Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Feature

ANGIE STONE: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT

Angie Stone
Angie Stone

Headlining Southport Weekender’s 40th Birthday bonanza is the Queen of modern-day soul. Tilt your cap please and all hail Ms Stoneâ€Â¦

B&S: We haven̢۪t heard from you in a while, what̢۪s been happening?
STONE: I gotta new album about to come out and the first single should be dropping very soon. The album’s called ‘The Art of Love and War’ and I did the entire thing in the Marvin Gaye studio. It’s my best record to date. I’ll be performing a few of my new songs at Southport.

B&S: Who̢۪ve you worked with on the new album?
STONE: Jonathan Richmond [producer and vocalist on ‘Stone Love’], a young, upcoming soul singer by the name of Chino [one of Angie’s backing vocalists] and there are some of the same writers that I worked with on ‘Mahogany Soul’. Plus James Ingram [Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Kenny Rogers] and Idris Elba [British actor/singer/DJ] from London has produced a song called ‘My People’ which is an incredible song that James Ingram and I do together. And my daughter [Diamond] is on it again, but really I wanted to keep it strictly Angie Stone and it’s kinda reminiscent of ‘Black Diamond’. It’s got a very strong overtone with great songs.

B&S: ‘Stone Love’ moved away from strict soul and into R&B territory; will your new album keep the people that missed the real soul happy?
STONE: I think the label that I was with wanted me to broaden my horizons because neo-soul has gotten thrown in such a bag. In my opinion, every artist should be able to stretch their wings a little bit; just like when Stevie did ‘Innervisions’ and then broadened out to do something else. It’s just a part of change and growth. I loved the last material. I thought my original neo approach appealed to adults mostly and I think the label wanted to broaden out and reach a younger audience. When I did the ‘I Wanna Thank You’ with Snoop, it was designed to captivate a younger audience, without losing my older audience. I think people like to hear drama. When you’re happy and you’re in love and everything’s going great, it’s not saucy enough for people; they want the nitty gritty of soul.

B&S: It's Southport's 40th birthday, how old will you be on the night?
STONE: How old will I be? Or how young will I be? I̢۪m not gonna give that one up but I̢۪m over 30, I̢۪ll put it that way. Because I look under 30, I̢۪ve got to keep you suspicious.

B&S: How does it differ performing in the UK to the States?
STONE: Because you guys don̢۪t get us over there as often, the reception is far grander. We̢۪re always in the States, everywhere, doing a circuit that everybody does and you expect a certain crowd. In the UK you don̢۪t know what to expect because the shows are so far and few between that everyone comes out to represent. It̢۪s fair to say the intensity is the same but it̢۪s just you guys turn out in droves much larger. I adore the UK crowd and, as a matter of fact, I don̢۪t think I get there enough.

B&S: What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you on stage?
STONE: I walked on stage and my heel went in a hole and my shoe got stuck. I went tumbling. Luckily I didn̢۪t fall all the way down, but can you imagine walking and your shoe is nailed in the ground? I can̢۪t remember where it was and it was too awful to remember.

B&S: Angie Stone, it's been a pleasure, have a wicked Southportâ€Â¦
STONE: Thank you. Please tell my folks at Blues & Soul they’re my favourite, favourite favourite. They’ve always been kind to me and I’m looking forward to more great press and more great everything. I’m serious; they were the first ones to really give Angie Stone a look, even way back when I did ‘Black Diamond’. When people were comparing me to Lauryn Hill, they were really on top of it and I absolutely adore the magazine.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ANGIE IN THE NEW ISSUE OF B&S 995 - ON THE STREETS NOW!

Angie Stone headlines Southport 40, May 11/12/13.

Check out future issues B&S for more info on her forthcoming album.
Words Elle J Small

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