The rising singer-songwriter opens up on his incredible story and his new EP.

Photography by Joe Magowan

Photography by Joe Magowan

Shaun Farrugia is a surefire titan of UK pop. With a sound brimming with emotional resonance and musical craft, there is a deep poignancy to the ear-catching sound of Farrugia. A Maltese native, the singer-songwriter left his life on the island, quit his job and sold all of his belongings to move to London, showing up at the door of renowned producer Sigala after being invited on Instagram live. An immense leap of faith, Farrugia’s bravery was rewarded when he was signed by Polydor shortly after. A modest, likeable fellow, Shaun is open in his passion for music and performance, gaining him fans across the world.

The artist’s journey has now reached its first major climax in the form of his debut EP Heaven Like Mine. The five-pronged body of work is an accentuation of the commercial, profound and poignant sound of Farrugia. From the rousing folk-tinged of the title track to the dazzling, jaw-dropping “Vertigo”, there is craft and charisma seeping from the project, with Farrugia showing himself to be a relatable and thoughtful narrator.

We had the pleasure of catching up with Shaun, discussing his incredible story, finding his passion in creativity, the best moments of his career to date, and the stunning new EP.

Listen to the Heaven Like Mine

Read the full interview below!

Who and what influences you in your personal life and musical outlook?
Hello! Thank you for this amazing opportunity to speak to you about my music today! Growing up listening to the way Coldplay and Keane used to write their songs inspired me and still does to this day. So I would say they both really influenced my musical and personal outlook.

I am an extremely emotional person and I get to express everything I feel through writing songs. It’s therapeutic for me, it helps me understand my own feelings and hopefully can help those who discover it come to terms with theirs too.

Your personal story is inspiring! How has your upbringing and story influenced your music and creativity?
I grew up on a suburban street surrounded by my family in Malta. With my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents as neighbours. My parents sacrificed everything for me and my brother. Without their guidance, especially my mother, I probably wouldn’t have made it out of secondary school! I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was around 13 years old and I struggled at school, I often felt lost and insecure. But I do believe that ADHD was the best thing which ever happened to me, when I discovered music, realised my passion for it, I dedicated all my energy and time towards it and still do the same till this day.

How did you first find a passion for making music?
I downloaded Fruity Loops 11 years ago, and started off as a bedroom producer, dreaming of being a musician for the rest of my life whilst barely getting through school. The older I got the more I fell in love with music, but for the longest time I was scared to sing. I was once told that my voice will never be good enough and took that comment to heart for the longest time. It took a friend of mine who forced me to record my own demos in a studio back in Malta in 2018 to start singing. He slapped on some auto tune, a bit of reverb and I’ve never looked back!

How did that passion lead into something that you wanted to do as a career?
I remember working as a real estate agent watching the world go by, daydreaming of music which was being suppressed by the unfortunate reality many of us go through when we get told to get a ‘real job’. The more I tried to abide by that rule the more I realised how desperate I was to try my luck and do whatever I can to give myself a fighting chance at becoming a professional songwriter.

What’s been the best moment of your career to date?
The fact that I get to wake up every day and write music is a privilege and something I will never take for granted. Making my parents proud with the music has definitely been the highlight of my life. I was always worried that not getting a degree or a normal job would make me a disappointment in their eyes so seeing them so proud and happy for me meant the world.

How would you describe your sound?
I’d describe my sound as early 2000’s rock/pop, mixed with vulnerable lyrics that come from the heart, I hope it resonates with people.

Music, especially a genre like pop, is very congested in the modern industry environment. What is it about your music that you think stands out from the masses?
I would agree that pop is very congested, but as long as I write songs from the heart, present it in the best possible way and give my 100%, I believe it can connect with people and their own experiences.

How are you feeling about the release of your debut EP, Heaven Like Mine?
Scared, excited and overwhelmed, but I am so happy to have these songs out in the world for people to discover.

What are the main themes and concepts you are conveying on the EP?

I write about my real life experiences, about finding love when I wasn’t even looking, and feeling vulnerable and having such low experiences in life which broke me, but thankfully I had people I can count on who picked me up again.

To us, it’s a really emotionally open body of work. Have you had to work on being honest and open in your writing, or is it natural to you?
I am literally an open book, I wear my heart on my sleeve, ready to open up to anyone, and there for anyone who needs to talk!

What artists have inspired the project?
Coldplay, Keane, James Morisson and Ed Sheeran have been my idols for the longest time, their lyrics help millions of people. I can only wish I can do the same.

What would you like listeners to take away from the EP?
Well I hope they can relate to what I’ve been through, what I’ve felt. I hope they like what they hear because there’s truck loads more to come!

Where would you like to take your music in the future?
I love to experiment, I love to collaborate, I can’t not mention how Martin Garrix’s discovery of me and my music changed my life, inspired and motivated me to release music I believe in. So the future is exciting and I can’t wait to release more music into the world

What else is coming from you this year?
The aspect of live shows has been missing but we have so many shows and plans which we can’t wait to announce, where I can sing the songs I love live over the coming months!


Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related → Related →