Galway DJ’s journey from Cuba to Dubai

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Menlo native Shaun Warner began his career as a 16-year-old DJ in Cuba on Prospect Hill. He moved to Dublin, embracing the slog of balancing a      regular job with gigs almost every night of the week, before he emigrated to Australia and learned how to produce music.

Eventually, Shaun wound up in Dubai where he has grown into one of the most recognised electropop artists in the Middle East. His albums have amassed over five million streams, many of which have come on Anghami – the largest music streaming site in the Arab world.

Next Friday, June 21, Shaun is set to release his fourth LP, Morning Light. A blend of indie, pop, afro house and future bass, the record features collaborations with J Nana, Kerfo and another Galwegian in David Owens. Owens sings on Chills, the album’s latest single.

“As soon as I finished the last album, this just started coming together bit by bit,” Shaun explains.

“It’s been just over two years. I’d like to pretend there’s a lot of planning that goes into it, but a lot of things just seem to fall into place. That’s how the whole thing comes together. Even with the current single that’s out, it was just a random meeting on Grafton Street, and it ended up with a song on the album.”

David Owens is one of the most prominent buskers in Europe. Usually based in Dublin, he has dragged his piano out on Shop Street plenty of times over the years. In a chance encounter Shaun was blown away by his voice and the quality of his songwriting.

“I was walking down Grafton Street on the way to meet a fella,” he recalls.

“I went past some lad and I thought, who’s this lunatic pushing a grand piano onto Grafton Street on a winter’s day? I stopped and he wasn’t playing cover songs; he was playing his own music.

Pictured: Shaun Warner…music takes him a long way from home.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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