TESTS OF FAITH

Tour­ing with a new baby, nav­i­gat­ing the post- Spo­tify mu­sic in­dus­try and tack­ling Trump and Brexit in her songs... MAR­ION McMULLEN learns Paloma Faith is not one to shrink from a chal­lenge

Solihull News - - MUSIC -

The words used to talk about refugees is such ugly lan­guage... com­pas­sion and em­pa­thy are needed...

‘ IT’S been hell,” new mum Paloma Faith laugh­ingly groans about work­ing to get back in shape af­ter the birth of her baby. “I put on three stone and it was hard to lose the weight.

“I’ve never had to lose weight be­fore but I did it.

“Some women ge­net­i­cally don’t change as much as I did when I was preg­nant.

“I think I had the wrong set from the gene pool in mine.

“My wa­ter re­ten­tion was ridicu­lous.

“I could push half my fin­ger in my an­kle. I felt so heavy, I couldn’t walk well.

“Thank­fully, it’s all gone now ... and I got some­thing good out of it at least.”

The mul­ti­ple double plat­inum singer is now back to her prepreg­nancy svelte self.

“I started train­ing four times a week and do­ing dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines every day,” she re­calls.

“I think your body gets used to it if you do the same work­out all the time so some days I would run and oth­ers do weights, just all sorts of dif­fer­ent things.

“I just like eat­ing, I en­joy it so much, and I’m a fast eater so it’s hard to gauge how much I’m eat­ing be­cause I’ve nor­mally fin­ished while ev­ery­one is still eat­ing.”

Paloma and her long- term part­ner Ley­man Lahcine have still not re­vealed the name or sex of their baby, but the new ar­rival was born pre­ma­ture and Paloma needed an emer­gency C- sec­tion af­ter a 20- hour labour.

The 36- year- old singer also recorded part of her new al­bum The Ar­chi­tect – her first in more than three years – while she was preg­nant and it fea­tures an ar­ray of high- pro­file col­lab­o­ra­tors in­clud­ing Sia, John Leg­end, Rag ‘ n’ Bone Man, Star­smith, Jesse Shatkin, Eg White, jour­nal­ist and ac­tivist Owen Jones and Hol­ly­wood star Sa­muel L Jack­son.

“I did half the record­ing preg­nant – all the stuff that was recorded in Amer­ica – and then when I had the baby I worked in a stu­dio close to home.

“It was quite dif­fi­cult, but I have got my baby on a re­ally strict rou­tine so I know what’s hap­pen­ing when.

“The baby is only awake 12 hours a day and I do a lot af­ter bed­time and I have help from my part­ner as well.

“I was pump­ing boob milk when I was record­ing as well, which I hated, it is the worst.

“It was not easy work­ing on the al­bum, but it seemed to work.”

So how did Sa­muel L Jack­son end up on the al­bum?

“He is in­volved with the char­ity One For The Boys, help­ing men with tes­tic­u­lar cancer, and I have done some stuff for him to raise money for the char­ity a cou­ple of times and he said to me one day that he was so grate­ful for all of the help and that any time I wanted to call in the favour to let him know.

“There were a lot of things I wanted to say on this record and I had writ­ten a piece at the start to re­mind me what I was writ­ing about. I felt it was im­por­tant to in­clude some of it on the record and I asked him if he would be the voice on the open­ing track Evo­lu­tion and he said ‘ yeah.’ He was so nice and he has this great voice that peo­ple lis­ten to.”

The 36- year- old singer is now count­ing down to The Ar­chi­tect’s re­lease and says: “I’m pos­i­tive about the new al­bum but I’m al­ways quite scared about a new re­lease.

“When the last al­bum was re­leased things like Spo­tify and stream­ing were not preva­lent. I’ve not come into con­tact with this world be­fore and it’s quite frus­trat­ing.

“I’m a lit­tle bit wor­ried whether any­one is go­ing to even know that it’s out.

“But,” she laughs, “it’s com­ing out be­fore Christ­mas so could make good presents.”

Paloma ex­plains: “The Ar­chi­tect is a so­cial ob­ser­va­tion record. I was adamant that I wouldn’t write about love. I wanted to look out­side of my­self. I’m com­ing at pol­i­tics from the per­spec­tive of the com­mon man or woman, ob­serv­ing why peo­ple are suf­fer­ing.

“I wanted to write some­thing more modern. “On pre­vi­ous al­bums I’ve been

more con­cerned with the past, but now I’m look­ing for­ward be­cause of moth­er­hood and want­ing to change things for a bet­ter fu­ture.”

Lyrics raise so­cial and politi­cal is­sues in­clud­ing the fu­ture of the Western world, Don­ald Trump, Brexit and the refugee cri­sis.

Paloma says: “It’s not that I have dis­cov­ered my voice. If you ask me a ques­tion ev­ery­one knows I will put my opin­ion out there, but this is re­ally im­por­tant to me, es­pe­cially now.

“The protest mu­sic of the 1960s and 70s is still very rel­e­vant today.

“Noth­ing seems to have changed and that is very sad.

“The words used to talk about refugees is such ugly lan­guage. Th­ese are peo­ple who have left ev­ery­thing be­hind to save their fam­i­lies. Un­der­stand­ing, com­pas­sion and em­pa­thy are needed.”

Paloma has an­nounced a UK arena tour next year and baby will be go­ing along too.

“Tour­ing and live con­certs are the rea­son I do this job,” she says sim­ply. “I have never done it with a child in tow. Trav­el­ling makes ba­bies quite un­set­tled so I’ve had to take that into ac­count.”

So what has it been like jug­gling a new al­bum and tour with be­ing a new mum?

“Aaargh, I just need more sleep,” she laughs. “I get home and climb into bed and the baby wakes up two hours later.

“I’m just go­ing to have to learn to sleep any time of the day I can I think.”

Paloma Faith plays the Gent­ing Arena, NEC, on March 21.

Don­ald Trump is among the top­ics Paloma chose to ad­dress while writ­ing her al­bum

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