Before his solo career, singer/songwriter Francesco Renga spent 13 years with the band Timoria. After releasing seven albums with them, Renga decided he wanted to strike out alone, releasing his solo debut -- self-titled and on Universal, the label that also housed Timoria -- in 2001, that same year entering one of its songs, "Raccontami," into the San Remo Festival, where he won the critics' newcomer award (alongside Roberto Angelini). The next year Tracce came out, followed by Camere con Viste in 2004. In 2005 Renga again appeared at San Remo, this time to even more favorable results: his song, "Angelo," took first place. In June 2007, Renga issued a single, "Cambio Direzione," in anticipation of the full-length Ferro e Cartone.