19 Mar 2015

‘Russell Brand is wrong.. we need to vote’ – Paloma Faith

Singer Paloma Faith says the anti-politics message of comedian Russell Brand is “irresponsible” because “the powerful will always vote”. She talks to Channel 4 News about power, music and sexuality.

She has already scooped the award for best female solo artist at the 2015 Brit awards, and has three double-platinum albums behind her.

Now singer Paloma Faith is using her latest tour as a platform to encourage fans to go out and vote. She says it’s not because she has become more political, “I was really just waiting until more people were listening.”

The powerful always vote – it’s in their interest to vote
Paloma Faith

“I think we need to vote first, then complain” says Faith in an interview with Channel 4 News Home Affairs Correspondent Andy Davies.

She rejects the message of comedian Russell Brand that voting is a waste of time: “I think Russell Brand is wrong.. I do think it was irresponsible, because I think what he did was play more into the hands of power again because the powerful always vote – it’s in their interest to vote.”

Channel 4 News correspondent Andy Davies interviews singer Paloma Faith (Dai Baker)

Toying between voting Labour or Green this time, the singer has little to say about the leader of the three main parties. But she gives a vehement thumbs down to Ukip leader Nigel Farage: “Absolutely no” she says of him, accusing Ukip of having a “very extreme right-wing attitude”.

On stage in Cardiff she tells the audience that if Ukip were in power her immigrant band would not be there to play. Though Ukip recently dropped their 50,000 immigration cap on immigration.

‘A white middle class boys club’

Faith may currently be the toast of the British music industry, but the lifelong feminist has no illusions: “People have been saying how women have dominated – it’s like we’ve had our three years of fun and now we’ve got to get back … ” she pauses and suggests “in the kitchen”, before laughing uproariously.

“I felt it was interesting this year: British music that’s being celebrated is quite a white middle class boys club.” She adds, suddenly serious.

But one area she does feel she has retained control is over the way she is portrayed as a woman.

She says female artists are under-represented and over-sexualised – often forced into making a choice whether to exploit their sex or not: “I made a choice not to.. that doesn’t mean I’m not a woman who enjoys feeling sexy .. it’s just that I feel that I’ve taken ownership over my sexuality, and I hope that it’s empowered other women.”

Read more: Political heavyweight Al Murray’s stunt fails to take off