Joss Stone
Credit: Phil Knott

More than two and a half years have passed since the release of Introducing Joss Stone, the third CD from the British soulstress. And, if Miss Stone had had her druthers, the singer’s fourth collection, Colour Me Free, would have been out a lot sooner than October 20, when it is available for purchase exclusively through Target. “The album was kind of held in limbo” says Stone. “It’s all record company stuff. I just want to make music and put it out. They have a different mind set. So, we had a little tiff and now we’re putting it out.” Colour Me Free was recorded in the UK at a club owned by Stone’s mother. “It’s a tiny little place that was a restaurant, but my mum made it into a great club,” the singer explains. “While she was actually doing that, when the builders were in, I had the idea to make this album. I figured, ‘Why not? We’ll just work when the builders aren’t working.’ So, we did.”

The first single from Colour Me Free is “Free Me,” which you can hear below and which Stone will perform on Dancing with the Stars tonight. “It’s kind of the title track, really,” says Stone of the song. “It’s just about independence and allowing people to be free and to make their music and their art freely, without somebody sat there telling them how to do so. That’s my slant. But other people can look at it differently.”

After the jump, the singer talks about working with Nas and Jeff Beck. And not writing a song for Obama.

Nas appears on the Colour Me Free track “Governmentalist.” I’m assuming he didn’t record his contribution at your mother’s club?

No, he didn’t. Everyone who’s featured on the album, they were all added afterwards.The album was kind of held in limbo for two years. So, I couldn’t really not touch it, I couldn’t help myself. I just sent Nas the track and he did his thing. He’s a nice guy. I met him in a studio one day and we had a little chat. He’s a really nice bloke. He’s very outspoken, which is the kind of person I like to be around.

No. No, no, no. That is ludicrous. Can you imagine? He’s not going to call me. I wish! The song was actually inspired by the English government.

You also worked with guitar legend Jeff Beck on “Parallel Lines.”

I did, yeah. Oh, he’s a luv. I went over to his house. It’s gorgeous, oh my god. A big country house. We just went up to his top room and jammed. He was great.

I always think he’s got pretty much the best hair in rock.

Yeah, he totally does.

You recently appeared in the TV show The Tudors. Would you like to do more acting?

Yeah, I would. I don’t know how good I am at it, but I’d like to give it a bash. I like to try these things. I get bored very easily.So, I figured it would be good to just try everything, and have fun with it. It is fun. Dressing up and playing pretend is definitely fun.

What have you been listening to recently?

I really like Kings of Leon, and I really like Paolo Nutini’s record as well. Oh, and James Morrison. He’s got some good vocals going there.

A lot of people wouldn’t think of you as a Kings of Leon-type gal.

Oh really (laughs)? Well, I am!

And is the title of Colour Me Free an extension of what you were saying earlier about the message of the single?

Yeah. When you feel trapped in a situation, you can’t wait for somebody to give you a sense of freedom. You have to just take it. It’s up to you, really.

You may be inspiring me to quit my job.

Do it! Be free!

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Photo credit: Phil Knott