Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner was born in Surrey on January 11, 1985 and attended the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, studying the guitar and graduating at the age of 17. He played bass guitar in a Green Day cover band and, before going solo under his full name, Newton Battenburg Faulkner, he formed the funk-rock band Half a Guy with Matt Buchanan, Dave Elvy, and Nicola Crawshaw.
The band released a live self-titled EP with no success and rather than play angry metal music in church halls like everyone else, they decided to play uplifting happy songs. Singing, playing guitar, writing songs, and arranging gigs eventually took their toll, and he decided to start a solo career. His first solo gigs were at London’s Troubadour club and led to a publishing deal for his original songs with Peermusic UK and appearances at the South by Southwest music festival. Faulkner secured a recording deal with BMG and released a second EP, U.F.O., featuring solo material, and he appeared to have found his niche alongside such recording artists as Jack Johnson, James Morrison, and Paolo Nutini. He appeared twice at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2007, both on the acoustic stage and the Left Field stage. Faulkner’s debut album, Hand Built by Robots, was released in July 2007 and, after entering the charts at number three, climbed to the top during September. Second release Rebuilt by Humans arrived in 2009 and followed Faulkner’s laid-back, acoustic sound, which gained him plaudits and a larger fan base. It was three years before he released his third record, Write It on Your Skin, in 2012; it became his second U.K. number one. Moving away from the theme of his previous full-length releases, he wrote this album to be played live, with a positive, upbeat feel. Faulkner worked with many contributors on the release, including BBC Fame Academy winner David Sneddon and production partner James Bauer-Mein, who make up the Nexus (Lana Del Rey, Matt Cardle, Hurts) and bass guitarist Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet). He returned in 2013, deciding to live-stream the recording process of his fourth effort for five weeks with an assortment of cameras in his East London home. The album, Studio Zoo, was produced entirely by Faulkner and featured guest performances from Irish singer Janet Devlin and Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons.
Faulkner returned in 2015 with his fifth record, Human Love, which was led by a cover of the Major Lazer track “Get Free,” and consolidated all of his influences from previous efforts, ranging from world music to opulent ballads. His sixth album, Hit the Ground Running, arrived in September 2017, a full decade after his debut. The following year saw the release of Faulkner’s first best-of compilation: The Very Best of Newton Faulkner… So Far included a new single, “Wish I Could Wake Up.” After a four-year hiatus, Faulkner returned with the heavier sounds of seventh LP Interference (Of Light), which featured different track listings on each of its release formats.