Anyone who thinks that today’s teen musicians are all flash and fluff need only listen to Joss Stone for a taste of something deeper. Although only 16 years old when she debuted with The Soul Sessions in the fall of 2003, Stone sings with the authority of someone far older, and her sound harkens back to the golden days of soul.
The Devon, England native was reared on old school soul and r&b, and was especially enamored with Aretha Franklin. When she started singing herself, Stone discovered she has a deep and rich voice not unlike that of her heroine. After winning the BBC’s “Star For A Night” talent show, she landed a deal with S-Curve Records and headed to Miami to record under the tutelage of soul sister Betty Wright (“Clean Up Woman”). After laying down her own songs, she took a stab at some r&b classics with the crew of veteran players and writers responsible for the 1970s “Miami Sound.” The results were so impressive that S-Curve president Steve Greenberg decided to use them to introduce Stone to the public.
The resulting album, The Soul Sessions — augmented by her take on The White Stripes’ “Fell In Love With The Boy,” waxed in Philadelphia with Angie Stone and The Roots — brought Stone immediate attention on its release in the fall of 2003. It has since gone on to sell two million copies.
Now, a year later, she is following up her phenomenal success with Mind, Body & Soul , writing or co-writing 12 of its 14 tracks. “There’ll be a reggae track on there, and some hip-hop influences in there,” says Stone. “But, it’s still soulful. I can’t sing without soul. I try to keep a little bit of soul in there, because that’s what it’s all about.”