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Born in Madrid to Argentinean parents, Rafa started his musical career in New York in the early 80's playing at some of the famous Greenwich Village clubs such as 'The Bitter End' and 'Folk City', cradle of many singer-songwriters of the 60's and 70's. In 1988 he moved to London and settled there for the next nine years.
Whilst in the UK he released his first album 'A Petrified Forest' (Conspiracy Records 1990) after playing regularly on London's thriving acoustic scene. The album got very favourable reviews, including one by the prestigious music magazine NME which landed him support gigs to artists such as Tori Amos, Melissa Etheridge or John Martyn. In 1994, he released his second album 'Despite Myself' on Mauve Records, the label of renowned British producer Mike Howlett, and in 1996 the third, 'Raging Clowns' (i records).
At the same time, Rafa began to develop a career as a screenwriter and later as a film director. His first screenplay 'The Man With Rain In His Shoes' (a.k.a 'If Only', a.k.a 'Twice Upon A Yesterday') attracted the attention of many producers and was finally made into a film in 1997 by Esicma/Mandarin/CLT-UFA and directed by Maria Ripoll starring Penélope Cruz, Douglas Henshall and Lena Headey. The film was sold to over 25 countries and got Rafa, among other awards, Best Screenplay at the 1998 Montreal Festival. The soundtrack to the film also features one of Rafa's tracks from his first album.
Rafa then made the leap to film directing and, after collaborating on the screenplay for the film 'Aunque tú no lo sepas' directed by Juan Vicente Córdoba, he directed two short films: 'El Cumplido' ('The Compliment' 2000) starring Luis Tosar and Paulina Gálvez and 'Nada Que Perder' ('Nothing To Lose' 2002) starring Jorge Bosch and Pilar Punzano. The latter won a total of 40 awards in festivals all over the world including the Goya (Spanish Academy Award) for Best Short Film in 1992. He also wrote the screenplay for 'Hoy por ti, mañana por mí', a short film directed by Fran Torres which got more than 30 awards in national and international film festivals.
'Amor En Defensa Propia' ('Love In Self-Defence'), his first feature film as a director, produced by Mediapro and Universal and distributed by Universal, starring Gustavo Garzón and Ana Fernández, opened in cinemas in Spain in 2006 to critical acclaim, and was awarded best debut film in the Alcalá Film Festival. .

In 2009 his first book of short stories 'Pisos Vacíos' ('Empty Apartments') was published by Caballo de Troya (Random House Mondadori)


In 2011 he released a new album, “Sunken Ships” (Mondegreen Records), his first collection of songs after a 15 year break.

© 2004-2011 Rafa Russo