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You gotta have... Paloma Faith

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - CONTENTS - PALOMA FAITH In­ter­view by Louise Gan­non Paloma Faith’s al­bum ‘The Ar­chi­tect’ is out on Nov 17. She will be­gin a 14-date tour in March

Paloma Faith, 36, was born in Hack­ney, east Lon­don, and has re­leased three dou­ble­plat­inum al­bums. She has also acted in films, in­clud­ing ‘St Trinian’s’, and is a judge on ‘The Voice’. Last year she had a child with her boyfriend, artist Ley­man Lahcine.

What is your ear­li­est mem­ory?

Be­ing about three years old, sit­ting on the back of my mum’s bike in a child seat. My mum, Pamela, was a sin­gle par­ent and we went ev­ery­where on that bike.

What sort of child were you?

Be­cause I was an only child, I was quite in­su­lar and in­tro­verted. My mum came from a huge fam­ily of seven but at home it was just me and her. But when I hit 14, I just burst out of my shell. I went from bot­tom of the class to top and got all As at GCSE.

What is the worst thing any­one has ever said to you?

All the peo­ple who told me I wouldn’t make it. It’s a hor­ri­ble thing to say be­cause it’s so damn­ing, but it then be­comes a sort of chal­lenge. What makes you suc­ceed in life is not tal­ent or po­ten­tial, it’s re­silience. It worked for me.

... and what is the worst thing you’ve said to some­one?

I re­mem­ber work­ing with a song­writer called Claude Kelly. Bruno Mars had re­leased a song called Grenade and I started go­ing on about how aw­ful the lyrics were, how fake it was. Claude looked at me and said: ‘I wrote that song.’ I couldn’t ex­actly back­track. I just said: ‘Sorry.’

What is your most trea­sured pos­ses­sion?

The let­ters my part­ner and I wrote to each other at the be­gin­ning of our re­la­tion­ship. We wrote each other a lot of let­ters and we both kept ev­ery one. They have been put away in a spe­cial box.

De­scribe the best night of your life

Win­ning the Brit Award in 2015. I got to make a speech. I was in­cred­i­bly emo­tional. I had been in the business for 14 years, I’d been nom­i­nated four times be­fore and never won. I got up and didn’t stop talk­ing.

What do you most dis­like about your ap­pear­ance? What is the worst job you’ve done?

I worked for one day in a Trav­elodge as a house­keeper. I was 19. They com­plained about the di­rec­tion I’d folded the cor­ners of the sheets. I told them to go f*** them­selves. They then said they wouldn’t pay me. I left scream­ing at them: ‘Keep the money. I don’t want it. Go and buy some sweets with it.’

When was the last time you cried?

The last time was when I was au­di­tion­ing drum­mers for my band. A fe­male drum­mer came in and in this in­dus­try we are al­ways told that fe­male drum­mers aren’t very good. But she just started play­ing and she was amaz­ing. I have a fe­male bass player in the band, and I could see they were com­mu­ni­cat­ing through the mu­sic. It was so com­pletely mov­ing I started cry­ing and then had to tell them why. And she was hired.

What’s the best ad­vice you’ve had?

Noth­ing is the end of the world. It’s one of my mum’s say­ings.

Have you ever cheated death?

I thought I was go­ing to die dur­ing child­birth [last De­cem­ber]. I be­came com­pletely delu­sional and I gen­uinely thought at one point I wasn’t go­ing to sur­vive. I had to have in­ter­ven­tion and a C-sec­tion.

What was the sad­dest time in your life?

When my mum had breast cancer ten years ago. Ever since I was born, she’s had a brain tu­mour but we’ve lived with that. When she got breast cancer, I thought she was go­ing to die. She had to have a mas­tec­tomy but in her ward all she cared about was ev­ery­one else. She’d make me bring in a notepad ev­ery day and take down or­ders from ev­ery­one on the ward of what they wanted from the shop.

What do you re­gret?

Pin­ing af­ter too many men and putting them on pedestals. I wasted a lot of time in my 20s on the wrong guys.

What is your favourite word?

Cake.

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