SHARE

Occupation Singer-songwriter. Age 36. Relationship status In a relationship. Best known for No.1 hit Only Love Can Hurt Like This. Currently Touring new album The Architect.

"Not a lot of men have the strength to adore someone warts and all without pressure."

I never knew if my maternal grandfather, Ted, liked me because he was a bit racist and I was half-Spanish. He used to call me a darkie. I grew up in multicultural London and he was brought up differently.

He lived a very rural English life and was quite aggressive and belligerent. He used to shoot pheasants and breed animals for market. He smoked a pipe, smelt of tobacco and wore the same tweed suit every day. He used to ask me which chicken I wanted to eat and after pointing at one, would break its neck. It was rough and very traumatic. He had seven children of his own and I was one of many grandchildren and the only non-blonde. He treated me like a foreigner.

My parents, [Pamela, a schoolteacher and José, a graphic designer], separated when I was two and divorced a year later.

Dad is a great cook and spent a lot of time travelling learning about cuisines. He lived in Portugal and is great at Portuguese cooking. My love of languages also comes from him. He is creative and taught me about jazz. I would visit him every weekend after my parents split and he would get me to choose a letter, then endeavour to play me every record by an artist whose name began with it. He had every vinyl LP ever released on Blue Note records. He's a music fanatic.

Advertisement

I have Dad's sense of humour – one that's always on the edge of being inappropriate. I stopped having any contact with my father 10 years ago because our relationship became complicated.

I was three when Kokon, a Chinese photographer, became my mother's boyfriend. He is a significant person in my life. One of the first words our baby said was his name. He has a calming energy and is very loyal. He and Mum never shouted or swore at each other. That is the complete opposite of my mother and father's relationship. I learnt from him you can resolve conflict without being aggressive.

My first celebrity crush was on the singer D'Angelo. I loved watching him topless in video clips. After that I was all about Patrick Swayze because of [his 1987 film] Dirty Dancing.

My first kiss was with my first boyfriend who I dated from 13 to 16. We both went to Islington Green School where they filmed Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall. I wrote about him in my song Kings & Queens. I tried to use tongues because I heard that was what you were meant to do, but he stopped me and said, "Let's do it like in the movies." We kissed like that for our whole relationship.

In my late teen years, I had a very horrible relationship with a guy which ended in violence and harassment. I had to get an injunction and victim support counselling. I'm sad that this is the sort of guy I went for. I transitioned into the polar opposite where I dated men who were my equal and adored me, but I didn't feel the same way about them. It wasn't fair on them.

I married my New Zealand boyfriend Rian Haynes in 2005 so he wouldn't get deported [from the UK]. It was a combination of being young and impulsive. I was silly and in a blind rush and immediately regretted it. I didn't want to be with him forever but I didn't want to break up just at that point, either. [They split in 2008.]

I went to therapy six years ago to help figure out why I was making all the wrong decisions in relationships. I wanted to have a family and didn't know why I didn't love the men I dated beyond two years.

I have been with my boyfriend [French artist Leyman Lahcine] and father of our child for three years. It's the first time I've ever been in an equal and loving relationship that is founded on mutual respect.

Leyman trusts me wholeheartedly to be myself. Sometimes in the past boyfriends would try to control what I wear. Others didn't get the intimate relationship I have with my band or didn't feel comfortable if I walked around backstage without any clothes on. Not a lot of men have the strength to adore someone warts and all without pressure.

My boyfriend is kind about my feelings even if they're far-fetched and irrational. It is rare to find that in a man. I happen to be with a kind person who is amazing at putting himself in my shoes. He is my first true love. He is the whole package.

I do still have a fear of marriage, but I wouldn't say it's something I wouldn't do again. I am scared it might ruin what I have. If my boyfriend wanted to marry, I would in a heartbeat, but it's not on our agendas.

Comments disabled

Morning & Afternoon Newsletter

Delivered Mon–Fri.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here