Looking further afield than the mainstream pop-soul that has made her famous, Joss Stone has a real interest in the world and its music. She talks to Simon Broughton about her Total World Tour and the music that inspires her
“I like to find an artist that somehow sounds like the place that they come from. And to find a special sound that we don’t have.” Joss Stone is talking about her choice of singers with whom she’s collaborated around the world. “It’s a very cool thing for me, even if it’s just for a day, because it helps me think differently about melodies and the way a language works with them.”
British soul singer Joss Stone burst onto the UK music scene with The Soul Sessions released when she was just 16. She’s now 28, has sold over 12 million albums and won a large worldwide following. She’s about to release her seventh album, Water for Your Soul, which features collaborations with Damian Marley, Nitin Sawhney and others.
But she’s also involved with a much longer-term project – what she calls her ‘Total World Tour.’ This is literally a plan to perform in every country in the world and collaborate with local musicians where she can. So far she’s played several countries in Western Europe, Morocco, Dubai, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and has just finished a tour in South America. So every artist on this playlist is someone that Stone has met and performed with, learning the words in whatever language it might be. Two of the songs are ones that Stone has sung with the artists, the others are tracks the artists suggested for this playlist.
“My opinion on soul music is it’s not a genre,” Stone says, “but it’s a feeling and it can be applied to anything. For instance, Oum who sings in Arabic, but she’s very soulful. OK, it’s not Motown, but fucking hell, it’s still soul.”
One of the tracks chosen was Oum’s ‘Taragalte’. To read the full interview and find out which other tracks Joss chose, pick up a copy of the latest issue.