Finsbury Park singing barber releases song inspired by local war veteran

A SINGING barber from Finsbury Park is hoping to take the music world by storm with a song inspired by a customer who was shot while on duty in Afghanistan.

Paul Federici, who runs Chaps and Dames, in Tollington Park, got the idea for his latest tune when soldier Sam Aiken walked into his salon with a bullet wound in his arm.

The 32-year-old music maestro, who was christened almost opposite his shop in St Mellitus Church and is a former pupil of St Aloysius’ College, in Archway, said: “Sam is a regular customer of mine and he came in one day about three years ago with his arm in a sling. He told me he’d been shot in Afghanistan.

“Like me he’s from round here and seeing Sam and how traumatised his family were after they nearly lost their son really brought it home to me that these are real people fighting this war.

“Sam’s actually out there again now with the parachute regiment and what he’s doing inspired me. Close To You is a romantic song about a soldier who died at war and tries to come back to see his girlfriend.”

The promotional video for the single has gone on line, and Federici – as he is known – has been told he is in line for a record deal if it gets 150,000 hits.

The Finsbury Park estate where he grew up has already spawned John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, and rapper Skinnyman – and Federici is convinced he is the next big thing to come out of the area.

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“All three of us grew up on the Six Acres Estate off Seven Sisters Road. My mum grew up on Six Acres before me but she was quite a well-spoken little girl and and Johnny Rotten used to pick on her because of it, although she reckons he only did it because he fancied her.

“Finsbury Park is obviously a musical hotbed and I want local people to do the area justice and help give birth to one of its true unrecognised musical talents.

“People see me sitting at the piano in the shop serenading customers, cutting hair and selling vintage designer clothes, but that is just an eccentric persona I’ve created.

“If they take a look on the website they will see just how good I really am.”

l To check out Federici’s video Close To You visit