* LISTEN * to a Q&A with British Soul Sensation JOSS STONE – Talks New Album: Water For Your Soul and More!
Posted On 22 Jul 2015
Tag: Ain't No Way, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Aretha Franklin, Artist, Artist Interview, Common, Damian Marley, Dennis Bovell, Devon, England, Garage Band, Herbie Hancock, Interview, John Legend, Jonathan Shorten, Jonny Lang, Joss Stone, Lauryn Hill, Mick Jagger, Music, Musician, Nitin Sawney, Patti LaBelle, Reggae, reggae music, South Africa, Spice Girls, Stevie Wonder, Stone'd Records, Swaziland, The Answer, Water For Your Soul, Zahara
British soul sensation, JOSS STONE is back with her seventh studio album, WATER FOR YOUR SOUL , set for release on Stone’d Records on July 31st. The follow up to 2012’s The Soul Sessions Vol. 2, the LP represents a musical departure for Stone.
Infused with elements of reggae, “world” sounds, hip hop and of course, soul, the self-written and co-produced Water For Your Soul sees Joss venturing into previously unexplored territory – collaborating with the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Damian Marley and legendary reggae maestro Dennis Bovell.
Joss will be playing an exclusive show at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles this Thursday, July 23rd and at Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn on July 27th during her Total World Tour where she will be visiting 204 countries.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with Joss on the phone to chat about WATER FOR YOUR SOUL, Aretha Franklin, The Spice Girls and everything in between.
Read or LISTEN to their interview below!
Hey there Joss! How are you doing today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey there! I’m doing great! I’ve pretty much been doing interviews all day and it’s been joyful! I’ve just been singing and talking all day, really. Everyone around me is probably like, “Jesus, will you shut up!” (laughs)
For those not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start? Who or what was the catalyst for you to want to live a musical gypsy life?
I don’t know really…I was always singing and dancing. I just didn’t want to go to school for longer than I had to and I wasn’t so great at all the other bits and bobs. The artistic stuff was more fun for me and I just went with that.
You will be releasing your seventh studio album, Water For Your Soul (via your record label, Stone’d Records) on July 31st. What did you learn between your previous albums, collaborations, and playing live that you wanted to infuse into the new album?
We had a lovely time making the music with all the different sounds. And yes, releasing the album on ones own label is nice so that we can be free while we’re making our sounds and not be told off. (laughs)
For the new album, you collaborated with many talented musicians like Nitin Sawney, Damian Marley, Jonathan Shorten and legendary reggae maestro, Dennis Bovell. How did those collaborations come about? What was it like working with those guys?
Yeah, we’ve all known one another for a little bit now. Damian is very sweet. He’s a very nice guy and very intelligent. It’s a wonderful thing to have someone to like…give you the nod and then it’s really hilarious and fun. We had a really fun time recording in my house in Devon, England which is very big place for reggae music. (laughs) I’m totally bullshitting, it’s very English countryside there. (laughs)
You recently debuted the fun and infectious video for your new single, “The Answer”. What was the inspiration for the video and song? Did you help come up with the treatment for the video?
Yeah, I made the video with my brother, Harry. There’s not really much of a “treatment” because it’s just people dancing about. I want people to just feel like they want to dance and be free and I guess it says it all in the lyrics when I say, “Let Go…” which is just what people do when they dance. You gotta let your hair down and be free and let go of your bullshit. (laughs) Put your silliness aside and have a dance.
On our travels, we just ran around and filmed people dancing in places like Bahrain and Mexico. We wanted to get as many vibes as possible whether they were fantastic professional dancers or not so professional dancers and have a little laugh.
What is your song writing process like? How do you capture inspiration as it comes to you?
I normally have my co-writer and producer, Johnny who writes all sorts of stuff all the time when he’s in the studio send me stuff. He is always sending me fun bits of music and I kinda jam away to them.
Sometimes I just get in my kitchen and dance around to them with a bottle of wine (laughs) and pop them into Garage Band and that begins something. And sometimes, when we get more into it, he might come down to my house or I might go up to his and he’ll have his keyboards with all his fun sounds on it and we’ll just begin. We both just love to make stuff up as it comes to us.
What I love most about your shows Joss is that no matter what size the venue, you always make the audience feel like they’re in your living room with your shoes off and your dancing around the room.
Awe, that’s cool! I’m glad you said that. I try not to make it too high brow or anything like that.
Do you remember the first album you bought yourself?
Oh yeah, totally! My sister and I would actually save our money together and we bought those NOW! compilations. I don’t know if you guys have them in America? It was basically all the songs that were on the charts at the time. We got that! Oh and we bought The Spice Girls album together! That was a fun time! (laughs) They were great! They’re always gonna make you smile.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
“Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin was a really big one for me. I can play that over and over again. I can never get bored of her voice. It’s ridiculous.
You have already been so blessed to either share a stage or collaborate with such amazing artists like, Mick Jagger, Herbie Hancock, Jonny Lang, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Common and John Legend to name a few. Who would you like to collaborate with next?
I don’t think I have anyone in mind exactly…I’ve tried to answer this question before and I don’t have somebody that you would know in mind.
At the moment, I’m in a different space where I like to collaborate with people that even I’ve never heard of before. I want to be apart of something even I have never heard of before. With this Total World Tour, we are visiting about 204 countries and it will be taking us to every country in the world and some of those countries are quite different from England and the United States. The sounds that come from some of those countries can be very unique, so I’d like to do a collaboration with an artist in each country. That is what I’m looking forward to…those collaborations.
I met a lady named Zahara. She had like the number one song in South Africa that was huge there…like a household name and it wasn’t like somebody we had heard of here in the U.K or the U.S. She has a soulful, deep, strong voice and it sounds so incredibly lovely to hear it in a different language.
Do you have a favorite country and memory thus far on your Total World Tour?
Swaziland has been my favorite so far. I really enjoyed it there. I think it is the most beautiful and the venue was absolutely stunning! It’s an absolutely beautiful part of the world and I felt very lucky to be there. It was a surprise at the amount of people that showed up at the show too!
To learn more about JOSS STONE , including her Total World Tour dates, visit her HERE