At 28, Joss Stone has been in music half her life. She signed to a major label at 15, and released her debut album, The Soul Sessions, aged 16. She has sold over 14 million albums worldwide, won Grammys and Brits, with her success paving the way for a new generation of British female soul artists. With ‘Water For Your Soul’, set for release on July 31st, Joss has made an album that will surely win her legions of new fans as well as beguiling existing followers the world over.
‘Water For Your Soul’ is the fruits of her travels in sound, demonstrating how the teen soul prodigy has blossomed into an artist of style and substance. It is an album that pulses with the liquid groove of reggae, dazzles with the mix and match sonic adventure of hip hop, shimmers with the exotic sounds of world music and delivers the emotional belt of R’n’B. “It’s really a
combination of all the things I like,” explains Joss.
The album has been four years in gestation, the product of world travels, emotional adventures, and smoky jams with reggae royalty. A core musical strand can be traced back to LA sessions for Dave Stewart and Mick Jagger’s project Superheavy, on which Stone collaborated with Jamaican superstar Damian Marley. Says Joss: “I’ve always loved reggae and Damian gave me the confidence to go through that door”.
One of the record’s standout tracks and the first single to be taken from the album is ‘The Answer’, a cut featuring snappy percussion, a funky guitar line, gospel BV’s and Joss’ trademark soulful vocal. The track was co – written with legendary reggae maestro Dennis Bovell. Speaking about Bovell’s qualities and influence on the record in general, Joss says, “He’s like a reggae encyclopaedia. And he can really sing. His pitch and range is massive. He’s funny too, a great person to work with”.
The album’s 14 tracks span the break-up of one love affair (‘Let Me Breathe’) and the beginning of another (‘Stuck On You’). ‘Stuck On You’ will be available as an ‘instant grat’ from May 11th with all album pre-orders. Many of the songs on the record were co-written with long – term collaborator Jonathan Shorten and it represents some of her most mature and cohesive work to date. “If there is a theme to the album, it springs out of conversations, arguments, ideas about ways of living in the world. It’s about shaking off all the crap and getting up and realising that hey you’re alive today, so move on.”