(KERO) — Music fans have an added treat just before Valentine's Day when British singer Joss Stone drops her new album.
Stone's "Never Forget My Love" comes out Friday, Feb. 11th, and she told 23ABC about recording it with producer Dave Stewart, of the Eurythmics, in the Bahamas and Nashville. Stewart was recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the Eurythmics.
Her album will be available via Amazon and digital music sources such as iTunes and Spotify.
"Dave asked me to come to his place in the Bahamas. See he lives in between a tiny hidden island in the Bahamas, and Nashville," explains Stone. "We had a project that we were doing that's ongoing for a play called 'Time Traveler's Wife' that'll hopefully come out soon. That was an interesting writing session since we're writing about time travel. And he said 'come over' and the whole pandemic is kicking off. I said 'I can't travel Dave.' And he goes 'yes, you can. Don't worry about it, you can travel.' And when we arrived they actually locked down two days afterward, so it was meant to be.
"We spent a month there writing and I was just talking to him about the dreams I had before about different types of music I wanted to make. I said I would really love so much to make a record that's really classy and well-composed and very deliberate in the way that it's written. Really like Burt Bacharach music. That's sort of how I wanted it to feel. Like the Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield kind of you-don't-have-to-say-you-love-me vibe."
It's a change of pace from Stone's last album "Water For My Soul" which was free-flowing and a reggae influence to it. None of which is out of the norm for her because Stone changes up her styles often. She's won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2007 with "Family Affair" with John Legend and Van Hunt. That's to go with two collections of soul albums "The Soul Sessions" and "The Soul Sessions: Vol. 2."
With the influences that Stone says inspired "Never Forget My Love," the record really has a timeless quality about it.
"That's all we ever aim for is the idea that someone will listen to a record I made a 100 years from now and still think it's good," said Stone.
Music isn't the only way Joss is making a difference in other people's lives. The Joss Stone Foundation continues to help and support charities for people in need. Started in 2014 as part of her Total World Tour, the foundation has collaborated local musicians and charities in more than 200 countries.
"I set it up so we could support a lot of the charities," said Stone. "We've got little projects going on. I just got an email about an update to one of the projects. I visited a charity in Iraq and it was probably one of the saddest ones.
"It really hurt my heart to hear what was going on. It was families. Thousands of them. They were stolen. Entire families, entire villages were stolen by ISIS. Most of the men were killed and the women were used as slaves by ISIS. Some of them were lucky enough to be bought back by [families] if they had any family left or some of them escaped.
"It was just the most sick story. I had spoke to these young women and they had been these refugee camps. They had finally freed themselves from ISIS and they have all the trauma that comes with that. They lost everybody they know and love. Pulled out just from a normal life and now they're living in Iraq. And I'm thinking, 'how can I help them?' How can you help someone who has gone through that and how can you take that away from them?
"Every time I visit a charity, whether it be an animal charity where they adopt dogs, there's a lot of issues in the world and there's lots of people trying to help. Each time I go out to them I talk to them, I interview them for hours just so I can make them a little video to get them some donations. [This time] I'm thinking 'I don't know how to help. I don't know how to make this OK.' A donation is not going to help. You can't take away that pain.
"So I always ask how can we help you. The girl said 'we just don't want to be living in these camps anymore and we want to be able to get jobs.' Because they're from a different culture, they speak a different language from everyone else there and they've lost any opportunity to get any sort of education there.
"So I came up with the idea that I actually think is helping some of them.
"It's a simple thing and it may sound silly but it's working to a point. With the donations from everyone and helping as much as I can. Every time a do a gig I'm trying to put into this foundation... So we set up a nail salon in the camp to bring the women together so they can talk. And we sent some people to get them certified. In New York this a nail salon on every bloody block, so if we can have them learn a skill that's transferable.
"That means if they're able to get to Australia, and some of them do. They can get a job there and they can find enough within themselves to... pull themselves out of it and to have a legitimate job... And they're absolutely loving it... Hopefully it'll make there lives just a little bit better."
The foundation is accepting donations to continue Joss' work.
Several dates of Stone's current tour had to be canceled because she contracted COVID. But she hopes to reschedule the shows this year.
"I really really want to reschedule them this year. Everyone is talking about rescheduling it to next year but I don't want to. I want to it this year... I just want to get to those venues and those people and play for them."
THE FULL INTERVIEW CAN BE SEEN BELOW (CONTENT WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE):