Phantasmagorical singer-songwriter, poet, writer, but also illusionist, showman and cultural operator. He debuted in 1990 with the album All'una e trentacinque circa, which followed the path of Paolo Conte and Tom Waits; it was awarded Targa Tenco Opera Prima, an award he would be given four other times in the following years for the Best Album. After the first albums - which are Modì (1991) and Camera a sud (1994) - rooted in jazz and South American rhythms, came the telluric Ballo di San Vito with Marc Ribot and Evan Lurie, the explosive Liveinvolvo with the balcanic brass band Kocani Orkestar, a witness of two years spent touring.
During this period of his early career, he took part in theater shows, working with Paolo Rossi's company, such as “Pop e Rebelot” (1993) and “Milanin Milanon” (1994). Also with Paolo Rossi, Capossela did his TV debut during the program “Scatafascio” (1997-1998), for which he signed the homonymous song. In 2000 he released the pataphysique album Canzoni a Manovella (2000). After that, he shifted his attention to more universal themes, often inspired by classical literature, from Melville to Céline, Dante and Homer. In 2003, after two years of intense touring, he released his first collection called L'indispensabile, which features also Capossela's first cover song ever, Si è spento il sole.
Works such as Ovunque Proteggi, Da Solo and Marinai, Profeti e Balene have been staged as total works of art. Ovunque Proteggi, in particular, has been ranked at #2 in Mojo's Top Ten World music albums in 2006. In 2007, he played a few special concerts called Fuggite, amanti, amor, interpreting Michelangelo's sonnets, a project that is still unreleased. It featured the cello player Mario Brunello. In 2004 he wrote his first book, Non si muore tutte le mattine (Feltrinelli), which gave rise to a shadow play performance and that inspired the Radiocapitolazioni, broadcasted on Radio 3. In 2009, it was followed by the second book, written with his friend and poet Vincenzo Costantino “Cinaski”: In clandestinità (Feltrinelli).
He dedicated several works to Greece and rebetiko music: the album Rebetiko Gymnastas, recorded in Athens (Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for the Best Worldmusic album in 2013), a documentary made with the film maker Andrea Segre and the book Tefteri, published by Saggiatore and translated in Greek and Spanish. In 2013, he also started a new project with Banda della Posta, an elderly but still wild bunch of frontier serenaders, between Buena Vista Social Club and the Pogues; a concert in which you could find marriage music, anarchist songs and Sixties’ standards like Adriano Celentano.
2015 and 2016 are very important years for Vinicio: his book Il Paese dei Coppoloni (finalist at Premio Strega and winner of Dante Alighieri Society's Prize), the docufilm Nel Paese dei Coppoloni and his studio album Canzoni della Cupa, are the result of a deep elaboration about Irpinia, a personal journey into folk music, with the participation of Los Lobos, Calexico, Flaco Jimenez and national icons like Giovanna Marini and Antonio Infantino. In 2013 Capossela created and became the artistic director of one most original festivals in Italy, that mixes social engagement, music and attention to the environment: its name is Sponz Fest, and it takes place during the final week of August in Irpinia (Campania).
Still in 2015, to celebrate his first twenty-five years of career, Capossela started a long and important tour called Qu'Art de Siècle, with unique shows in Italy and in Europe. In 2017, he was awarded the Premio Tenco for his career. In 2019, he released Ballate per uomini e bestie, an album that focuses on Middle Ages and the plagues of current times, followed by 2020 Bestiario d'amore, a four songs EP whose title-track is the translation and adaptation of a poem by the 13th century French troubadour Richard de Fournival. Bestiario d'amore was performed on tour with the Bruno Maderna Symphonic Orchestra (conducted by Stefano Nanni) in 2021, whereas in 2020 Capossela toured with Vincenzo Vasi for a show called Pandemonium. Capossela's latest work is the book Eclissica, published in 2021 by Feltrinelli; it focuses on Capossela's last fifteen years of career and life.
In the summer of 2021, he performed Bestiale Comedìa, a show inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, not only in Italy, but also in Bruxelles and in Dubai, at Expo's Italian Pavillion. He performed there again in March 2022. After a show in Barcelona in September, the final months of 2022 were the richest of abroad touring: in November he embarked for the Balkangiro, a series of concerts in the Balkan area (Albania, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo); then in December he performed his Personal Standards in European capitals such as London, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon and Bruxelles. He is now about to release a new album.