Polly PaulusmaView In iTunes
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British singer/songwriter Polly Paulusma began her musical career -- with reluctance -- by way of childhood piano lessons. By the age of ten, she had co-opted the melody of a Paul McCartney song and substituted her own lyrics. Though it was Paulusma's first songwriting effort, it would not be her last. Inspired by the "baggy" music scene of the early '90s, as well as artists Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, a now teenaged Paulusma learned guitar and began performing for friends at school. She began writing her own songs, but put this activity on hold while attending college. (She did continue to perform as a member of a soul-funk cover band.) After graduation, Paulusma resumed performing her own material, but only as a hobby -- convinced that she could not make a career with her music, she tried a number of different ventures, including returning to school to earn a Ph.D. (she dropped out after one term), working as a researcher at the BBC World Service, and placing a novel manuscript with a literary agent. However, none of these activities were as fulfilling as her music; by the time she was invited to sing backing vocals for the Ben & Jason album Ten Songs About You, she had decided to return to music full-time. After two years of playing solo acoustic gigs, she released her first album, Scissors in My Pocket, in 2004. Sadly, her excitement over her debut would be cut short a mere two weeks after its release -- while touring in support of the album, Paulusma suffered the first of two miscarriages. The losses brought her close to abandoning music altogether, but instead she channeled her sorrow into songwriting. While recording her second album, Paulusma discovered that she was pregnant once again, and in November 2006 she gave birth to a daughter. Fingers & Thumbs was released in 2007. ~ Katherine Fulton