top of page

Q&A        Excelle chats with...

Paloma Faith

Trailblazing musician, thespian and fashion icon, Paloma Faith’s remarkable career continues with her new album, ‘The Glorification of Sadness’.

Print vestie Yan Wasiuchnik.jpg

What were your earliest musical influences and how have they shaped your distinctive style?

I think my dad being obsessed with jazz was a big thing for me. I listened to a lot of instrumental music with a lot of unusual and amazing chord progression. That and also my mother’s love of ’60s music which was the iconic and empowering. Female voices like Eta James and Aretha Franklin; they straddled the line between real strength and power, while singing about their vulnerability at the same time.


Can you walk us through your creative process?

It is always completely different, there is no one way. Sometimes I will come to the studio with a whole song nearly written and other times I will have nothing, but I am feeling like this today so it kind of comes out like a spiritual channelling. It is really difficult to condense a career of music into one method.


So, what starts first the tune or the lyrics?

Always different but usually I only work on one song at a time until it is finished.


You have a background in both acting and music. How do you balance the two?

Well, they are about expressing fundamental qualities about the human condition that unite us all. It is about what it is to be human, so that is where they influence each other. It’s about understanding what makes us the same as opposed to what makes us different and I think that is what’s so great and bonding about music; in spite of our differences it makes you feel a collective unification.


Your fashion sense is as unique as your music. How do you choose your stage outfits, and what role does fashion play in your artistic expression?

Well, I think it gives me the confidence to go on stage and sing about the most hidden and vulnerable parts of myself, so it is more like it’s a coat of armour.


So, is it just for the stage or is it like a costume?

To some extent it’s a costume but it is important to me that I always like to look stylish, I think presentation is important to me and always has been. When I was a kid I used to hand my homework in, having illustrated all the borders of every essay.


What has been your most memorable live performance and why?

Recently, I would say Brighton Pride. It was one of my first major performances after splitting up with my kid’s dad, which was a decade-long relationship. I was really insecure after that breakup, I felt maybe my power was gone and I just went on that stage as a single-parent mum, in front of a lot of people from the LGBTQ community, and I felt really accepted. I felt like I still had life in me yet. It was quite invigorating.


Throughout your career, what have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced, and how did you overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge is... Like Madonna says, sticking around as a woman and to try sustaining a career in a platform which really is only usually assigned to young people.


Do you physically notice that as you get older being a woman?

It’s not physically that is the problem, it’s socially. People are not very nice to women in the aging process, they are so negative towards them.  


Do you think it is harder now than when you started?

Yes it probably is; the platforms are so oversaturated, but it offers more opportunity in a way for the public to decide who is popular.


How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist and individual since you began?  

Well, I think life takes its toll, lots of life experiences... I think my voice has taken on a different tone because of that. The older I get and the more experience I get, the more depth I have in my voice. When I look back on singers I have admired in my life, I always notice that as they have got older their voice began to sound more profound and I think mine has, in a dramatic way. It has become more powerful and has more depth to it and sounds less innocent.


And do you prefer it now to what it was before?



Do you have a favourite song from your latest album, ‘The Glorification of Sadness’?  

Favourite is a weird word, I guess favourite is which feels fun which was probably ‘Cry On The Dance Floor’ which was quite euphoric but probably the most emotional one will be either ‘Already Broken’ or ‘Divorce’.


Who has been your favourite artist to work with and who is on your wish list for future collaborations?

Well for this album working with Liam Bailey which was a very important relationship for this record. I think I can attribute the fact that I was brave enough to sing about some of the personal stuff was because I went into studio with a mate, rather than some big shot, globally-acclaimed person. I think the intimacy of having a friend with me made the album what it was. I would really like to work with SZA.


What advice would you give to aspiring artists?  

I think just be your authentic self. It is really hard to sustain a career long term by pretending to be somebody else. You would have to keep up that act for long time.

bottom of page