Paul Edward Draper (born 26 September 1970, in Liverpool) is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer, formerly the frontman of the rock band Mansun.
Draper grew up on Garmoyle Road in Wavertree, Liverpool before moving with his family to Connah's Quay, Deeside, which Draper described as "the absolute nothing of Great Britain", adding "Deeside is just the bit where the Welsh people really aren't Welsh because they were infiltrated by the English in the Fifties and Sixties. It's where everyone from Liverpool ended up. Basically, just after the war, Liverpool had 800,000 people; now it's got 390,000 people, and the missing 400,000 all live in Deeside. It's a horrible, horrible place. In Liverpool, if you're 15 and you pick up an acoustic guitar in school and play a song, then people would listen. But in my school when I tried to take in a guitar, I was just a poof and a queer, and that was that".
Draper attended St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School, Flint and Thames Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich) where he formed Grind with Steve Heaton and drummer Carlton Hibbert who regularly played around London and released one 12" single before splitting. Draper returned home to study at Wrexham Art College before forming Mansun with bassist Stove King, and guitarist Dominic Chad. The band signed to Parlophone and released three studio albums before splitting in 2003 whilst recording their fourth. In 2004, Draper compiled Mansun's aborted fourth album recordings for release in the Kleptomania box set.
On 16 May 2006, Draper announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer during fourth album sessions at Rockfield Studios. After a blister appeared on his left hand middle finger that kept bleeding, Draper visited a local doctor who took a sample of tissue from the finger. He was informed that it was a malignant tumour known as a "Bowenoid Malignancy", and responded positively to five cycles of chemotherapy. However, he was unable to play for several months after the tumour was cut out and his finger swelled up following treatment.
In October 2005, Alone in My Room, a single by Skin (Skunk Anansie), co-written and co-produced by Draper, was released; his first involvement in any musical project since Kleptomania.
He worked on a version of the 2006 Ibiza anthem "Exceeder" by the Dutch DJ Mason, which was uploaded to his MySpace page, and in 2009 produced and appeared on a track by The Joy Formidable, which was made available as a free download from the band's official website.
Draper performed a version of Mansun's "Wide Open Space" at London Astoria's last ever gig before it closed on 14 January 2009 with My Vitriol. The two acts had toured together previously in 2000, along with King Adora.
In October 2013, Draper stated that he was considering releasing material from his abandoned unrecorded solo album "Spooky Action At A Distance" which only existed in demo form, if there was enough interest. After a petition was set up on Facebook, he responded that he was going to give the idea of releasing solo material some "very serious consideration".
On 5 May 2014, the debut single "What Goes Around" by The Anchoress was released. A collaboration between Draper and singer-songwriter Cathering AD (Catherine Anne Davies), the duo have recorded an albums worth material with Draper having co-written several of the songs and co-produced the whole album. A follow up to the single is due for release on 20 October in the form of EP "One For Sorrow".
Draper's first solo song "Feeling My Heart Run Slow" was premiered at a Mansun convention held at The Live Rooms in Chester on 23 August 2014. Recorded especially to play at the convention, Draper with the help of musicians from The Anchoress recorded five songs from Draper's unrecorded solo album with a view to completing a whole album's worth.
Draper announced his first solo single would be released via monthly subscription service 'The Too Pure Singles Club' in April 2016. It was announced that the official release of his 'EP One' would be on Kscope on 10 June 2016. On the 25 November 2016, Draper released EP Two.
Paul's first UK solo tour, scheduled for September 2017, was announced on 28 February 2017.