“I feel more powerful and more capable than I was before. I feel much less fragile, much more resilient.”
Curled up on a sofa in the penthouse suite of a London hotel, Paloma Faith is in a good mood.
She is a two-hour drive from power-on of Regent Street Christmas lights – “it’s one of those things that I didn’t know I wanted to do until I was asked” – and 10 hours away from the release of her fourth album, Architect.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be doing this for the fourth time,” he says. “Especially now, as no one really lasts in the music.”
The record certainly has a lot to live up to: all of Faith’s albums have gone double platinum in the UNITED kingdom. What’s more, each has sold the last – an incredible feat in a time when record sales are in sharp decline.
She admits to “a few nerves” in addition to the new record, but, at the time of writing, The Architect has given for the replacement of Taylor Swift’s Reputation at the top of the charts.
All of this is cause for celebration, but the real reason for the Faith ebullience is motherhood. The 36-year-old says she feels rejuvenated and excited after the birth of his first child last year, even though he lived a “terrible delivery,” which has temporarily left her with limited mobility and mastitis.
“I feel very motivated,” he says, admitting it was “difficult to return” to the limelight.
“The ideal situation would be to do three or four days of work a week,” he says. “That would be perfect for a mom”.
However, sighs, “it is not possible to plan a tour so”, because the musicians and the crew would still have to be paid on his days off.
“And I can’t afford it”.
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The demands of his work, it means that the Faith of losing a lot of hot times this year – something that is particularly difficult, while the implementation of many parents face the same dilemma.
“My doctor said the other day that she found it really, really hard long hours of work,” he says.
“When your children are a [year-old] wants familiarity, and if you don’t see are all just freak out when they see it.”
The work Of the Architect, the Faith does not take the obvious route of writing about his lineage, choosing instead to speak of the world that they will grow.
Guilty is a self-lacerating ballad about the Brexit vote; the doo-wop of the voice of the Lost and Lonely to convey a strong message about homelessness; while the Warrior, which was written by Sia, acts as a metaphor for the refugee crisis.
It is a surprising for a singer who is best known for the songs of love, but the Faith has felt obliged to confront the evils of modern life, offering a message of compassion.
“I’m trying to start an epidemic of hope,” he says.
“I wrote an album that speaks of kindness and understanding. These qualities are the only ones who can save the world.”Banana brain waves
The first single, ” Crybaby, is a heartfelt plea for men to discuss their feelings. Faith says that it was inspired by observing the way in which politicians conduct themselves.
“America,” he says. “We have seen Obama cry a lot of times and there was a softness and empathy on him.
“But I have the impression that, with Donald Trump, in front of you. He sees figures on a piece of paper, rather than the people.
“This is what I was thinking: Maybe if the company was raising young men in a way that is more aware, emotionally, that would not become desensitized, angry leaders that we have.”
The title track was inspired by a banana. Well, kind of…
“I had been to run the Eden Project, and they gave me a tour, Faith,” he explains.
“The guy who started [Sir Tim Smit] was talking to me how the ecosystem works, and gave the example of bananas: as we all buy this type of banana, but there are hundreds of types of bananas and we set the world’s ecosystem off kilter crescendo on top of one another.”
Faith was taken aback by Sir Tim’s statement that, if the man ceased activities such as air travel, and intensive agriculture, “it would take five years for the world to completely regenerate”.
“The life of the plants would take over, the animals should flourish,” says Faith. “It was crazy, that realization.”
The speech inspired the lyrics for The Architect, that is sung from the perspective of the mother nature.
“It says,” If you stop hurting me, then I have a little time to heal.’ I just felt that it was important to write.”
The album overwhelming the drama is underscored by a lush, cinematic flourishes, courtesy of Bond composer David Arnold (“the more successful you get, the more money the label is willing to spend money,” laughs Faith).
And it is not the only connection to the big screen – such as the opening track, features a monologue from Pulp Fiction star Samuel L Jackson.
“Do something, say something, believe in something,” announces his unmistakable baritone voice. “But most of all, know that you can change things. What are you waiting for?”
Faith says Jackson took only 20 minutes to record his contribution… but not before she managed to offend him.
“He came in and I thought, ‘OK, he’s an actor’. So I started to give him the direction, and at the end he said: ‘Perhaps you have the wrong guy’. And I was like, ‘No, not I!’
“Later, his manager told me, ‘No-he directs him, because he was a little shocked.'”
“Trust me to go and try to direct Samuel L Jackson!”
The Architect is out now.
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