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MUSIC: Words and sounds from Jill Scott
13 years on from her acclaimed, genre-defining debut album Who Is Jill Scott? Words & Sounds Volume 1, Australian fans could be forgiven for thinking we might never get to see Jill Scott live. In the past decade she’s released four stellar studio albums, had her songs turned into everything from club anthems (He Loves Me) to Glee covers (Hate On Me), and she’s also forged a path as a successful actor and charity advocate. Now, Aussie fans can rejoice: Jill Scott brings her incredible live show down under for the first time in November.
Q. Tell us a bit about the Jill Scott live experience, because we haven’t seen it ourselves yet here in Australia…what can fans expect?
A. Expect energy, great instrumentation, passionate singing and a whole lot of soul. Fans will feel something, whether that be romance, spirit or just some butt shaking! Making people feel is my job and the point and purpose of music.
Q. Your most recent album, Light of the Sun, was your first number one album in the US. How did that feel, more than a decade after your debut?
A. To be honest I know it happened but at the time I couldn’t really comprehend it. I can’t really place a time on the success of my records; to me they are a journey. They can be a journey of weeks, months or years…I’m just happy with the amount of positive feedback, it’s incredible.
Q. It’s been almost two years since that album – have you started work on a follow-up?
A. Well I can’t tell you too much about it but I have started working on a follow-up. It’s involved me being at the studio three to four times a week and recording eight or nine songs a night. I will be working with people like Ne-Yo, Robert Glasper, David Banner and some others on it; it’s going to be a “Jilly from Philly” record. I’m also working on a Lullaby album that’s intended for children and adults to help them sleep better at night [and] wake up refreshed.
Q. You were in your late 20s when you released your debut album – are you glad you started out a little later than many other artists?
A. There are benefits with starting out later because you’ve had the opportunity to live and experience life. As a writer, this is beyond important as it evokes emotions and gives you the material to pull from in order to be able to write a song.
Q. There’s something about the way you talk about men and sex on songs like Exclusively and He Loves Me that has a real appeal to gay men. Have you noticed you’ve developed a strong gay following?
A. I love all my fans! I’m so excited to meet all my Australian fans and connect with them through my music. Until this day it’s still amazing for me to hear that my fans relate to what I’m putting out there.
Q. Your lyrics can be strident, assertive, sometimes even aggressive. Is that what you’re like in real life?
A. Yes and no, I started off writing music to show different women and their different sides. When I started writing and recording I found myself taking on all these characters and stepping into their shoes. I found something I could relate to in each woman’s character; I think that’s what can make me come across as aggressive.
INFO: Jill Scott, Riverside Theatre Perth November 17, Palais Theatre Melbourne Nov 19, Tivoli Brisbane Nov 21, Enmore Theatre Sydney Nov 23 & 25. Tickets on sale at www.ieg.net.au