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Paloma Faith

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Paloma Faith
Paloma Faith cropped.png
Paloma Faith in 2014
Born
Paloma Faith Blomfield

(1981-07-21) 21 July 1981 (age 37)[1]
Hackney, London, England
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Musical career
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2007–present
Labels
Websitepalomafaith.com

Paloma Faith Blomfield (born 21 July 1981), known professionally as Paloma Faith, is an English singer, songwriter, and actress.[1][2]

Faith is known for her retro and eccentric style. The singer met her managers Jamie Binns and Christian Wåhlberg in 2007. Her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? was released in 2009 and has been certified double platinum in the UK. The album contains the singles "Stone Cold Sober", "New York" and "Upside Down", and earned Faith her first BRIT Award nomination in 2010. In 2012, Faith released her second studio album, Fall to Grace, which debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart. The album was critically well received and surpassed the success of her debut, earning her numerous award nominations in 2013 and earning a double platinum certification in the UK. The album produced her first top ten single, "Picking Up the Pieces", the top twenty cover version of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart" and earned her two BRIT Award nominations for Best British Female and British Album of the Year. Faith released her third album, A Perfect Contradiction in 2014, which stands as her most successful album to date. The album spawned the two UK top ten singles "Can't Rely on You" and "Only Love Can Hurt Like This", with the latter topping the charts in Australia. Faith won Best British Female Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards in 2015. Her fourth studio album, The Architect was released in 2017, and debuted at number one in the UK, becoming Faith's first number one album.

In addition to her solo work, Faith has also collaborated with the duo Sigma on the 2012 track "Changing", which charted at number one in the UK, and DJ Sigala on "Lullaby" which reached the top ten in 2018. Furthermore, she has also made feature film appearances in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dread, the 2007 remake of St Trinian's and Youth. In 2016, Faith appeared as a judge on the fifth series of The Voice UK.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Faith was born to an English mother and Spanish father in Hackney, although her parents were both from Norfolk.[3] 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.[4] As a child, she was encouraged to dance by her mother and took weekly ballet classes in Dalston.[citation needed] 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,[5] working as a hip hop dancer at popular club 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.[4]

Faith's first foray into music began when she mimicked famous soul and jazz singers including Etta James and Billie Holiday, whom she admired and cites as influences for her own work.[4][6] She met her managers Jamie Binns and Christian Wåhlberg of Lateral Management in 2007.[7] Binns had been tipped off by the producer Peanut, a client who had recently worked with her in his studio and been suitably impressed.[8] 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!'"[8]

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'.[9] 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.[9] Twenty minutes into the audition, she asked the manager to turn his phone off and when he refused, she walked out.[9][10] The manager later called her and offered her a contract saying he had seen many acts since and none had been as memorable as her.[9] She turned down an opportunity to join Amy Winehouse's band and began to write and perform her own songs.[11] 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.[12]

2009–10: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?[edit]

Faith performing in November 2010.

In June 2009, Faith released her debut single "Stone Cold Sober", which reached number 17 on the UK Singles Chart.[13] Her second single, "New York", was released in September 2009,[14] charting at number 15 in the UK.[15] It was later re-released as an updated version featuring rapper Ghostface Killah.[16] In September 2009, she released her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?,[17] for which she wrote or co-wrote all of the songs in the UK, Sweden and America.[18] It debuted at number 14 on the UK Albums Chart and later peaked at number nine, remaining in the chart for 16 weeks.[19] and becoming BBC Radio 2's 'Album of the Week' from 19 September 2009.[17] She released her third single, the album's title track in December 2009.[20] The song peaked at number 64 in the UK.[21] In the same year, Faith appeared as a vocalist on Basement Jaxx's Scars album and American hip-hop artist MF Doom's album, Born Like This.[22][23]

In March 2010, Faith released her fourth single "Upside Down", which reached number 55 in the UK. To promote the album, she embarked on her first headlining tour of the UK and Ireland commencing in March.[24][25] 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".[26] She performed a live set for the BBC's Radio 2 Introduces... and gave an interview to host Dermot O'Leary.[27] Faith performed at numerous festivals throughout that summer, including T4 on the Beach, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and the 2010 iTunes Festival.[28][29] In May 2010, Faith featured on the theme song "Keep Moving" to the 2010 British film 4.3.2.1, alongside Adam Deacon and Bashy.[30] In October 2010, Faith released the final single from her debut album "Smoke & Mirrors".[31][32]

2011–13: Fall to Grace and continued career[edit]

Faith performing in October 2012.

In January 2011, Faith was nominated for British Female Solo Artist at the 2011 BRIT Awards,[33] where she also performed "Forget You" alongside Cee Lo Green.[34] She appeared on the charity single "Hard Times" with Plan B and Elton John in May 2011.[35] In May 2012, Faith released her second studio album Fall to Grace.[36][37] She enlisted record producers Nellee Hooper and Jake Gosling to work with her on the project.[37][38] The album charted at number two on the UK Albums Chart.[39] The album's first single "Picking Up the Pieces" reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Faith's first top ten single.[40][41] In May 2012, Faith joined The Voice UK as one of four guest mentors.[42] She worked with coach Danny O'Donoghue during the battle rounds phase of the competition[42] and also performed "Picking Up the Pieces" during the results show.[43]

In August 2012, Faith released "30 Minute Love Affair" as the second single from Fall to Grace.[44] She recorded a version of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart" for a John Lewis advertisement, which began airing on television from September 2012.[45] It was later included on the album as a single.[46] Faith released "Just Be" as the fourth single from the album on in December 2012.[47] She performed the track on Later... with Jools Holland.[48] In early 2013, Faith embarked on a headline UK and Ireland tour in support of the album.[49] She received two nominations at the 2013 BRIT Awards; for Best Female and for Best British Album for Fall to Grace.[50] The album has been certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 700,000 copies.[51]

2013–15: A Perfect Contradiction[edit]

Faith in concert at the Liverpool Empire Theatre in 2014.

In January 2013, Faith revealed that she had begun to write her third studio album during her time in the US. Later that year, she headlined the Evolution Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne. In March 2014, Faith's third album A Perfect Contradiction was released.[52] It became her fastest-selling album to date, debuting at number two in the UK and receiving a double platinum certification.[53] The lead single "Can't Rely on You" produced by Pharrell Williams, became her second top ten in the UK.[54][55] The album's second single "Only Love Can Hurt Like This", written by Diane Warren, 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, the album reached a new peak of number four in Australia.[56] The album's third single, "Trouble with My Baby" was released in August 2014.[57]

In September 2014, British drum and bass duo "Sigma" released their single "Changing", featuring vocals from Faith. It debuted at number one in the UK, becoming her first UK number one single.[58] In November 2014, a repackaged "Outsider's Edition" of her third album was released featuring four new songs including the single "Ready for the Good Life".[59] The same month, Faith joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording a new version of the track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.[60] At the 2015 Brit Awards, Faith won the award for British Female Solo Artist, becoming her first win.[61]

2015–present: The Voice UK, motherhood and The Architect[edit]

In June 2015, Faith confirmed that she had started the process of creating her fourth studio album. She made reference to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin as inspirations for the record.[62][63] In August 2015, it was announced that Faith would become a coach on The Voice UK.[64] As well as her role on the show, Faith launched her own management and publishing company.[65][66] In August 2016 it was revealed that she was expecting her first child with partner Leyman Lahcine,[67] to which she gave birth to in December 2016.[68]

In August 2017, Faith returned with the lead single "Crybaby" from her fourth album entitled The Architect.[69] The album was later released in November, debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, becoming Faith's first UK chart-topping album.[70] Three further singles from the album have been released: "Guilty", "'Til I'm Done" and "Warrior". In February 2018, Faith released a collaboration with DJ Sigala, "Lullaby" which charted at number six in the UK, becoming her fourth top ten single as a lead artist and fifth overall.[71] The following month, Faith covered the 1960s song "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass. It featured in a TV commercial by Škoda which was heavily played throughout the year, causing the track to chart at number 28 in the UK.[72] In November 2018, Faith released a re-issue "Zeitgeist Edition" of The Architect, featuring six new songs including "Make Your Own Kind of Music", "Lullaby" and "Loyal".[73]

Television and film career[edit]

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.[74] 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'."[75] 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.[76] In 2015 she appeared as herself in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth. Later that year, Faith also appeared as Tinker Bell in the TV film Peter & Wendy, based on J. M. Barrie's novel Peter Pan.

In 2016, Faith became a judge on The Voice UK. She remained on the panel for one series, due to her pregnancy.[77] In 2017, Faith sang with Grace Davies' on Grace's original song, "Roots", on "The X Factor".[78] In 2018, Faith was announced as the lead villainess in the Epix series Pennyworth, a Batman prequel.[79]

Artistry[edit]

Faith is a mezzo-soprano. Her music often blends soul and elements of jazz and gospel; she has been consequently compared to Amy Winehouse, Adele and Duffy.[80][81][82]

Personal life[edit]

Faith was briefly married to New Zealand chef Rian Haynes in 2005; however they split after eight months and were divorced four years later.[83] In 2014, Faith admitted to being born in 1981, rather than the four years younger she had claimed, after her birth certificate was revealed online.[2][84] 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.[85]

In August 2016, Faith announced that she was expecting her first child with long-term boyfriend Leyman Lahcine,[67] who was later born in December the same year.[68]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Award Work Result
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 Won
Urban Music Awards Best Music Video "Can't Rely on You" Nominated
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
2018 Global Awards Best Female Herself
Best Appeal
Best British Artist or Group
Brit Awards British Female Solo Artist
Music Week Awards Artist Marketing Champaign
Webby Awards Celebrity/Fan www.palomafaith.com

Concert tours[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Mayo Guest Episode: 1.6
2007 HolbyBlue Donna Reynolds Episode: 1.7
Dogface Various Episode: 1.4
St Trinian's Andrea
2009 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Sally
Dread Clara Thornhill
Never Mind the Buzzcocks Herself Series 23, episode 1
2010 Series 24, episode 6
Coming Up Rainy Episode: "I Don't Care"
Discovering Lennon Herself
2011 A Nice Touch Alma Short film
2012 The Voice UK Battle Advisor Series 1 Battle Round
2013 Blandings Georgia
2010–17 Celebrity Juice Herself 4 episodes
2015 The Jonathan Ross Show Herself
2015 Peter & Wendy Tinker Bell
2015 Youth Herself
2016 The Voice UK Coach/Judge
2017 Sounds Like Friday Night Herself

Notes

References[edit]

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External links[edit]