Paloma Faith Blomfield grew up in Stoke Newington with a passion for dancing that saw her taking ballet lessons and having completed her A Levels she gained a degree from the Northern School Of Contemporary Dance in Leeds before attending London's Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design where she studied for an MA in Theatre Directing. Shifting her focus to music, the teenaged Faith sang in the band Paloma & The Penetrators as well as performing in a burlesque troupe. Declining an offer to join Amy Winehouse's band she played gigs around London and built a reputation as an artist very different to her contemporaries. Signing to Epic Records she issued two singles in quick succession, 'Stone Cold Sober' was released in June 2009 and entered the UK charts at No 17 while three months later 'New York' peaked at No 15. Her debut album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful followed in September of that year and peaking at No 9 was ultimately certified double platinum. Faith co-wrote the record with several other writers including singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt ('Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful"'), Jorgen Elöfsson ('Stargazer'), Samuel Dixon ('My Legs Are Weak') and Steve Robson ('Play On'), while 'Smoke And Mirrors' was co-written with Robson and Betty Boo (Alison Clarkson). Faith had already performed at the Latitude Festival and T4 On The Beach before the album's release and spent much of the next sixteen months touring the UK, Europe and Australia, including several more outdoor appearances at the Isle Of Wight, Glastonbury, iTunes, T In The Park and V Festivals during 2010. Although the album yielded further singles including a remix of 'New York' (featuring Ghostface Killah) none of them broke into the UK Top 40. She also lent her voice to other artist's singles; 'Keep Moving' by Adam Deacon & Bashy featuring Paloma Faith (taken from the soundtrack to the movie 18.104.22.168.) and the charity record 'Hard Times' by Plan B, Elton John & Paloma Faith, released to raise funds on behalf of the victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Ten days before the release of her second album she issued the superb 'Picking Up The Pieces' that entered the UK charts at No 7 and became her biggest hit so far. Fall To Grace debuted at No 2 on May 28th 2012 and featured songs co-written with Wayne Hector, Tim Powell, Chris Braide, Greg Wells, Ed Harcourt, Sam Dixon, Al Shux, Steve Robson, Blair MacKichan, Paddy Byrne, Toby Gad, Tim Wilson (of Semisonic), Matt Hales (of Aqualung) and Eg White (former member of Yip Yip Coyote and Brother Beyond). The only non-original track included was a cover of Bette LaVette's 1965 American hit 'Let Me Down Easy'. The majority of the record was produced by Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul, U2, Massive Attack, Björk) and Jake Gosling (One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Wiley) although Al Shux (Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dog) produced one track while composer David Arnold co-produced another. Although the singles '30 Minute Love Affair', 'Just Be' and 'Black And Blue' failed to crack the Top 40, her cover version of the INXS song 'Never Tear Us Apart' debuted at No 16, helped in no small part by it featuring in a TV commercial for John Lewis' prior to its release. Despite being absent from the charts during 2013 she was busy touring, promoting the album and writing for her next release. Her third album was preceded by the Top 10 hit 'Can't Rely On You' which was co-written by Faith and Pharrell Williams while A Perfect Contradiction was finally issued in March 2014 and became her second album to peak at No 2 in the UK charts. Once again Faith co-wrote with established writers including John Legend, Mr Hudson, Raphael Saadiq (formerly of Tony! Toni! Toné!), Plan B, Steve Robson and Chris Braide. The record also featured two cover versions, The Supremes & The Four Tops' 'The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall)' and Diane Warren's 'Only Love Can Hurt Like This' which when released as a single peaked at No 6 in the UK.
Given her academic studies, her background in burlesque and her overt theatricality it's no surprise that acting has also featured in her resume and includes roles in the 2007 movie St Trinians, opposite Tom Waits in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus (2009) and in the horror film Dread (2009) which was based on Clive Barker's book of the same name. She has proved herself to be a talented songwriter and hitmaker while her quirky, unique image that includes vintage clothes also stretches to her highly visual theatrical stage sets. There have been inevitable comparisons with contemporaries like the late Amy Winehouse and although there's little doubt that they shared similar inspirations, Paloma Faith is a completely different proposition. No BRIT school alumni or talent show winner, she has built her reputation on hard work, playing low-key gigs and with a single-minded self-assurance she has no interest in addictions other than her career.
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