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Paloma Faith interview: ‘I don’t like to walk around assuming people recognise me’

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Returning to perform at Newmarket Nights for the first time since her memorable 2018 concert at the racecouse is the always colourful Paloma Faith.

Paloma Faith. Picture: The Jockey Club Live
Paloma Faith. Picture: The Jockey Club Live

The double platinum and Brit Award-winning artist will be embarking on her second UK tour within a year with an extensive 23-date tour which will run throughout June, July and August. Paloma will play a variety of venues and places she hasn’t visited in a while, including a return to the July course on June 17.

She will be treating the crowd to an array of hits from her extensive repertoire, which includes classics such as Only Love Can Hurt Like This, Can’t Rely on You, 30 Minute Love Affair, Picking Up the Pieces and Lullaby, as well as songs from her fifth studio album, 2020’s Infinite Things.

Paloma recorded Infinite Things in her basement, teaching herself how to produce her own vocals – something she’d never done before – and put together the record with a small group of long-time and new collaborators including the producers Patrick Wimberly and Detonate, songwriters Ed Harcourt, Starsmith, and Tre Jean Marie, and close friend Josef Salvat.

Aside from music, the star has also been busy with other projects. She put out a BBC documentary Paloma Faith: As I Am in 2021, which included frank discussions around motherhood, and entered the world of interior design with the launch of her Paloma Home collection, as well as filming series three of Pennyworth and the prequel series to director Stephen Fears’ film Dangerous Liaisons.

We put some questions to Paloma while she was on a bus on her way to Birmingham to perform at a Ukraine benefit concert.

Paloma Faith. Picture: The Jockey Club Live
Paloma Faith. Picture: The Jockey Club Live

What have you been up to?

Writing a new album, auditioning for movie parts, mothering, I’ve got my interior range that I do... Never a dull moment.

You mainly recorded Infinite Things alone at home. Is that something you’ve continued doing with the new album you’re working on?

No, I’ve been really enjoying getting back out into the world. So I’ve been back in the studio with other people again. I always have that to fall back on but I don’t at the moment work on my own, but I can do – it’s an option. Because we haven’t been around people for so long, I’ve been really enjoying doing that.

Paloma Faith. Picture: The Jockey Club Live
Paloma Faith. Picture: The Jockey Club Live

How do you keep yourself ‘match fit’ for performing and doing gigs?

I work out four times a week and I do singing lessons once a week as well. And I try to sing every day.

Was lockdown enjoyable in some ways as it gave you a bit of a break from touring?

Yeah, there were some elements of it that were but it’s not my chosen state of being, being kept indoors, and life doesn’t feel like it’s fully returned to what it used to be.

What do you enjoy about performing at racecourses?

Well I just love being outside and they’re as good a place as any. I think during the summer months it’s just so exhilarating performing out in the elements, so it’s going to feel nice. I hope that people will feel a bit freer because I know with all the Covid a lot of people have been nervous, but because it’s outside they can be less nervous.

Will you walk around the racecourse during the day and maybe place a few bets?

I went before. My bass player does loads of bets, and she actually won last time we played there. So maybe I’ll just copy whatever she puts her money on.

Do you like to walk around outdoor venues before a show maybe in disguise?

I don’t like to walk around assuming people recognise me because then I’d feel quite vain and egotistical, so I tend to sort of act like no one does. Then if they approach me it depends what I’m doing.

Sometimes I don’t want to be seen. If I’m with my kids I don’t really like it; I don’t really want them to feel separate from society in that way. If I’m on my own I don’t mind as much but I’m quite protective of my children around all of that – I want them to feel like they’re normal.

Will you be doing some of the new songs you’ve been working on?

Yeah, I’ll be doing some of the new album, maybe some songs that have influenced what I’m writing now, and all the old ones of mine that people love from the past.

You’ve been successful in the music world for a number of years now. What is the secret to your longevity?

I’ve no idea. I think it’s that I don’t take myself too seriously and people like it.

Paloma Faith
Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith will be appearing at Newmarket Racecourses on Friday, June 17. Other artists scheduled to perform there over the summer include The Script, Anne-Marie, and The Wombats.

For more information, go to thejockeyclub.co.uk. For more on Paloma, visit palomafaith.com.

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