She’s the queen of British soul. Long before the likes of Amy Winehouse and Adele there was Joss Stone.
A musical trendsetter, she released her debut album, “The Soul Sessions” at the tender age of 16, an album that went on to become a multimillion-selling transatlantic success transforming the teenage singer into one of the most in-demand performers in the world.
Over the next decade she went on to sell more than 12 million albums worldwide, notching up Brit and Grammy awards and performances with some of the best known artists around, from Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder to Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger.
Last year the hitmaker embarked on an epic tour, with the aim of performing in every country in the world and somehow she’s found the time to record her seventh album, “Water for Your Soul”.
Flight Centre caught up with the busy songstress, who revealed her future travel plans and why New York is her favourite city.
What’s your favourite holiday?
There’s two that standout. The first was when I went to Greece with my family. There were a lot of us and we got a beautiful little villa together, which was really nice.
The second was when I went to Amsterdam with a group of friends for New Year’s Eve, which was also magical. Travelling with family and friends is important to me.
What’s your carry-on essential?
Firstly, I always take lip balm. Also, I need a jumper and slippers - planes are cold and I like to be warm. I hate the cold!
How do you beat jet lag?
I think you get jet lag when you’re in a place long enough to establish a body clock.
But when you’re on the road constantly like I am, you’re always tired! It also means that you can sleep at any hour, which I do all the time. Again, life on the road!
What’s your favourite city?
New York. To me it’s the least of annoying of all cities. As you might be able to tell, I don’t like cities very much - I’m more of a country person. If there’s a lack of nature I think there should be lots of things to do and life should be easy and convenient.
London isn’t very easy or convenient - it’s not very friendly either - and neither is Paris.
New York is very easy to get around, it’s on a grid so you won’t get lost and it has Central Park, which is amazing and full of all sorts of music.
In fact, there’s music everywhere in New York. I think it’s also the type of place where pretty much everyone is accepted too.
Where was your most favourite meal?
I went to Budapest and there was a vegetarian restaurant, which was absolutely amazing. I like it when they really go for it with veggie food, because quite often you can’t find really tasty food when you’re vegetarian.
Adventure or luxury?
Adventure for sure. Being a country girl, the outdoors is very important to me.
What’s the essential ingredient for a good trip?
I need it to be hot. If it’s not hot, I’m not interested. I don’t want to go to cold places. I don’t want to feel like “brrr! I’m cold!”
What’s your top travel tip?
Know the difference between travelling for work and traveling for pleasure.
I travel a lot for work, so being professional at all times is pretty much my philosophy. That means not getting drunk on the plane the day before a gig! I always have to remind myself, that I’m not on holiday when I’m on tour.
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What’s your biggest packing mistake?
I’m on an around the world tour now, so I always end up packing the wrong things.
However, for each gig I do I have to wear something different, so that means that I have to go to the shops a lot, which I hate. But on the flip side, it means that anything I’ve forgotten to pack can be easily bought.
Where do you want to go next?
I’m trying to cover as much of the world as possible - we’re aiming to perform in every country in the world. So far we’ve done around 44 countries.
We’re currently planning tour of Central america, which will be really cool. Also, we’re hoping to visit China and spend time with the pandas there.
Whatever country we visit we figure out a charity collaboration and in China we’re looking at doing something with the pandas. Pandas are on my bucket list, so fingers crossed!
Joss Stone’s new album, “Water For Your Soul” is out now.