Neill Barston talks to Paloma Faith prior to her appearance at Victorious
Becoming a parent is just about the biggest event in anyone’s life, bringing with it a raft of challenges and responsibilities.
For Paloma Faith, the experience of being a new mum may have left her wondering where her next night’s sleep might 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.
The 36-year old Londoner has already amassed an enviable career over the past decade that has seen her become the only female artist, beyond Adele, to have three double platinum recordings to her name.
While it’s meant plenty of hard graft, her artfully soulful sound and quirky style have undoubtedly played their part in propelling the Hackney-born star to success.
The singer’s most recent album, The Architect, follows boldly in its predecessors’ footsteps, showcasing her distinctive powerful vocals that have earned comparisons with everyone from ‘60s icons such as Etta James and Billie Holiday, through to the late Amy Winehouse.
The singer is enjoying a comparatively settled phase of her life living with French boyfriend Leyman Lahcine, and it’s apparent that starting a family has directly influenced her music.
“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.
“I think things are changing in our history, and not for the better, which is something I’m concerned about. I feel there’s a sense of duty to talk about events.”
Much like any other artist in the limelight, her rise has come with the perhaps inevitable burden of being followed around by the ever-hungry paparazzi.
Everyone, from Hello magazine, through to the national red-top national papers, has been waiting to secure pictures of her new youngster, whom she is keen to shield from un-necessary public attention.
Recalling her own childhood in East London, the half-Spanish artist says that she always had something of a creative streak.
“Growing up in Hackney, I was surrounded by lots of different music – from my mum, revolutionary music from the ‘60s such as Bob Dylan, while my dad was really into jazz, which is a big influence”.
From her early CV that spanned everything from being a life model, cabaret dancer, and bartender, her rich experiences have offered plenty of adventures to fuel her inventive songwriting. She also has a great deal of determination, once walking out on a record contract when the agent refused to stop texting her. Paloma then secured a major deal and recorded her memorable debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
“That was almost 10 years ago. I think it is great that I’ve managed to sustain a career, as 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.”
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.
“Amy 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.”
Having been nominated several times for a Brit Award, persistence paid off in 2015, as Paloma claimed a long-awaited win in the best female solo artist category.
“It was amazing to win the Brit Award and to finally gain some acknowledgement, but I think there are a lot of people out there doing important work – doctors and nurses who don’t get the recognition they should.”
After starting a major UK tour in March, Paloma is looking forward to her appearance at Victorious Festival on Castle Stage, Victorious, Sat 25th August
“The only reason I do what I’m doing is because I love touring – when I’m out there I 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.