Arguably one of the industry’s most soulfully talented artists, Jill Scott is back with her highly anticipated album ‘The Light of the Sun’. This North Philly sister recently took the time to speak with Singersroom about the album, motherhood, her move to a new label and the power of sexuality. Her boldness, confidence, passion and poise makes Jilly from Philly a force to be reckoned with. When speaking on the rawness of the new album she told us, “I got naked in front of the microphone.” This album is sure to be the most revealing and open she has ever been. Currently set to hit stores in June, ‘The Light of the Sun’ will soon join the list of classic Jill Scott albums.
Singersroom: Too often when artists are discovered they often fall victim to how the media and industry wants to portray them. How did you manage to not conform to the way the industry wanted you to look?
Jill Scott: I don’t know if I necessary thought about it because this is all hindsight. But now that I think about it, I had gotten a trainer because I wanted to have more stamina. The trainer told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I would never sell a record. Of course he was fired [Laughs]. To completely spite him I decided not to â I think I probably gained weight. I was mad! The way I saw it was, how are you going to tell me I can’t? I didn’t appreciate that. My grandmother’s favorite saying was ‘you can’t hold your stomach in forever’ meaning you can’t be what you’re not forever. Eventually you’re going to have to sit down and open your belt buckle. I think for me I just wanted to be myself and be in the skin I was most comfortable in because I’m a little shy â just a little bit. I have terrible stage fright and I didn’t want to be in clothes that were not my own. By that I just mean I didn’t want to be something that I’m not and pretend all day long. I don’t want to live like that. If I’m going to offer my gift to the world, I have to do it on my own terms and in the way that I feel the most comfortable.
Singersroom: I understand that upon graduating high school you attended Temple University to pursue a degree in Secondary Education. Do you feel that you still teach through your music even though you’re not in a traditional classroom setting?
Jill Scott: I suppose so. It appears that way because people often quote lyrics to me and tell me their experiences from a line that I said and what it inspired them to do. I think teaching is really about inspiring. You give information and you give opinions and allow others to create and define it for themselves. So I guess in a sense if I’m inspiring then I’m still teaching in a way.
Singersroom: Your new album is called ‘The Light of the Sun’, that’s an interesting title. What does it mean to you?
Jill Scott: ‘The Light of the Sun’ is about being revealing and refreshing â it’s warm. It’s rejuvenating. That’s the kind of music I wanted to create this time around. I’m not hiding in any dark places or in any shadows. What hurt me, I’m going to let you hear it. I did it in a take so the notes may not be perfect, I don’t like auto-tuning. I don’t like doing things like that, I like humanity in music. So for lack of a better phrase I got naked. I got naked in front of the microphone. That means that the ‘Light of the Sun’ is all over â I can’t hide myself.
Singersroom: It has been a few years since your last studio album, in what ways have you seen yourself grow personally and professionally?
Jill Scott: Professionally I have left a smaller label, a boutique label. I just needed to grow and wanted my reach to extend further. I worked with some incredible musicians. I started doing things like having late night jam sessions that have allowed me to free my voice. As much as I love to write, I’ve kind of pulled the needle up in a sense when it comes to writing. I still write but I’m allowing my heart to speak which can be very scary. It’s scary because the things that I say, I don’t know that I’ve said them until three or four hours later when we’re leaving the studio sweating and clapping our hands. We go back and listen and I’m like, ‘did I just say that [Laughs] oh no!’ But at the same time it’s an ‘oh yes!’ So that has allowed me to grow and I’m loving it. Personally, I now have a two-year old son!
Singersroom: Congratulations! How’s motherhood?
Jill Scott: I love it! I love it! It’s really incredible. There are challenges and it can be difficult sometimes. I’m learning about my own level of patience and how little I had before [Laughs]. I’m learning that I freak out over stuff that I don’t have to. I’m learning that I worry more than I should. I’m learning that as a woman, I allowed my physical desires to be in the forefront and that I had to really pay attention to what I wanted as a whole person, as a complete individual, as a woman. I am learning what I really need mentally, emotionally, spiritually – I need fun, I need laughter, I need sensitivity. I want a whole man that’s there in my life and I’m realizing that. And it seems like something that is so simple that you would already know but I don’t think I did. I’m still learning.
Singersroom: Lyrics in many of your songs have a seductive and sensual quality without being vulgar, how do you manage not to cross that line?
Jill Scott: Well sometimes I do cross that line â sometimes I say too much. I think that we are all sexual beings. I like my power, I like my sexuality. I think it’s a part of my womanhood and the older I get the stronger I am in that. I enjoy it. There’s a lot of ways to say things and nothing is new under the sun so I just try my best to be as creative as possible in what I’m saying. The lyric has to inspire a thought, the thought has to inspire a picture. I want people to see my music more so than hear it I want them to see it and feel it and have it live somewhere in them.
Singersroom: Seeing how you put your all into every album I know this question may be hard for you to answer, but which song would you consider the “Jill Scott Anthem” â your all-time favorite song?
Jill Scott: Well you see, all my songs are like my babies. And since then my babies have had babies so it’s hard to choose. But honestly if I had to choose it would be a track on the new album called ‘Boom’. Listen to it and you will see why. It would have to be my all-time favorite thus far.
—— By: Interview By Aleta Watson