The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Do You Know…Joss Stone?

When you think of a soul singer, what images come to mind?Chances are everything you’re thinking of is everything Joss Stoneis not.

She is a 16-year-old girl who hails from Devon, England and shejust happens to be the new voice of soul for our generation. Shehas a rich soulful voice reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, full ofpower and emotion well beyond her years. Yet, with her long blondehair and pretty face, she might easily be mistaken as another heirto Britney Spears and the teen pop scene.

But, listening to her debut album, The Soul Sessions, thismisconception is cleared up almost immediately. Stone is the realdeal, and she’s got the talent to prove it. Instead of singingtrite and catchy songs that lack any real feeling, Stone prefers tosing from the heart.

Stone had an affinity towards soul music at an early age andgreatly admired the legendary Aretha Franklin. She began performingin talent shows and was soon discovered by Steven Greenberg, aformer A&R rep who started his own label called S-Curverecords. Greenberg encouraged Stone to collaborate with ’70s soulsinger Betty Wright. Not long after, The Soul Sessions wasborn.

The Soul Sessions is a collection of some underappreciated andsome relatively unknown soul songs. It was Stone’s own idea tore-make some old classics and introduce our generation with someretro grooves incorporated with her own fresh style. She put herown original album on hold and recorded The Soul Sessions in justfour days with the accompaniment and support of a team of 70’s soullegends.

The CD includes a soaring cover of Franklin’s “All the King’sHorses.” Stone also performs a sensuous, haunting rendition of asong called “The Chokin’ Kind.” The CD even has a soulful twist onthe White Stripes’ “Fell in Love With a Girl.” Stone’s rendition(aptly entitled “Fell in Love With a Boy”), was produced by TheRoots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and is perhaps one of the bestsongs on the album because it showcases just how well Stone cantake any song and make it her own. Not just anyone can pull off asoulful rendition of a White Stripes song, but Stone does it withrelative ease.

The Soul Sessions was released to rave reviews in September andever since then Stone has been on a whirlwind of performances andappearances in the States. She has performed on shows such as “GoodMorning America,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” and “Late Nightwith Conan O’Brien.” She has been featured as an artist to watchout for on the MTV show “You Hear it First’ and has performed liveat numerous venues across the country.

Her video for “Fell in Love with a Boy” has just been added toMTV’s rotation and it won’t be long before more people get word ofthis new soul gem. Right now, Stone is hard at work on her officialdebut album of all original songs. Her new songs are expected to bemore contemporary but still soulful, with some reggae and hip-hopinfluences as well.

After hearing Joss Stone sing, it’s obvious that this old soulbe around for quite a while.

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