My Secret Life: Newton Faulkner, 27, singer-singwriter

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My parents were… My dad wrote children's books. He wrote The Wide-Mouthed Frog. My mum did all kinds of things; she worked for Apple at one point, the Beatles' label. Both were relatively hippie-ish; there are amazing pictures of my dad in little round blue glasses and ridiculously long hair… though I can't really say anything about long hair!

The household I grew up in… was in the middle of nowhere, in the country.

When I was a child I wanted to be… Batman. I pretty much slipped straight from Batman to guitar – I don't think I have grown up at all.

If I could change one thing about myself… I would care a bit less, about pretty much everything.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… I'm a one-trick pony – I literally only do music.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… everything else.

At night I dream of… I haven't remembered a dream for ages – probably because I haven't slept for more than about two hours. Last time I dreamt I had a lucid dream: you're walking along and you go 'Aha! I'm in a dream – I can do this!'.

I wish I had never worn… Whichever piece of the brain makes you embarrassed, I just don't have.

What I see when I look in the mirror… A hairy, ginger man.

My favourite item of clothing… Jeans. If I'm properly on the road, then my jeans kind of become like my house – I have a pocket for everything. If I have to change them, I get a bit panicky.

It's not fashionable but I like… my bowler hat. I don't wear it often, but when I do, I feel brilliant. I like it for rainy London days – I feel Edwardian.

My favourite building… The Natural History Museum. And I genuinely really like the Shard. Am I allowed to say that?

A book that changed me… Almost anything by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha was the big one – the middle bit's quite hard to get through, but the ending is worth it. I read it on a 12-hour plane journey; I finished it in the first hour and sat there smiling for the next 11 hours.

Movie heaven… Moon. As soon as it finished, I just watched it again. And Scott Pilgrim… It's completely flawless.

The last album I bought… I've been buying loads of vinyl; the last was Grinderman. I've been finding all kinds of magical things lately, from charity shops and some Rough Trade trips.

My greatest regret… I don't have one. Yet.

My secret crush… Sue Perkins.

What's the point? I'm just trying to make as many people happy as I can along the way.

My life in six words… I've had a really good time.

A life in brief

Newton Faulkner was born in Surrey in 1985. He began playing guitar at 13, and later studied at Guildford's Academy of Contemporary Music. His debut album, 2007's Hand Built By Robots, went to number one in the album charts and spent 10 months in the top 10. It was followed by Rebuilt By Humans in 2009. Faulkner's latest album, Write It On Your Skin, is out now, and has already topped the charts. He will be touring the UK in October. Faulkner lives in east London with his girlfriend and son