Joss Stone rekindles soul music in Africa

Sharon Kavhu

WINDHOEK – United Kingdom Grammy award winner Joss Stone is rekindling soul music in Africa through her ongoing Total World tour.

Stone, whose real name is Joscelyn Eve Stoker, has already been to 11 African countries as part of the tour.

Stone, who was in Zimbabwe recently following her tour in Rwanda has done several collaborations with African artistes.

She has collaborated with Deltino Guerrein from Mozambique, The Jellibas from Sierra Leone, Gasper Nali from Malawi, Teety Tezano from Cameroon, Winyo from Kenya, Zahara and Bongeziwe Mabandle from South Africa, Deo Munyakadzi from Rwanda, Nancy Agag from Sudan, Nigerian Nnneka, Bil Aka Kora from Burkina Faso, Nelinda Karr from Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwean super star Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi.

The way Stone blended well with all these artistes across southern, western, central and northern Africa has created a unique revival of soul music on the continent.

It is soothing to listen to her soulful voice as she sings in the indigenous languages of the artistes she has collaborated with particularly on Oliver Mtukudzi’s ‘Neria’. Her command of the Shona language was so exceptional in that she sounded like a native speaker.

Stone’s soul flavour combined with Africa’s Afro-soul essence has suddenly become music lovers’ daily meal.

The latest video on ‘Neria’ song which was posted on YouTube a few days ago already has over 16,000 views and 1,000 likes. But a video featuring Sierra Leone’s The Jellibas posted last month tops in terms of views and likes with 126,000 views and 5,000 likes.

Stone rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, which made the 2004 Mercury Prize shortlist.

Her second album, Mind Body and Soul, topped the UK Albums Chart for one week and spawned the top ten hit “You Had Me”, Stone’s most successful single on the UK Singles Chart to date.

Both the album and single received one nomination at the 2005 Grammy Awards, while Stone herself was nominated for Best New Artiste and in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2004.

She became the youngest British female singer to top the UK Albums Chart. Stone’s third album, Introducing Joss Stone, released in March 2007, achieved gold record status by the RIAA and yielded the second-ever highest debut for a British female solo artiste on the Billboard 200, and became Stone’s first top five albums in the US.

Stone has earned numerous accolades that including two Brit Awards and one Grammy Award out of five nominations. She also made her film acting debut in 2006 with the fantasy adventure film Eragon, and made her television debut portraying Anne of Cleves in the Showtime series The Tudors in 2009.

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June 2017
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