Leona Farrugia from Cryptic Street: ‘I want AC/DC’s Highway To Hell played at my funeral’

Cryptic Street vocalist Leona Farrugia on her love for Frank Auerbach, pasta, and her motivation for knowledge and creativity

Leona Farrugia: 'Things will only get harder… you just really need to be driven and do what you gotta do, trusting your gut instinct no matter what'
Leona Farrugia: 'Things will only get harder… you just really need to be driven and do what you gotta do, trusting your gut instinct no matter what'

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Run down the stairs for coffee!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Perhaps the fact that you should never compromise myself for anyone, and that you should love yourself more than anything else. 

What do you never leave the house without?

My phone (sadly enough)! 

Pick three words that describe yourself

Stubborn, determined, empathic.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

There are a lot of things that I’m very happy about… perhaps supporting Acid Mothers Temple and PINS (with Cryptic Street) is one of them. However, this makes me even more aware of how much more work needs to be done. To me, there is never a line where it stops. I crave knowledge and creativity, thus I always want to work harder and harder to keep myself motivated.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Watching a lot of American late-night shows while indulging in a big bowl of pasta instead of working.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Be patient and let things be.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My car.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Things will only get harder… you just really need to be driven and do what you gotta do, trusting your gut instinct no matter what.

Who’s your inspiration?

Anything and anyone I engage with.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Perhaps the fact that I’m an over-thinker… which has its pros and cons at the best and worst of times.

If you weren’t a singer, what would you be doing?

Probably I wouldn’t be answering this. It would be crazy to think otherwise.

Do you believe in God?

Do you believe in aliens?

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? 

Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon; or can I just have them both?

What’s your worst habit?


What are you like when you’re drunk?

An existential joker.

Who would you have play you in a film?

At this point in time – Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), from Lost in Translation.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What music would you have played at your funeral?

Highway to Hell – AC/DC.

What is your most treasured material possession?

Probably my camera.

What is your earliest memory?

How the sea felt like. 

When did you last cry, and why?

When I came back from NYC … post-NYC blues big time.

Who would you most like to meet, Why?

Frank Auerbach: I have been obsessing about this artist for the last few months. I really admire the way he lives, the way he works and how focused he is. I listened to this interview on the Internet and apparently, in the past, he used to allow himself to have only one day off in a whole year… now he works 365 days around the clock without any day off. That says a lot about what defines a truly hardworking artist!

What’s your favourite food?

Pasta! Cacio e pepe… yum.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

What is social media? 

If you could travel in time, where would you go? 

Back to the late 60s, early 70s… someplace in the U.S.A!

What book are you reading right now?

George Orwell’s ‘Books and Cigarettes’ and Frank Auerbach’s ‘Speaking and Painting’.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I wish I could fly… I would definitely travel all around the world.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Being able to let go…

What music are you listening to at the moment? 

I’m listening to Marauder – Interpol’s epic new album.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Usually something funky, upbeat and soulful.


If you could jam with any singer or band, who would you choose? 

Iggy Pop.

Where in the world would you choose to perform your last show ever, and what song would you definitely want to sing? 

I would never want to be aware that it will be my last show ever. I believe it defeats the whole purpose.