Joss Stone busy “watering her soul” for new album, keeping out of social media
English soul singer releases new album after three-year break that was spent doing things that were good for her soul
Having tackled R&B, funk and rock for more than a decade, English soul singer Joss Stone is switching genres again.
She has turned to reggae for her seventh album Water For Your Soul, which was released last month by her own label Stone’d Records. It is a follow- up to her last offering, 2012’s The Soul Sessions Vol. 2.
She has also been “watering her soul” during her three-year hiatus — looking after her mum, hanging out with her four dogs, writing songs, making cakes, gardening, painting walls and creating mosaics.
On her hopes for a commercially successful comeback record, the 28-year-old told M over the phone from New York: “I try not to worry about how many (albums) I sell because it becomes a little bit of a bad idea, it’s not going to help you in this life. So you just gotta hope for the best, hope that people like it, and make another one.”
She added: “I think life inspires (Water For Your Soul). It means whatever your ‘water’ is — if it’s dancing or making a cake or reading books — whatever it is you love to do, that’s your water.
“So you must ‘water’ yourself. Don’t starve yourself of things that you love.”
Stone, who became famous in 2003 at the age of 16 with her multiplatinum debut album The Soul Sessions, feels that the music industry is “better than it was before”, when she debuted as a teen prodigy.
“As far as making money goes, it’s probably not better. As far as the opportunity for artists to be themselves, that’s much better now.
“Back then, the businessmen made a lot of money but the artists were suffering.”
These days, Stone seems to relish keeping herself out of the media frenzy. Her extremely relaxed demeanour means she has no inkling of the biggest celebrity headlines of the day, such as the recent Twitter row between US pop stars Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift. The feud was over Minaj’s exclusion and Swift’s inclusion in the nomination list for the MTV Video Music Awards, to be held this month.
When updated on the saga, Stone said it sounded very dramatic, but “incredibly entertaining”.
But then, she has never been particularly active on social media.
She said: “I would think if I had a problem with somebody I would just call them up and tell them. I certainly wouldn’t do it in front of the world.
“But, you know what, sometimes people just communicate in a different way.
“I do (use social media) sometimes, like when I’m on the promo trip, I get reminded to... We’ve got a team. I’ll put out a post and then they’ll make sure that it goes out properly.
Two men were arrested and jailed for planning to drive to her home in Devon, England, to decapitate her and throw her body in a river.
It was said she was targeted because of her wealth and her friendship with members of the royal family.
But Stone said she has not stepped up much on security and she said she can take care of herself.
“I’ve got more locks (and) I’ve got codes and stuff. I’ve got (four) dogs. I’ve got all sorts of, like, explosives in my house. I’ve got some big knives, I have a bazooka, an AK-47, just a few automatic weapons. I think that makes me feel quite safe, too,” she said, laughing.
“You’ve got to be careful with them. You can’t let them go off, if they (do), it’ll be so embarrassing. My whole village would freak out. (So) I try to be very careful with these weapons,” she joked.
When asked if she was worried about meeting fanatical fans after that incident, Stone said: “I hope people just listen to my music and move on with their lives. It doesn’t have to be so deep. It’s just music. Hopefully, people will enjoy it for what it is and I won’t have to bring out the bazooka.”
“(But) I don’t live my life for it.” Although Stone tries to stay off the radar, she doesn’t go unnoticed. For example, the notorious foiled murder plot from two years ago still “creeps” her out.