Nutini was born in Paisley, Scotland and has a younger sister. His father, Alfredo, is a Scot of Italian descent from Tuscany, while his mother, Linda, is of Scottish descent. He was expected to follow his father into the family fish and chip shop business. As a child he attended PACE Youth Theatre. He was first encouraged to sing by his music-loving grandfather, Giovanni "Jackie" Nutini, and a teacher at his school, St Andrews Academy, who recognised his talent.