See more: The Best of 2012: The Year in Music
Paloma Faith at her Tastemakers Session
British songstress Paloma Faith is just beginning to really tackle the U.S. -- but her music and her style has always taken a page from mid-century American culture, she says. Recently the soulful young singer took to the Mophonics Studio in Manhattan to perform a trio of songs from her 2012 album, "Fall To Grace." Watch as she belts out lead U.S. single "Picking Up The Pieces," plus "Just Be" and "Freedom" for the Billboard Tastemakers video series.
"I love powerful voices," Faith says. "I think my style is influenced by the fashion of the ['50s] when women were celebrating their curves and their femininity." It goes beyond just style. "I've been influenced by American music of the past and you hear it in my voice in the way that I sing."
But, adds the BRIT Award nominated Faith, "I've got a realistic grasp on life which is I think everything can be viewed as absurd. When I write my songs, I tend to dig quite deep on an emotional level. But in the lyrics of "Picking Up the Pieces"… I play the clown to cover up all these doubts. That's a little window into my attitude in life."
The now well-travelled Faith, who has had an opportunity to see some of the U.S., says she's seen her songwriting change because of her expanded horizons; "I've experienced distance now."
American audiences can next catch her on the bill at the VH1 Divas event in Los Angeles on December 16. "I love playing live and I write my albums to sing live," she says. "It's basically what I was born to do.