At the recent Brit Awards in London, UK soul singerJoss Stones new American accent caused a bit of astir. Her publicist later told the media that Joss Stones odd behaviour was due to nerves pure and simple, regardless of the other nasty insinuations floating around. Gaynor Flynn spoke to the 19-year-old at theSundance Film Festival in January, where the singerrevealed that nerves did indeed often get the best ofher.
The Sundance festival has lined up a series ofintimate music concerts in small venues. Whats moredifficult, performing to a small or large crowd?
Joss Stone: Smaller is scarier, because its moreintimate. But Im always scared so the size of thevenue doesnt make much of a difference. Plus in asmaller venue theyre all quiet so you feel moreattached to them in a smaller venue but thats whatmakes it scarier for me because they see you so muchcloser than they would on TV, or than they would 50feet away. Its like wow this person is looking at meand the world is judging you.
You havent had a song out in Britain for a while,have you been concentrating on America?
Joss Stone: No Ive been busy writing and Im not evergoing to come out with a shit album again I promise. I swear, because now I get to make it. Before it wassomebody elses vision and I was just kind of helpingthem out which was nice and everything but this timeIve got to make it and Ive got to take my time withit as I should, Im only 19, I havent hit 20 yet so Ihave a lot of time.
How would you describe your new album?
Joss Stone: Its' difficult to describe really andthats a good thing I think because I dont want toput it in any genre. I dont want to call it soul,R&B, hip hop I dont want to call it anything I justwant people to listen to it.
Do you think its good?
Joss Stone: I think its good. I like it but I dontknow but I like it, its kind of cool.
What do you make of the Sundance Film Festival as amusician?
Joss Stone: I like that its all about art, and thatswhat Im really about in my life just everythingrevolves around art and wherever there is art you willfind me so this is another section of that so its niceto combine music, with film with photographs witheverything, with scripts its all somebody expressingthemselves and I think its beautiful to bringeverybody together and if we can just sort of mash itup and make it all one muddle that will be lovely.
Youve been acting this year any plans to make moremovies?
Joss Stone: It was an interesting moment. It wasfunny though and it was a bit of a laugh. You know Ima singer, well I do my best, that was an accident initself but it ended up happening but now people cometo me and ask me to be their lead in their movies. Why? Really why? When I ask Im not joking becauseyouve never seen me act so its the craziest thing tome. You know they come to me and say we have thisscript and we have all these people in it and we wantyou to be the lead in it. Why? I wouldnt want to bethe reason for somebodys movie messing up. So whenthey came to me with Eragon I liked it because its areal fantasy adventure film, its not real whatsoeverwhich is great and I love that, you know to go into acompletely different world, not just somebody elseslife but a completely different world that doesnteven exist and plus it was one scene so I thoughtalright, Ill do it because then its a laugh, itsnot so much pressure so I did it and it was fun.
Would you like to do it again?
Joss Stone: Maybe if they come up with somethingthats worth having a bash at why not? I just dontwant it to be like way too much pressure because Imnot an actress quite yet if ever I get good at itmaybe Ill turn into one of those but right now Imjust working on the music and I just like to have funyou know if it sounds like a good idea Ill do it. Ifnot I wont.
You said before, you dont want to categorise yourmusic is it upsetting when others categorise it?
Joss Stone: No its really interesting because I getto see what people really think of it. What I say tothem is this, theyre like so what type of music is itand to call something soul music is very vague I meanbecause rock can be soul, jazz can be soul, countrycan be soul, classical can be soul because we can allfeel it and we all have a soul so to categorise it isimpossible. So what I do when people ask me what Ising I say you know what honey I just sing and I hopethat you like it and thats all I do and you call itwhatever you want. Once youve heard it you decidewhat it sounds like and shell decide somethingdifferent to what he decides and thats whats sobeautiful about it because there are no limits thereare no pigeonholes, theres no box, I dont fit and Idont want to fit.
You mentioned before that this new album is all youand youre not relying on other peoples opinionanymore. How long did it take you to realise that youshould rely on your own intuition?
Joss Stone: Well I was 14, and imagine this thatyoure like a CEO of a big record company, youre like40 years old you earn millions every year and youreputting millions into this little girl and she comesup to you and says alright I want my beats to be likethis, I want the melody to go like this, I want to saythis, I want to work with him. Youre going to lookat that 14 year old little girl and youre going tosay, bless youre little cotton socks no, youre goingto do what I tell you to do and thats what happenedon the last two albums and thats fine because itbought me to a great place and I was lucky enough tosign with somebody with passion for music thank godbecause otherwise Id be f*****. So he inspired me tomake this one really great. You know it pissed me offfor four years so that just really made me want tomake this one perfect.
Will this new album be really different to the others?
Joss Stone: Yeah this one is me, this is what I madeand yes its different but people are saying you knowits not you but the thing is I called it IntroducingJoss Stone and the reason I did that is because itslike me putting my hand out and saying nice to meetyou Im Joss because you didnt meet me yet becausethere was no chance to. So its exciting but its soscary also because this year Im going to find out ifIm good enough