instant inspiration and started composing a boogie-woogie on the piano keyboard. It took just fifteen minutes to create Carosone's most famous song, that became a world-wide success.

So began a prolific and happy songwriting duo. They could understand each other perfectly: just one hint by Carosone, and Nisa wrote a funny, witty little story about it. Among their greatest hits, 'O suspiro, Torero, Tu' vuo' fa' l'americano, Caravan Petrol, Pigliate 'na pastiglia, 'O Sarracino.

Nisa worked also with other songwriters. Among his best-known lyrics are Guaglione, winning song of the Festival of Naples in 1956, and Non ho l'età, with which Gigliola Cinquetti triumphed at San Remo Music Festival in 1964.

Besides writing lyrics, Nicola Salerno was also an illustrator. He was the author, for example, of cover designs for some Neapolitan music scores published between 1920s

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