- February 12, 2018
Paloma Faith speaks with Neill Barston about motherhood, her new album The Architect, and the forthcoming tour bringing it to her live audience
Becoming a parent is just about the biggest event in anyone’s lives, bringing with it a raft of challenges and unforeseen scenarios that potentially pose the sternest of tests.
For Paloma Faith, the experience of being a new mum may have left her wondering where her next night’s sleep might ever be coming from, yet it’s brought a renewed sense of purpose and focus to her music.
“I’m trying to juggle being a mother and a singer. I have no idea how I am managing, but I am somehow,” she laughs, recounting her whirlwind existence recording her fourth studio album.
The singer’s latest offering, The Architect, follows boldly in its predecessors’ footsteps, showcasing her distinctive powerful vocals that have earned comparisons with everyone from 60’s icons such as Etta James and Billie Holiday, through to the late Amy Winehouse.
“I do feel my approach to music has changed since I’ve become a parent – which does have an impact. With difficult things that are happening in the world, you feel protective and want to make things comfortable for your family.”
As she recalls her childhood in East London, the half-Spanish artist says that she always had something of a creative streak. However, it was far from obvious that she was destined to become a singer, with her initial studies being at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
I’m flattered by comparisons to Amy
“Growing up in Hackney, I was surrounded by lots of different types of music – from my mum, I remember listening to plenty of revolutionary music from the 60’s such as Bob Dylan, while my dad was really into jazz, which is where my interest in all that comes from.
“Later, when I was studying, I got into R and B dancehall as well, and originally I wanted to be a dancer. Then I did my musical theatre, and I think that music just chose me,” she explains of her formative years.
As if to underline her determination, she famously walked out on a deal for a record contract when the agent watching her refused to stop texting on his phone. Needless to say, it was very much his loss, and the wider music industry’s gain, for Paloma then secured a major deal that set in motion her memorable debut album.
To her credit, Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful? blazed a trail into the top 10, and proceeded to lodge in the album charts for the next 100 weeks. But how does she look back on it now?
“Well, that was nearly 10 years ago, and it was what it was. But I think it is great that I’ve managed to sustain a career as unfortunately not many people get to make more than one or two albums these days,” reflects the singer on what she feels is now an over-saturated market.
But as she enthuses, she is not one to rest on her laurels, and ‘likes to mix things up a bit’ which is certainly the case with her latest material.
While her towering vocal abilities have continued to garner contrasts with the late Amy Winehouse, it’s something Paloma is entirely at ease with.
“I’m flattered by comparisons to Amy. It’s not something I am offended by, though I am quite different. “When she met me once, she asked if I played an instrument, but I said no, and she said that was a shame as she would really have liked someone like me in her group.
“I was a massive fan of hers, and after watching the documentary about her life, I actually wrote a song for her, ‘Price of Fame’, which is on the new album. Her death was such a tragedy,” adds the vocalist with a note of sadness.
“The only reason I do what I’m doing is because I love touring – as when I’m out there I am excited and feel that I’m in the right place,” adds the engaging singer, who may well have a little more to think about with a young child in tow, yet it won’t stop her from enjoying every single moment.
Paloma Faith – The Architect tour, Brighton Centre, Monday 12 March 2018, Doors 6.30pm, from £39.05