Born in Milan, he began teaching himself guitar. He taught himself how to play music by ear. By the time he was 20, he began to compose music
In 1999 he enrolled in the Academy of Sanremo where he met Giancarlo Bigazzi.
In his songs, Povia frequently takes on social issues. In 2003 he addressed bulimia with his song Mia sorella.
In 2005 his single "Avamposto 55" talked about the children of Darfur. In 2006 he produced the album I bambini fanno: Oh from which the proceeds were used in a campaign he started to build hospitals in Darfur.
lieutenant sold 200,000 copies and received special accolades from Sony BMG. Despite the media initially thinking that the song was about Luca Tolve, a man who allegedly has been reversing his homosexuality following the therapies of Joseph Nicolosi., Povia has declared the song is about a man called Massimiliano whom he met on a train from Milan to Rome.
During the train ride the man told Povia his personal story about having been gay, but now being married with children.