Paloma Faith: 'It took seven years to become an overnight success'

The Independent Online caught up with the multitalented pop singer Paloma Faith ahead of her gig at London’s HMV forum last week. She explains why she abandoned her plans to dance professionally for a job in a pub singing with her mates. Even though she's a major star she's still keen on the X Factor - so much so she confesses she'd like to write a song for contestant Rebecca.

How’s everything been going lately?

Really well, thanks. Playing gigs is my favourite thing to do. We’ve had a reshuffle in the band recently because my guitarist of four years left because he got a record deal. So we’ve been rehearsing with a new guitarist and we’re showcasing him tonight (at the Russian Standard Vodka Originals free winter festival). He’s really good. We’re not planning to do anything too new tonight because we’re trying to get him up to scratch. There will be a few cover songs and a couple with just me and the piano.

You’ve got a background in dance and theatre – what made you decide to choose singing instead?

Erm, it’s weird. I was doing it for fun for ages. I worked in a bar so I was a pub singer. Then people came down to the gigs and started saying things like ‘Hey, you’re good. You should write your own songs.’ So I ended up doing that and then it took seven years to become an overnight success. (Laughs)

When I was young I trained to be contemporary dancer and then I did an MA in directing. I dunno, I thought I’d perform for a bit as an actress or a performance artist and then eventually end up directing- which I still might do.

You’ve appeared in several films. Would you consider taking to the stage?

Probably not theatre as I love films. But if the right thing came up, of course. It would have to be something which mixes reality with fantasy.

What’s happening with the new album?

I’m writing it at the moment.

How far are you into it?

I dunno. I think maybe about halfway on the writing but I still haven’t found a producer yet. It’s going to be different.

Can you tell me what kind of different?

I’d rather not. I prefer people to be surprised.

What do you think of X Factor? There have been rumours about you wanting to write a song for Rebecca. Is this true?

Yeah! (Sounds enthusiastic). I love her. I think she’s amazing. She’s the most talented one that’s ever gone on the show.

What kind of song would you write for her?

Something really timeless. Classic and smoky.

How do you choose all your incredibly flamboyant stage outfits?

Well, I’ve got a guy who’s a stylist who comes round to my house at the beginning of the week with a load of clothes on a rail for me and I just choose. A lot of my clothing choices are inspired by films or art. I like things that are sculptural.

What are you doing for Christmas?

I’m going to a hot country because I don’t like the cold. I’m going to take sister because we decided we couldn’t be bothered with Christmas and we’d just have a holiday instead.(Laughs).

How have you been coping with the snow if you’re no fan of the chilly weather?

Terribly. I just stay. I’m becoming an agoraphobe.

Paloma Faith headlined the Russian Standard Vodka Originals free winter festival this December. To find out how to be first in line for 2011’s free gigs, visit


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