[from Islington Gazette]
Barber Paul wants to cut his own records
26 September 2007
IF YOU fancy a little something for the weekend how about a short Bach and sides from a piano-playing barber?
Paul Federici, 28, opened bespoke hairdressers Chaps of Tollington, in Tollington Park, Finsbury Park, 18 months ago.
A reformed drug dealer turned budding pop star, classically-trained pianist Mr Federici regularly serenades his customers between haircuts – much to the amazement of bewildered passers-by.
He said: “My family lived in Churnfield House on the Six Acres Estate for 30 years, but when they knocked it down our beautiful piano had nowhere to go. I was just opening up my business – so I put it in the shop.
“I’m an aspiring musician so sometimes I perform and do requests. People walk past and do a double take – they can’t believe what they see. They come in off the street to listen and even some of the customers play while they’re waiting!”
Although the one-time choir boy admits that his repertoire “is not that big”, Mr Federici can often be found tinkling the ivories and belting out his own compositions – plus hits by Elton John, Phil Collins and his hero Freddie Mercury.
He said: “From the age of eight I did piano lessons and now I’m performing across London about once a week as a solo artist under my stage name, Ordinary Man. I’ve got an album out on the internet which I’m hoping to release next year.”
With a three-piece backing band that practises twice a week at his flat in Fonthill Road, Paul and the band are quite literally a barbershop quartet. But the career path for the day job has been anything but ordinary.
“About eight years ago I was sent to prison for 18 months for intent to supply class A drugs,” said Mr Federici. “It’s not something I’m proud of but it’s something I got involved with as a teenager. I did an NVQ in hairdressing when I was inside and when I came out I decided to set up my own business.”
Today Mr Federici is a self-made man who admits he has made his mother “very proud”. All that remains now is that elusive multi-million pound record deal.
He said: “I am incredibly ambitious. I intend to take the world by storm but until I do I’m just going to keep cutting hair.”
To hear Mr Federici’s music go to www.ordinary-man.com