Andrea Pezzi began his professional career in the entertainment world as a DJ on a small radio station in Alfonsine (Ravenna), followed by an experience on Radio Zero, Ravenna. At 22, he moved to Milan and started working for Radio Deejay, where he quickly became one of the leading voices, and certainly the most irreverent one. He then moved to television in 1996 and immediately became one of the main MTV VJs. He began working in London, where he lived for four years; a period which is remembered for the cult programme ‘HOT’. In 1998, he moved back to Italy to host ‘Tokusho’. Following this, he hosted ‘Tiziana’ and ‘Kitchen’, the most successful MTV programme and the one that turned Pezzi into an edgy and provocative symbol of an entire generation of new creatives.
Bompiani then published a book with the same name, based on the programme. In 1999, Pezzi wrote and hosted ‘Sushi’, a talk show that featured clips of TV shows and music, thus creating an extremely original mix of reality and fiction.
The ‘Sushi’ experience later gave birth to ‘Sashimi’, a live musical show, which hosted the main talents of that period. In early 2000, Carlo Freccero and Fabio Fazio invited him to host ‘Serenate’, a prime time programme on RaiDue.
He decided to accept thanks to the show’s diversity, which distinguished it from the generalist fare of late 90s TV programmes.
Between 2000 and 2001 he also worked on the creation and production of the sitcom ‘Bradipo’: an autobiographical series on the imaginary life of a public figure. ‘Bradipo’ – his last project with MTV – represented Andrea Pezzi’s response to the upcoming phenomenon of ‘Big Brother’. In the same months, he experimented with new languages and created a new programme for Italia1: it was called ‘2008’, a format in which all the Italian telephone companies of that era gave the possibility to TV viewers to participate live and win through SMS voting.
‘2008’ was the first format in which a host could talk in first person to the viewers at home, a language that in the following years would characterise the style of La7, the new TV network founded by De Agostini in that same period. Most importantly, in ‘2008’ the ‘double interview’ was created, a new interviewing style that would later be adopted and mastered by ‘Le Iene’ in the coming years.
In 2002, Andrea Pezzi returned to the radio and hosted the programme ‘Meme’ on Radio2, where he began dealing with current affairs for the first time. For two consecutive years, starting in 2004, he worked with Giovanni Minoli and conducted the programme ‘Internet Café’ on RaiTre.
In 2006, he wrote and hosted ‘Il Tornasole’, which was broadcast on RaiDue as a late-night programme; it was a cultural show with a philosophical edge, dealing with the most important current affair topics of the time. In that programme, the use of short animated videos became utilised as a counterpoint to the studio discussions. Once again, Pezzi’s style and creative choices provided inspiration for the entire Italian TV scene of that era. After this experience, his commitment to television decreased, and he shifted his attention towards other possibilities.
Before founding his own company, he decided to produce a series of documentaries for Rai, which gave him the chance to travel for two and a half years. In those years, Pezzi met and interviewed the main representatives in the worlds of politics, economics, religion and culture, in China, Japan, India, Russia and Iran. In the wake of this experience, still in 2006, he published the book ‘Mondi Nuovi’ (New Worlds) for the publisher Hacca and, thanks again to those travelling experiences, he wrote a format on material culture in those countries: the programme was named ‘Pezzi…’ (Pieces of…) and was broadcast on Gambero Rosso Channel, setting the record for the total amount of viewers during the two consecutive reruns. In those years, he also took a leading role as a communications consultant for several international brands (Nokia, Ferrari, L’Oreal and Nike, among others), which led to a series of collaborations with some of the most important universities in Italy, such as Milan’s IULM and Rome’s La Sapienza.
Through the years, Andrea Pezzi also developed a deep passion and dedication to visual arts, especially painting. He participated in international shows and exhibitions, such as the ‘Triennale di Valencia’, and, together with Gaetano Pesce, he co-exhibited an installation at the ‘Triennale di Milano’ during the 1999 Salone del Mobile. Among his main artistic collaborations ranks one with singer-songwriter Franco Battiato for the song ‘Il Ballo del Potere’, accompanied by a video, from the album ‘Ceralacca’. In cinema, he took on the duties as narrator in the film ‘Me, Myself and Irene’ starring Jim Carrey. In 2002, Pezzi began writing for the newspaper Sole 24 Ore, penning the weekly column ‘RECALL’. His activity as a columnist lasted for four years and ended in 2007, when he started his entrepreneurial carrier.
In that year, he felt the need to deal with more complex systems and the creative freedom that only enterprise can provide. A key professional turning point was marked when Pezzi decided to create his first company in the digital world: Ovo, a media firm that produced short, high-quality encyclopaedic videos, certified by encyclopaedia Treccani.
Ovo was the first video-library composed of reliable content, which could offer a new model of sponsoring to companies wishing to invest in the new digital media, as it relied on an ever more relevant distribution and one in line with editorial content. Never before, in either Italy or abroad, had there been discussion of terms such as relevance and content-planning in the world of advertising. In 2009, due to differing views with the financing shareholder, Andrea Pezzi was forced to liquidate and re-buy Ovo’s shares.
He started again with his own capital, transforming Ovo into TheOutplay (2014), a new technological platform integrated with the main European publishers and content-owners. The contents and the productive capacity of Ovo became a fundamental asset for the new project and the perhaps premature intuition of 2007 finally became a firm reality. In 2015, with his partner Carlo De Matteo, he created Myntelligence; an innovative technological platform offering data intelligence solutions to large companies.
Once again, the intuition was based upon the desire to help old giants from the past avoid falling victim to the overwhelming superiority of business models of companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.
In the same year, Pezzi founded Gagoo Group, a holding company that included both TheOutplay and Myntelligence, while incorporating other innovative projects. Under the auspices of TheOutplay, Goalscout.com was created, providing the largest digital archive for Italian football and boasting over half a million high-resolution Serie A videos. In December 2016, as ever under the aegis of the innovative platforms of the Gagoo Group, they launched Shallet on app-stores around the world; this marked the first BtoC project founded by Andrea Pezzi. Shallet can be considered something of a disruptive idea in the sharing economy field, and it arose from the encounter with the creative madness of Giampiero Cutrino, aka Gip, Andrea’s friend from his MTV days.
Born from humble origins in Ravenna on 21 November 1973, Andrea Pezzi has always paired cultural study and in-depth analysis with his professional activities. In 2006, he graduated in Psychology from Saint Petersburg State University. Fundamental to his education was the encounter with Antonio Meneghetti, an outside-the- box intellectual with whom he established a true friendship and one that has always been marked by an extraordinary intellectual affinity.
Today, Andrea Pezzi is still majority shareholder in all his entrepreneurial activities. Nonetheless, he decided to grant operational proxy to extremely skilful managers, maintaining only the role of Chairman of the Management Board of the control holding. In recent years, he has been intensifying his collaborations with the representatives of the governments of countries that aim at understanding the new rules the fourth industrial revolution is creating.
Through his companies, he has enhanced the digital transformation of major MNCs and dedicated himself to the creation of a solid digital identity for emerging nations. He has conducted countless conferences as a communications and digital expert, even though the bulk of his intellectual attention remains focused, as it has always been, on the fulfilment process for individuals. He has published two books on this specific topic: the first in 2008, written in a particularly youthful style; it is titled ‘Fuori Programma’ (published by Bompiani); the second, published by L’Umanista Editore – his own publishing company – is ‘Il Gioco dell’Essere’. The latter, considerably more intense and essential, contains Andrea Pezzi’s existential and philosophical vision in a synthesis that represents the starting point for a new evolutionary moment, and one that focuses on teaching and art as expressions of a full existential fulfilment.