born on 21/7/1981 in Hackney, East London, United Kingdom
Paloma Faith (born Paloma Faith Blomfield; 21 July 1981) is an English singer, songwriter and actress, known for her retro and eccentric style.
Faith released her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? in 2009, featuring the top twenty singles, "Stone Cold Sober" and "New York". The album reached number nine in the United Kingdom, and was later certified double-platinum.
In 2012, she released her second studio album, Fall to Grace, which reached number two in the UK and has since been certified double-platinum. The album produced her first top ten single, "Picking Up the Pieces" and the top twenty cover version of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart". Her third album, A Perfect Contradiction was released in 2014 and has become her most successful album to date. The album included the top ten singles, "Can't Rely on You" and "Only Love Can Hurt Like This", which became her highest-charting single in the UK.
Faith won Best British Female Solo Artist at the Brit Awards in 2015 and has been nominated four other times. She has also made feature film appearances in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dread and the 2007 remake of St Trinian's.
Faith was born to an English mother and Spanish father in Hackney, although her parents were both from Norfolk. Her parents separated when she was two years old and divorced two years later. She was raised by her mother in Stoke Newington, although she has a close relationship with her paternal grandmother, a Spanish Roman Catholic. As a child, she was encouraged to dance by her mother and took weekly ballet classes in Dalston.
After completing her A-levels at City and Islington College she went on to study for a degree in contemporary dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, working as a hip hop dancer at popular clubnight LoveDough. She then studied for an MA in theatre directing at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, funding herself by working in various part-time jobs, including sales assistant at Agent Provocateur, singer in a burlesque cabaret, a bartender, a life model and a magician's assistant.
2007–08: Career beginnings
She met her managers Jamie Binns and Christian Wåhlberg of Lateral Management in 2007. Binns had been tipped off by the producer Peanut, a client who had recently worked with her in his studio and been suitably impressed. He met up with Faith shortly afterwards and was "completely blown away", later saying: "I wasn't sure what this girl was going to do – she was an actress and a singer – but there was just something about her in that artistic realness that when I came out of the meeting I called Christian and said, 'We have to do something with this girl!'" Although she had been looking for a manager, she was still wary about entering into a formal agreement with Binns and Wåhlberg, preferring instead to build their relationship before any contracts were signed. The managers spent six months to a year helping Faith with the A&R process, setting up sessions, and guiding and advising her before she was officially signed to Lateral Management.
During her time at college Faith worked in a pub where the manager Dr Vishaal Goel asked her to front his band, which they later called 'Paloma and the Penetrators'.
During a performance with the band at a cabaret show, she was scouted by an A&R man from Epic Records, who invited her to sing for the manager of the label. Twenty minutes into the audition, she asked the manager to turn his phone off and when he refused, she walked out. Epic A&R Joanna Charrington told HitQuarters "When she played a showcase for us it was clear that she was a star but the material was a bit generic. She didn't have the hit songs."
Not being one hundred percent convinced the label executives decided to wait. During this time Charrington regularly checked Faith's MySpace page "to see if she had something that had a special direction or sound." After several months her attention was eventually piqued by "Broken Doll", which she thought was a well-crafted song with a "fantastic chorus and brilliant lyrics." Charrington told Epic managing director Nick Raphael "I think we should get this girl back in. She sounds like she is getting it now. We can help her get the songs." Faith revealed in an interview that the manager called her and offered her a contract saying he had seen many acts since and none had been as memorable as her. She turned down an opportunity to join Amy Winehouse's band and began to write and perform her own songs.
Her first recognised work was the song "It's Christmas (And I Hate You)", which she recorded as a duet with singer-songwriter Josh Weller in 2008. Faith's music is influenced by soul and jazz and her singing style has been compared favourably to those of Amy Winehouse and Duffy.
2009–10: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
In mid-2009 Faith released her debut single, "Stone Cold Sober" which reached Number 17 on the UK Singles Chart. Her second single, "New York", was released in September 2009, reaching its peak position at number 15 on the UK Singles Chart in early October. On 28 September 2009 she released her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, for which she wrote or co-wrote all of the songs in the UK, Sweden and America and which was recorded entirely in London. It debuted at number 14 on the UK Albums Chart and later peaked at number 9, remaining in the chart for sixteen weeks and becoming BBC Radio 2's 'Album of the Week' from 19 September 2009. In the same year, Faith appeared as a guest vocalist on Basement Jaxx's Scars album and on American hip-hop artist MF Doom's album, Born Like This. She released her third single, the album's title track, "Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?" on 21 December 2009. The song did not perform as well as her previous singles and failed to reach the top twenty, peaking at number 64 in January 2010. In March 2010 she released her fourth single, "Upside Down", which peaked at Number 55 in the UK. To promote the album she went on her first tour, featuring dates in the UK, Germany and France.
On 4 November 2009 Faith announced her first headlining tour of the UK and Ireland starting on 17 March 2010. The Times described the tour as being "full of theatrical artifice, but based on the rock-solid foundation of [Faith]'s sensational singing voice and a personality that sparkled like a rough diamond". She performed a live set for the BBC's Radio 2 Introduces... and gave an interview to the station's host, Dermot O'Leary. She also appeared on current events programme This Week discussing her views on the British education system with Michael Portillo. In the same month she appeared as a guest on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, performed the song "Upside Down" on The Hollyoaks Music Show and performed her single "New York" on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. She also appeared on the BBC's Later with Jools Holland, recorded on 13 October 2009, and his live Hootenanny on 31 December 2009. Faith performed at numerous festivals throughout that summer, including T4 on the Beach. "Stone Cold Sober" was used as the backing track for a Rimmel commercial starring Lily Cole and the B-side, "I Just Wait", was used in the NHS' 'Alcohol: Know Your Limits' advert in 2008. Samsung's Corby mobile phone TV commercial featured her "Technicolour" song. She became involved in an album artwork competition with BBC Blast in November 2009, in which teenagers won the chance to work alongside leading artists, photographers and music industry professionals to create new publicity artwork for the singer.
During an interview with Mayer Nissim of Digital Spy in March 2010, Faith revealed that she was working on a second album, and that if she continued to make losses for her record label they would drop her. Her manager subsequently denied any suggestion that her contract with the label was under threat, saying that, on the contrary, debut album UK sales of 500,000 without a hit single is an impressive foundation for a long-term career, and Sony are "smart enough" to recognise that and are 110% behind her. Faith, along with Adam Deacon and Bashy, recorded the theme song to the 2010 British film 22.214.171.124. The track, titled "Keep Moving", was released on 28 May 2010. In the same month she performed at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival with the Guy Barker Orchestra, a performance which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2. In June 2010 it was announced that Faith would re-release an updated version of "New York" featuring rapper Ghostface Killah. The single was released on 1 August 2010. She released a live EP album following an appearance at the 2010 iTunes Festival. The album charted at number 11 on the iTunes top 200 albums. She revealed in a September interview that she would be releasing her new single "Smoke & Mirrors" in October 2010. The track was the final single from her debut album and its video was uploaded to YouTube. It peaked at Number 140 on the UK Singles Chart.
2011–13: Fall to Grace
In January 2011 Faith was nominated for "British Female Solo Artist" at the 2011 BRIT Awards. At the ceremony she performed "Forget You" alongside Cee Lo Green. She appeared on the charity single "Hard Times" alongside Plan B and Elton John. She also recorded the song "Desire" with Graham Coxon and Bill Ryder-Jones for a Converse campaign. During an interview with a Popjustice reporter she revealed that her second album would contain more "agony and suffering" and that she hoped it would be done with one producer for a "solid piece of work." She explained "I love the beautiful side of things like that Tom Waitsy, Rufus Wainwrighty, Ed Harcourt sort of stuff, and in contrast I like all the OutKast production, Gnarls Barkley and 'Beggin' and all that sort of sound. Contemporary but with a nod to the past. But you never know. You might just meet someone and something else would make sense." In July 2011 Faith revealed her frustrations about releasing the follow up to Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?. She did not know when the album was going to be completed and commented that the process was slow. She also admitted being signed to a major record label made her feel under pressure to be instantly successful. On 7 February 2012 a writer for the Gloucestershire Echo reported Faith had been named as Artist in Residence for the 2012 Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
On 29 February 2012 Faith revealed her second album would be called Fall to Grace and that it would be released by RCA Records on 28 May 2012. She enlisted record producers Nellee Hooper and Jake Gosling to work with her on the project. She told Dom Gourlay of Contactmusic.com that Fall to Grace is a personal record about a period of her life. She wrote and recorded the album in London. The album peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart. The first single from the album was "Picking Up the Pieces", which was released on 20 May; reaching number 7 on the UK Singles Chart, it was Faith's highest charting single to date. On 4 April 2012 Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy reported that Faith had joined The Voice UK as one of four guest mentors. She worked with coach Danny O'Donoghue during the battle rounds phase of the competition and also performed "Picking Up the Pieces" during the fourth results show. To promote Fall to Grace Faith performed "Just Be", a track from the album, on Later... with Jools Holland. In May 2012 she recorded a video for the Out4Marriage campaign, a group supporting the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The singer stated that she was "proud" to be backing the campaign. In June she announced plans for a headline tour of the UK and Ireland in early 2013.
That same month it was announced that Faith had been signed to Epic Records in the United States. The label's CEO, L.A. Reid, stated "In an era where authenticity resonates, Paloma is the epitome of soul. It's an honour for Epic Records to be part of her career in the United States." On 4 July Faith revealed "30 Minute Love Affair" would be the second single released from Fall to Grace. She recorded a version of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart" for a John Lewis advertisement, which began airing on television from 15 September 2012, and confirmed later that the song would be released as her next single. In late 2012 Fall to Grace was certified Platinum in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry. Faith released "Just Be" as the fourth single from the album on 16 December 2012. She received two nominations at the 2013 BRIT Awards; for Best Female and for Best British Album for Fall to Grace.
2013–15: A Perfect Contradiction
In January 2013 Faith revealed that she was beginning to write her third studio album during her time in the US, intending to work on it while in New York City. In February it was announced that she would be headlining the Evolution Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne on Monday 27 May 2013 with The Vaccines headlining the day before. Other acts performing alongside Faith included Jake Bugg, AlunaGeorge and Bastille. In January 2014 the title of Faith's third album was revealed to be A Perfect Contradiction; the album was released on 10 March 2014. It has become her fastest-selling album to date debuting at number two on the UK album chart and is currently certified double Platinum. The lead single "Can't Rely on You" produced by Pharrell Williams, became her second top ten in the UK. The album's second single "Only Love Can Hurt Like This" became her most successful single to date, reaching number six in the UK, number one in Australia and number three in New Zealand. After the success of the single in Australia, the album reached number four on the album chart there. The album's third single, "Trouble with My Baby" was released in August 2014.
In July 2014 British drum and bass duo "Sigma" announced their single "Changing", featuring vocals from Faith; it was released on 14 September 2014 and debuted at number one in the UK, becoming her first UK number-one single. On 15 September 2014 it was announced that a repackaged version of the album entitled "A Perfect Contradiction Outsider's Edition" would be released on 10 November 2014, the collection features four new songs. "Ready for the Good Life" was released as the first single from the re-release on 9 November 2014. The album track "Take Me", from A Perfect Contradiction which was written by Faith, John Legend and Mr Hudson, is featured on a Joseph Altuzarra commercial for the U.S. retail giant, Target. On 15 November 2014 Faith joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa. At the 2015 Brit Awards on 25 February 2015, she won British Female Solo Artist, becoming her first win after being nominated for an Brit Award three times previously.
2015–present: The Architect
In June 2015, during her Glastonbury Festival performance, Faith confirmed having started the process of creating her fourth studio album. "Now we're going to bring to your attention what I've been listening to a lot when making album number four," she told the crowd, before performing a cover of "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix. In addition to the inspiriation from Hendrix, Faith has also stated she has been listening to "a lot of [1970s] psychedelic rock", including the likes of Janis Joplin. In another interview Faith stated she is very happy and hasn't "anything to moan about" in her current relationship, which lead her to express this conclusion: "[she thinks] there's a lot of things going on in the world that are [just] as important as love". As a result, Faith claims she is attempting to write songs which "aren't about love or heartache" however, she then declared such a task as "really challenging". In a further interview with The Daily Telegraph published on 11 October 2015, it is claimed the album's working title was There's More To Life Than Love.
In August 2015, it was announced that she would become a coach on The Voice UK. As well as her role on The Voice, it was announced that October that Faith had launched her own management and publishing company. She also confirmed that no-one under 18 years of age will be signed. She explained: "I don't care how talented they are. From a moral and ethical place, it shouldn't be done". During Faith's performance at the Gibraltar Music Festival in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, on 5 September 2015, she started by saying "Hola España", which caused the majority of the crowd to 'boo' and shout abuse at her, despite her more positive comment: "it's great to be in a place that's half English and half Spanish". She apologised for the misunderstanding. Faith was selected as the recording artist for the 2015 Rugby World Cup anthem "World in Union". Her rendition of the song was used on ITV's Rugby World Cup coverage during advert breaks, a decision that was greeted negatively by some viewers. A petition to have the song removed was set up by viral marketing expert Jonathan Wilson and received over 10,000 signatures. The petition was featured on the front page of UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
On a Facebook post dated 10 June 2016, Faith indicates the new album will have a full orchestra on part of it, "composed by David Arnold". On 22 August in a letter to fans (handwritten by Faith) was posted on her website, announcing that she was pregnant, after spending her "whole life" wanting to be a mother. The "Update" also says that, after working with the "amazing" Jesse Shatkin her fourth album would be entitled The Architect and released in 2017. After her maternity break, Faith said she would return "full of energy and excited to come and sing for you again". After declaring that the album is sounding "super exciting", Faith signs: "All my love, gratitude and respect to you all, The architect – Paloma Faith [sic]". She released the first single from the album, "Crybaby", on 31 August 2017. The Architect debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, becoming Faith's first UK chart-topping album.
Television and film career
In 2007, Faith appeared in an episode of the BBC police drama HolbyBlue portraying a thief. She was also cast as Andrea in St Trinian's in 2007. Faith was also cast in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus as Sally, the girlfriend of the Devil (played by Tom Waits) in 2009. She also appeared in the horror film Dread as Clara Thornhill. She later starred in the Channel 4 series Coming Up and the short film A Nice Touch. Of getting the part, she stated "I don't think they even knew I was an actress. I went to an audition and they said that they liked my interpretation of the character and I said, 'I'm just being myself'." In 2013, she appeared as cabaret performer Georgia, in a television adaptation of P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings (episode "The Crime Wave at Blandings") on the BBC. In 2015 she appeared as herself in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth.
In 2015, Faith appeared as Tinker Bell in the TV film Peter & Wendy, based on J. M. Barrie's novel Peter Pan.
In 2016, Faith was a judge on The Voice UK. She admitted fixing one of the rounds to keep a participant in the competition and was heavily criticised by viewers of the show.
Faith is a mezzo-soprano. Her music often blends soul and elements of gospel; she has been consequently compared to Amy Winehouse and Adele.
She was briefly married to New Zealand chef Rian Haynes in 2005; however they split after eight months and were divorced four years later.
Faith admitted to being born in 1981, rather than the four years younger she had claimed, after her birth certificate was revealed online, but she does not feel age is important. She claims that she told record executives that she was younger than she actually was because she felt that she would not be signed to their label if she had told them her true age.
On 22 August 2016 it was revealed that she was expecting her first child with partner Leyman Lahcine. On 5 December 2016, Faith gave birth to her daughter by emergency caesarean.
- Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (2009)
- Fall to Grace (2012)
- A Perfect Contradiction (2014)
- The Architect (2017)
Awards and nominations
|2009||ATC Hitz Awards||Best New Act Female Singer||Herself||Nominated|
|2010||Clothes Show Style Awards||The Best Dressed Woman of the Year|
|2011||Brit Awards||British Female Solo Artist|
|ASCAP Awards||ASCAP College Award||Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?||Won|
|MPG Awards||UK Single of the Year 2010||Nominated|
|UK Music Video Awards||Best Styling in a Video||Smoke & Mirrors|
|2012||Best Pop Video||Picking Up the Pieces|
|4Music Video Honours||Best Video|
|2013||MPG Awards||UK Single Song Release of the Year|
|UK Album of the Year||Fall to Grace|
|Brit Awards||MasterCard British Album of the Year|
|British Female Solo Artist||Herself|
|Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Award||Cosmopolitan’s Style Icon||Won|
|2014||MP3 Music Awards||The JSB Award||"Only Love Can Hurt Like This"||Nominated|
|The HDT Award||Changing with Sigma|
|Urban Music Awards||Best Music Video||"Can't Rely on You"|
|UK Music Video Awards||Best Video Artist||Herself|
|Best Colour Grade in a Video||"Can't Rely on You"|
|Only Love Can Hurt Like This||Won|
|Xperia Access Q Awards||Best Video||Nominated|
|World Music Awards||World's Best Album||Fall to Grace|
|Pro Sound Awards||Best Recording Production||A Perfect Contradiction||Won|
|O2 Silver Clef Awards||Best British Act Award||Herself|
|Attitude Awards||Music Gong|
|Glamour Awards||Best Solo UK Artist|
|2015||Brit Awards||British Female Solo Artist|
|International Dance Music Awards||Best Dubstep/Drum & Bass Track||Changing with Sigma||Nominated|
- Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful Tour (2010)
- Fall to Grace Tour (2012–13)
- Paloma Faith Autumn Tour 2014 (2014–15)
- The Architect Tour (2018)
|2007||HolbyBlue||Donna Reynolds||Episode: 1.7|
|2009||The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus||Sally|
|Never Mind the Buzzcocks||Herself||Series 23, episode 1|
|2010||Series 24, episode 6|
|Coming Up||Rainy||Episode: "I Don't Care"|
|2011||A Nice Touch||Alma||Short film|
|2012||The Voice UK||Battle Advisor||Series 1 Battle Round|
|2010–14||Celebrity Juice||Herself||4 episodes|
|2015||The Jonathan Ross Show||Herself|
|2015||Peter & Wendy||Tinker Bell|
|2016||The Voice UK||Coach/Judge|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paloma Faith.|
- Official website
- Paloma Faith discography at Discogs
- Paloma Faith on IMDb
- Paloma Faith portrait competition at BBC Blast