Joss Stone prefers to keep her feet on the ground. In more ways than one.
The British soul singer has long had a penchant for performing in bare feet, begging the question: Can she even sing in shoes?
“It’s weird — if I wear shoes, I sound like Marge Simpson,” she jokes down the line from her tour bus. “Nah, I’m only kidding, man. Honestly, I don’t like wearing them because I just don’t want to fall over. That’s pretty much it. When I’m singing and in the song, especially when I’m really into it and really telling the story, I lose control of whatever’s happening with my body, so I can easily fall over. It’s happened. And I definitely don’t want to be doing that too often.”
Offstage, she claims, her life is also balanced. And focused — at the ripe old age of 25, she’s got 10 years of touring and six solo albums under her belt, including this year’s Soul Sessions Vol. 2, a return to the classic-covers approach of her 2003 debut. She’s also a member of the supergroup SuperHeavy (with Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, A. R. Rahman and Damian Marley) and portrayed Anne of Cleves in The Tudors.
En route to some Canadian shows, the easygoing Stone chatted about maple syrup, her gypsy lifestyle and her love of Spice Girls.
What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Canada?
Um, maple syrup. I don’t know where that comes from. It just happened in my brain. That’s how it works, man.
How do you feel about the gypsy lifestyle of touring?
I quite like it. I like living on the bus and moving around and being somewhere different every day. Though it’s easy to get bored on the road, because you’re on the bus for hours and hours.
You don’t cause any trouble on the bus?
No no no. I’m really boring. I just have tea. Coffee is the most crazy I get. Last night, I had a beer as well. But that’s about as far as it goes. I want to do a good job. I don’t want to be a bad singer. The stereotype of the rock ’n’ roll singer involves a lot of sex and drugs and late nights and parties, but you know, it just wouldn’t be possible for me to do a good job if I lived like that. And it wouldn’t be fun for me, because that’s the only thing I care about: Doing a good job.
You always sing in bare feet; they must be pretty disgusting after you get offstage sometimes.
Absolutely. Some of those stages are not very nice. Luckily, I don’t care. And I have a little foot bath. I have a little scrub after the show.
Why was this the right time to make another Soul Sessions record?
I don’t really know if it was the right time or the wrong time. I didn’t even really think about that. They just asked me to make this record, and I thought it would be fun. Why not? I make all my decisions based upon how much fun something is going to be.
What criteria do you use to pick a song?
Well, I have to agree with the lyrics. I have to know about whatever they’re talking about. Because otherwise, how can you connect with it? Everything else is changeable. I mean, you’ve got to like parts of it, but you don’t have to like all of it, because you’re redoing it anyway. It’s just got to have enough meat to get into.
Do you listen primarily to soul music, or do you have listen to random things that would surprise your fans?
I listen to the Spice Girls a lot. I just love them. I listen to The Specials a lot. There’s some random stuff in my playlist, but the most random is the Spice Girls. I just love them.
Now I have a vision of you dancing around the bus to Wannabe.
That’s exactly what happened the other night! Girl power!
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