Paloma Ford has blessed us with a project that works for all the moods we might find ourselves in, with the release of her EP titled ‘X Tapes’. We caught up with the singer-songwriter to discuss her latest work, her lead single ‘All For Nothing’ featuring Rick Ross and her growth from her debut project ‘Nearly Civilized’ that was released in 2016.
The Los Angeles native also shared with us her thoughts on the current state of R&B, if she’ll ever switch up her platinum blonde signature hairstyle, dream collaborations in both fashion and music and how she truly switches off.
It’s easy to get immersed in conversation with Paloma, like with her music, she has an easy, laid-back vibe about her that can be felt even through a Google Meets call.
Tomi: Congratulations on the release of your latest project ‘X Tapes’. How long did it take to put the whole EP together?
Paloma: It was definitely over a course of a few years, I pretty much slowly started writing for this project after I released ‘Nearly Civilized’ and kind of put it to the side, worked on some other music and came back to it and finished it. So it was over a course of three years.
T: Your official lead single is ‘All For Nothing’ featuring Rick Ross. How did the collaboration come about?
P: When we were finished with the project and everything was mixed and mastered, we came together as a team and they asked me if there was anybody in particular that I wanted on the project. The only person I really could hear, you know very distinctly was Ross on ‘All For Nothing’ and so that was my request. Ross heard the record, he loved it and so he blessed us with that.
T: Would you describe your current sound as ‘authentic’ R&B?
P: You could describe it as that.
T: How do you feel about the current state of R&B and what do you think is missing?
P: I think that we’re in a cool space! I think R&B is never dead and you know music always goes through its cycles of what is the most popular at the time but I think people will always go back to R&B music because it’s rhythm and blues, it’s storytelling and it’s relatable emotions.
T: What’s the best way to listen to ‘X Tapes’? Help us set the right mood.
P: I mean it just depends on what is a vibe to you. I think that ‘X Tapes’ is definitely the perfect project to ride in the car to, I feel like it’s great to get ready to or if you’re just trying to relax at the end of a long day, you know roll something nice and pour a lil wine in a glass. It all really depends on you. I just got a call yesterday from someone saying that a friend of a friend just went through a breakup and all she’s been listening to ‘X Tapes’ crying [laughs]. So there’s many ways that you could listen to it.
T: How do you feel like your sound and your overall artistry has evolved since the release of your debut project ‘Nearly Civilized’?
P: I think that it’s very obvious, it’s evolved with everything from the lyrics to the beat selection, the flow of the project and my vocals. I think that it shows growth all around.
T: Is there a particular song in your discography that you find hard to perform or listen back to since your music is so personal?
P: Ah no! I don’t really dwell, I use my art as a form of therapy and feelings so I feel like once I get that out, I truly release it! So even if it is something that was painful in the past, I treat it as a lesson and I don’t really try to put myself through the same trauma. So no I don’t.
T: Switching over to fashion, you modelled this year for Tia Adeola. If you could create a capsule collection with a brand, which one would you choose and why?
P: Ahhh geez, that’s a great question! Man, oh man, oh man…I love her, that was very inspiring to walk for her and just her vision is definitely ahead of her time. I would love to do something like that with her, there’s so many creatives out there especially on the up and coming that are very exciting to watch and I was able to witness some of that at NYFW. There’s people like Romeo Hunte, Kim Shui, I don’t know maybe a sprinkle of all of them. That’s a tough question!
T: Your platinum blonde hair is part of your signature look, do you think you’ll switch it up or is it a mainstay?
P: I mean I’ve been blonde for nine years now. I would love to return back to my darker natural hair eventually. It’s just become me, you know I love my blonde and I don’t really, I don’t know. We talk about it but it’s just something that’s a part of me right now and I think when it’s time for me to go back dark then I’ll know I guess.
T: You’re from Los Angeles, what do you think is the biggest misconception about the city?
P: Everybody, well not everybody, but a lot of people talk down on LA and think that people are shady here, are opportunists which is somewhat true but that’s the people that are moving into the city to hopefully become somebody that they’re not. That’s Hollywood, that’s not really Los Angeles and if you are blessed enough to be friends with natives, I think that you would have a totally different outlook. I think that everybody, you know for the most part, the people I know from Los Angeles are super laid-back and mind their own business and you know we love our city!
T: Once it’s safe to perform again, where in the world would you like to perform first?
P: I really want to go to Africa! At least like once a day, there’s somebody from Africa, from all over, posting a song and asking me when I’m going to come out there. So that’s definitely heavy, heavy on the list. I definitely want to touch international with this project when we’re able to get back out, that’s very important to me.
T: If you could collaborate with an artist out of left field, who would you pick?
P: I don’t know…I love reggae. I love Koffee, she’s really dope. I think it would be someone in that realm, that would be really dope to me.
T: How’s it been creating music during this time, in the middle of a pandemic?
P: You know it’s a double-edged sword of course but I think that it’s been a super inspirational time because it’s really allowed us to sit with ourselves, to push ourselves to think outside of the box and find other ways to make art. It feels a lot like in some ways, it’s getting back to some of the old ways of doing things which is more personal and connecting with people so I think it’s been a positive thing overall for creatives.
T: When you get a moment to PAUSE, what do you like to do for self-care?
P: I love to go swimming, I love to go to the ocean, the river, whatever! I’m a fish, I’m a super water girl and that is my way of freeing my mind from everything. Anything water related is me!
T: Random question, do you believe in mermaids?
P: I do [laughs]! I feel like if we can dream it and imagine it then it has to be possible.