Go Away With … Joss Stone

(photo courtesy of Virgin Records)

By Jae-Ha Kim
November 13, 2007

British singer-songwriter Joss Stone is just 20, but she has strong ideas about what she likes. And now that she’s got some power in the music business, she’s not shy about voicing her opinions. “I was only 16 when I made my first record so I wasn’t allowed to do what I wanted,” says the bluesy singer, whose latest CD is “Introducing Joss Stone.” “My first two albums were really a learning period for me, which was also a little irritating at times. But with this album, I took everything that I learned and went with it. It’s the first album I’ve made where I feel it’s really representative of who I am.”

The statuesque singer, who had a role in the feature film “Eragon” and modeled for GAP, counts Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as some of her A-list fans. And like Pitt and Jolie, who adore New Orleans, Stone counts that Louisiana city as one of her favorite places to visit. “I love New Orleans,” she says. “The people are very kind and I love that the entire city is soaked in music, head to toe.”

WHY NEW ORLEANS?: It has the most unique energy I’ve ever been in contact with. Some of it reminds me of France, but most of the other parts are completely its own. It’s the most beautiful place to visit.

FOOD AND MUSIC: I go out to eat a lot, and there are so many nice restaurants in New Orleans. I spent a lot of time just listening to live music. None of the musicians were famous, which made it even better. They were brilliant. When you’re walking down the street at night, everyone’s partying and there’s music coming from everywhere. The experience is incomparable.

WORK AND PLAY: New Orleans is an inspirational place. Music is everywhere. There’ll be somebody playing something on every corner. I really want to make a record there, one way or another! I love the idea of going back to New Orleans to work. I didn’t have enough time to write when I was there. When I go back next, I want to spend some time writing songs. If I recorded there, I wouldn’t use any musicians I already know. I would use New Orleans musicians and just jam. I saw a guitar player the last time I was there. I have no idea what his name even is, but I would hunt him down and hire him in a second.

SOUVENIRS: I don’t pick up much for myself, but my mother really likes those snow globes, so I buy one for her from each place I visit.

Things you should know about New Orleans:

POPULATION: 1,200,000.

SIZE: 181 square miles.

FACTOIDS: Many people equate New Orleans with Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, but if you want to see New Orleans when it’s less hectic (and less expensive), try the off-peak season, which is right about now. Sure,
it’s colder than during Mardi Gras, but thinking about what you’ll save
on hotel accommodations and airfare should warm you right up. If you’re
worried about the after effects of Hurricane Katrina, keep up-to-date on
the city’s recovery process at www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx.

© 2007 JAE-HA KIM


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