Benazir Sarker meets  Joss Stone and comes back enthralled

Photograph by Sakib Muhtasim

The multi-talented English singer, song-writer and actress Joscelyn Eve Stoker better known by her stage name Joss Stone has won thousands of Bangladeshi hearts with her enthusiasm and simplicity and not to mention her mesmerising music at ‘Pop Republic.’

Joss Stone
Joss Stone

Grammy and British award winning Joss Stone is not only a low-key, jolly multi-instrumentalist but a philanthropist as well. She collaborated with a number of legendary and contemporary artistes, among many are Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Damian Marley and A.R Rahman.

You have collaborated with contemporaries such as Rafael Saadiq as well as legends such as Stevie Wonder. Name one contemporary and one legendary artiste that you want to collaborate with and why?
I like to experience the place that I am in. One way to do that is by making a musical collaboration. My interest lies in singing with people that I have never heard of before, so that I can learn something new. Here in Bangladesh, I’m going to play with a musician called Skikhor and become part of the Bangladeshi music, share what each of us have and learn from it. This is the type of collaboration I am looking forward to.

One artiste you think is changing the voice of soul or jazz music?
Aretha Franklin is one artiste that moved Joss stone immensely. She certainly moved me with her music.

Name a few favourite covers that you’ve performed in the past
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye by The Casinos, The Chokin Kind by Joe Simon, You Got the Love by Candi Station, I Don’t Wanna Be With Nobody But You by Absent Friends and Victim of a Foolish Heart by Bettye Swann.

What is your favourite instrument for an acoustic cover?
I came across an instrument at Beirut jam session in Lebanon known as Guseng is my favourite. ‘It’s a Chinese harp and has a beautiful feminine tune to it. I also like the happy, soft and sweet sound of the Ukulele.

Do emotional incidents expand upon an artistic license?
One needs to be an emotional person. You have to be connected to your own feelings and be empathetic towards others as well. If one talks about soul music which is a broad genre it might be the case.

What happens when you get a writer’s block while writing your music?
I have written songs that I didn’t like and got stuck while writing for a moment, but I didn’t consider it as a writer’s block.