Known for her artful pop theatricality and retro-soul sound, British singer Paloma Faith has garnered both critical acclaim and chart success. A distinctive presence on the London cabaret circuit for several years, Faith eventually broke into the mainstream with her 2009 debut Do You Want the Truth or Something?, which cracked the U.K. Top Ten. She has remained a vibrant pop presence, hitting number two in England with both 2012's Fall to Grace and 2014's A Perfect Contradiction. Following her 2015 Brit Award win for Best Female Solo Artist, she landed on top of the U.K. album chart with 2017's The Architect.
Paloma Faith Blomfield was born in 1981 in Hackney, London to a Spanish father and English mother. Interested in dance from a young age, she studied ballet growing up and eventually earned a degree in contemporary dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. She also pursued an MA in theater directing at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Around the age of 18 she began performing on the cabaret scene, singing covers by idols like Etta James and Billie Holiday in a band dubbed Paloma & the Penetrators. She also worked as a magician's assistant, sang as a member of a burlesque troupe, and even turned down an opportunity to join Amy Winehouse's band. She began writing and performing her own material and eventually earned a reputation as one of London's more flamboyant cabaret acts.
It was during this period that she caught the attention of a management company who helped launch her career. In 2009, Faith released her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, on Epic Records. Her single "Stone Cold Sober" reached number 17 in the U.K. charts and helped the album climb to number nine. Meanwhile, she also appeared on Basement Jaxx's album Scars and Josh Weller's debut. She also garnered attention as an actress, playing Andrea the Emo in the comedy film St. Trinian's and appearing as Sally in Terry Gilliam's The Imagination of Dr. Parnassus.
Following her 2011 BRIT Award nomination for "British Female Solo Artist," Faith returned with her second studio album, 2012's lush and cinematic Fall to Grace. Produced by Nellee Hooper (Gwen Stefani, Massive Attack, Björk), the set debuted at number two on the U.K. charts, led by Faith's first Top Ten single "Picking Up the Pieces." She also earned two more BRIT Award nods for "Best British Female" and "Best British Album."
Her third album, 2014's A Perfect Contradiction, was an upbeat return to her early soul sound, featuring a star cast of songwriters, including Pharrell Williams, Raphael Saadiq, and Diane Warren. The album spawned six singles including two Top Tens with "Can't Rely on You" and "Only Love Can Hurt Like This." Having debuted at number two on the U.K. charts, A Perfect Contradiction ultimately achieved double-platinum status. In 2015, Faith won her first BRIT Award for British Female Solo Artist.
In the wake her success, Faith continued to broaden her creative and commercial scope. She launched her own management and publishing company and returned to acting, taking on the role of Tinker Bell in the TV movie Peter and Wendy. She also signed on as a judge for season five of The Voice UK in 2016. That same year, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter. In 2017, she returned with her fourth studio album, the Jesse Shatkin-produced The Architect. Included on the album were the singles "Crybaby" and "Guilty." Also featured were guest appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, John Legend, and others. The album debuted at number one on the U.K. albums charts. The following year, Faith released the Zeitgeist Edition of The Architect, featuring some additional tracks, including "Lullaby" and "Loyal."
She began work on her fifth studio album in 2019, with a release date for early 2020 in mind. However, after COVID-19 enforced a global shutdown, she began reworking and re-engineering the album on her own. The resulting Infinite Things arrived in late 2020 and featured songwriting collaborations with Faouzia, MNEK, Josef Salvat, and others. ~ Matt Collar