10 November 1976 (age 40)
Polly Paulusma is a critically acclaimed, English singer-songwriter. In recent years, Paulusma has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Gary Jules, Jamie Cullum, Joseph Arthur, and Marianne Faithfull.
Throughout her 20s, Paulusma flirted with a number of occupations, from scholar (she embarked on a PhD after graduation from Cambridge University) to novelist (she was talented enough to bag a literary agent). But raised on a diet of Joni Mitchell and Carole King, music was always Paulusma’s first love. She wrote her first song aged ten, but it took 18 years of denial before she finally listened to her heart and recorded her debut album.
“Music had always been part of my life,” she says. “I’d been in bands, writing songs all along, but I’d just been doing it for the hell of it. It never crossed my mind to try and do it properly.”
It wasn’t until she recorded backing vocals for friends Ben & Jason’s last album that the penny finally dropped. “I had one of these earth shattering moments when I suddenly realised that everything I was doing was wrong and that I should be doing this instead,” she says. “It was like I got hit with an electric current – maybe I did – it was a pretty lo-fi studio so there was always that possibility! I just started crying. I thought, oh buggery fuck, here we go again.”
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