Joss Stone: "I'm Living a Happy Private Life"
It’s a good thing Joss Stone has plenty of work to focus on.
Even though a brutal murder plot against her was recently uncovered by British authorities (the investigation is ongoing), the singer has had a full plate with her fifth album LP1, dropping tomorrow, and her duties in the new supergroup SuperHeavy alongside Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman.
I recently spoke to Stone, 24, to find out how she’s doing -- and what going to the Royal Wedding was really like!
UsMagazine.com: What was it like recording your upcoming album in Nashville?
Joss Stone: This was my first time in Nashville and it was a fun experience. Dave Stewart called me and goes, 'oh lets go make an album, it will be fun.' Three days later I was in Nashville, and six days later it was done. When I listened to the album I was like, 'wow I never knew I could do that.' I didn't envision myself doing an album with a country influence. But I like to dip my toes in all of these waters.
Us: Did you run into any country stars in Nashville?
JS: Martina McBride was in the studio. She has a lovely voice doesn't she? She and her two friends wrote a song with me called "Karma." I came in halfway through the writing session and made it my own. She is such a fun girl.
Us: How is it working with Mick Jagger in SuperHeavy?
JS: It is quite a funny old world I have stepped into, isn't it? It is very surreal. He is a legend, as is Dave, Damian Marley, and A.R. Rahman to the people in India. It is a compliment that they picked me to be the girl in the group to cover it up with my silly lyrics. The way that Mick writes is so clever. He is more intelligent than you would expect this rock and roll god to be. He has so much information to give and I love that because I learn more. When I was working with Mick, I realized that taking more time could be beneficial. He paints pictures with his lyrics, and it is brilliant. He is a lovely man who is bloody talented. I am lucky to be able to work with him. I pinch myself sometimes!
Us: Did you get to do anything fun with him?
JS: He asked me to go out to a club with him once. He is so naughty. He is like, 'I am going to go out and I am going to dance around.' I was like, 'Mick I can't do that I have to go to bed.' He is a party animal who jokes around and is very funny. He is not what some people suggest him to be. A lot of people asked if he came on to me. Of course he bloody didn't. He has always been like my dad and more, but he is a mentoring chap. He is not that rock and roll flirt; he is a carefree gentleman.
Us: Did you get to meet his girlfriend, stylist L'Wren Scott?
JS: When she walked in I was like, 'my goodness how beautiful is this woman?' Of course Mick's wife is a stunning six-foot tall, longhaired woman.
Us: You still live in the same town you grew up in in England, right? Does that make it scarier with the murder plot?
JS: I have lived in the same house in Devon, England since I was 8. Nobody ever wants to leave Devon because why would they? It is lovely and calm and the people are normal. A lot of people have moved here from London and the people who are born here are just like, 'well I am not leaving it is bloody gorgeous.' Everyone I know that lives around here has lived here for years and have known me since I was a little girl. If I had moved an hour up the road it wouldn't be the same. I am happy living a private life in Devon. Too much attention is not good. People get starstruck but not around here. I am not going anywhere no matter what.
Us: Do you have anyone new in your life now?
JS: I do have a love of mine. People always ask me about my love life and I was always like, 'not telling you.' It has been two years so I can say, it is actually happening. He is a down to earth, lovely person.
Us: Any engagement plans?
JS: There is no need for marriage unless you are 20 years in and you know you are not breaking up. People grow and change so marriage is perfect for some people. I don't need to marry anybody anytime soon.
Us: What was it like going to the Royal Wedding?
JS: Even though I don't want to get married I love going to weddings. I always cry when they kiss. When they look at each other, it is the most beautiful moment of this trust that they have in this other person never to fail them and to be there forever until death do us part. It is beautiful and it is inspiration for songs.
Us: Did you cry?
JS: I did shed a tear as did most women in England. Especially when they looked at each other and they were totally in love, how perfect? They are the English quintessential fairytale. I was so happy to be part of that even if I was watching.
Us: How did you score an invite?
JS: I did the concert for Diana and lots of charity events. You get to know people after a while. They are friendly, lovely chaps. Harry as well. Normal, sweet, total gentlemen, and quite cheeky. I was shocked and excited when I got the invite. I was like, 'Oh my God, brilliant yes!' It was really amazing, I am lucky to have been doing the things I have done in my life and that topped it all. I only went to the church. That was good enough for me.
Us: What do you think of Kate?
JS: I haven’t met Kate but she is stunning, beautiful, lovely, and perfect. She is very English and a total classy lady. He loves her and that is all that matters.
Us: Whom would you love to work with that you have not been able to work with yet?
JS: I would love to work with Adele. Her voice is gorgeous. I love to collaborate with other artists who aren't in my style of music. I have heard she is lovely. All I need to know is that she sings her ass off. She has something special.
Us: What are your future plans?
JS: I want to keep making music because that is what I love. Before I became my own boss I had run around the world promoting my album and talking about. It was boring. I didn’t become a singer to become a celebrity. I started to write songs because I wanted to write songs, not because I wanted to walk down every red carpet that exists.
Us: Do you have any advice for youngsters like Justin Bieber emerging in the business?
JS: I don’t know Justin Bieber personally but he is sweet. I worry about the little babies who start at bloody eleven because that is a bit much. I have been doing this for ten years and it has been difficult to tell people no. We want to say yes to please others but saying no is important for your own sanity. My advice would be to remember what your focus is and stick to it. You can be very easily swayed so don’t let anyone else tell you what to do. It is all about having strength and focus.