Joss Stone: Seeking sounds of Kiwiana

By Paula Yeoman

Joss Stone wants to get to know New Zealand, writes Paula Yeoman.

Joss Stone is looking forward to her second visit.
Joss Stone is looking forward to her second visit.

Joss Stone needs your help. The British singer has set herself the goal of travelling to every country in the world and will touch down in New Zealand late this month. But before then, she needs a crash course in Kiwi music - songs and sounds to help inspire her before her double-billed gigs with India.Arie.

"I've done a lot of touring and I've been to a lot of places, but I realise that I've missed the opportunity to soak up those places. And the best way for me to do that, obviously being a singer, is through music," she explains.

"It's a big mission for me, but I'm really excited about it. I want to hear different music from different countries and spread that love that I have to give."

Stone's plan is to play a gig in every country she visits and has already started researching the local sounds of the places locked in on her itinerary but admits she's still got some work to do ahead of her trip here.

"We don't really know what to do in New Zealand. We haven't really started [researching] yet. So if you have any suggestions, it would be awesome if you could send them over. We're looking for music that is made and born in New Zealand, that represents the country."

It's not the first time Stone's been to New Zealand. But her last trip was fleeting. "I went there for one day. Bloody far to go for one day I tell you. I pretty much drove in, did the gig, and drove out, which pretty much sucked."

It's also not the first time Stone's performed with American singer-songwriter India.Arie.

"Years and years ago, Stevie Wonder was doing the Super Bowl and he had us all come on stage and sing a bit of a duet with him. So I guess I kind of did perform with her. But it was more I sang a bit with Stevie, then India sang a bit with Stevie, then John Legend sang a bit with Stevie and then we all sang together.

"So it wasn't an actual duet, which I would love to do with her. She's one of my favourite voices on the planet. I love her. I love her words, I love her spirit, I love the music behind her. She's lovely. I'd love to sing a song with her. I'll ask her very politely and hopefully she'll let me do that."

Joss Stone and India.Arie perform at Vector Arena in Auckland on April 25 and at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on April 27. To give her local music ideas, follow her on Facebook or tweet her @JossStone

- Herald on Sunday

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