Maltese singer-songwriter Shaun Farrugia has dropped a single with world-renowned DJ Martin Garrix and another is on the way – and he says it’s “definitely a crazy time”.
The thrill is heightened “especially when you watch videos of 100,000 people going wild over the songs,” Farrugia admitted to The Times of Malta ahead of the launch.
“I can’t lie that every day feels like a breakthrough at the minute; everything is going so fast.
Garrix has been ranked number one on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ list for three consecutive years, and his best-known singles include In the Name of Love and Scared to Be Lonely.
For the past year, Farrugia, 25, has been hard at work with the Polydor label – which includes Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey – to prepare her debut EP and launch her own music to the world.
To get there, he spent every penny he had and showed up on the doorstep of one of Britain’s most respected pop producers, packing his belongings into two suitcases.
Sigala had invited him to a meeting at his North London studio during an online fan Q&A and Farrugia seized the opportunity, selling his car to move to England.
“I arrived at his studio with my luggage and said, ‘I moved here for you, make me a deal!'”
Farrugia has been writing songs for years and has been “lucky” to do so with artists like The Script, Mimi Webb and Sigala, who has been “an obvious mentor from day one”.
It has been “incredibly inspiring” to be able to work with such talented artists, writers and producers, he said.
“Their self-confidence boosts my self-confidence, so I’m forever grateful to them.”
But the transition to the artist “blindsided” him, he admitted, recounting, still almost in disbelief, how an A&R from Polydor Records heard his voice and some of his songs, they discussed, and a few months later, it was signed.
“It’s one of those things that now makes perfect sense, and I’m beyond excited to be on this journey.”
Farrugia, however, discounts the possibility of being Malta’s biggest export, saying he doesn’t like to think of himself that way. “I just want to show the world how I feel and inspire people in some way,” he explained.
I just want to show the world how I feel and inspire people somehow-Shaun Farrugia
“Writing and singing songs is a dream I’ve always had; it’s really the only thing I trust.
As he launches his two tracks with Garrix, Starlight (Keep Me Afloat) (April 15) and If We’ll Ever Be Remembered on April 29, Farrugia admitted he never thought he’d be there and that he still pinched himself daily.
“The music industry can be difficult to navigate at the best of times, and only very few artists break into the global stage, so being from a small island, far from cities like London and Los Angeles, adds another barrier,” he said.
‘Shaun Farrugia at the Fosos’… one day
“Having said that, I largely wrote my first EP in Malta while in lockdown on Zoom with my loved ones.
“I find my home country so inspiring, beautiful and grounded,” said Farrugia, who has lived in London for more than three years now, when asked about her limitations in forging a career in this field.
“I’m obviously looking forward to touring,” he said of his future plans.
“I love my country and performing on a home show is a dream of mine, which I can’t wait to achieve…’Shaun Farrugia at the Fosos’…one day,” he laughed.
Meanwhile, audiences can prepare to hear “honest, heartfelt” music.
Farrugia’s debut EP is about the love he has for his girlfriend and how “she makes me feel like the luckiest guy in the world”.
I Don’t Want to Fall Asleep Yet is an uplifting, slick pop track with lighter lyrics, and its vision is clear: “I want to be the king of happy songs.”
Admitting he’s not your traditional pop star, Farrugia says, “I want to talk to people who are like me, normal-looking people.”
The ball rolls fast…and when asked where he sees himself in a year, Farrugia said he hopes he can continue writing music with incredible talent.
“I hope I have a lot more music to listen to and I hope it doesn’t rain in London,” he said.
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