Paloma Faith: 'I like to feel not all my eggs are in one basket, or I get nervous'

 

You feel a sense of elation seeing yourself on a billboard It's like: five years ago I was pulling pints, and now look. But being recognised is something you have to learn to deal with. It is kind of shocking – you still consider yourself to be the same as anyone else.

I'm surrounded by friends and family who are not that impressed by celebrity They don't have any problem telling me I'm acting like an idiot or I'm not that funny.

I find it quite difficult to know what the benefits of TV talent contests are – except reaching an extremely broad audience. It gives an unrealistic idea that you can be fast-tracked to success in the music business. It's a bit "build you up to watch you fall".

What doesn't kill me makes me strong – that's why my new album is called Fall to Grace rather than from grace. I never really had grace in the first place! The whole record's about taking sad situations, tragedy, hurt and heartache, and trying to give them a sprinkling of hope.

Everybody creates a character for themselves Antonin Artaud once said, "Life is a performance," and I tend to agree with him. Everyone is playing a role, even if it's subconscious. So I do [play a character], but only as much as everyone else.

I try to keep busy I like not to feel that all my eggs are in one basket or I get nervous. But I'm a perfectionist, too – I don't do anything by half measures.

Pornography gives men an unrealistic idea of what a woman should be I'm surprised by how many young men think women should be hairless, because that's not the way the cookie crumbles...

I'll go to burlesque clubs, but to me that is empowering It's a celebration of the female body as a natural form, whereas [pornography] is a completely objectifying, unrealistic, plastic version. I believe in sensuality and have a strong sense of my own sexual desire – by no means am I a prude – but it's a celebratory thing, not just geared toward the male gaze. It's got to be mutual between the genders.

I am socially political But I'm not as well informed as I should be, or as I was brought up to be. I don't have a television and I don't buy newspapers or read magazines because I try not to be influenced by those things, but I've cut out a lot information as a result.

The government is focused too much on academia I think that there should be options available, quite early on, that if someone is recognised as a disruptive child for them to be trained vocationally. Maybe if those kids were given the option to learn how to contribute to society on a practical level they wouldn't get into trouble. But there is this right-wing idea that academia is superior.

Paloma Faith is a singer and actress. Her new album, 'Fall to Grace', is out on RCA

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