Johannesburg - Soul singer Joss Stone has a mission this year: to visit every country in the world.
The award-winning English singer said her ambition was to touch as many places as she could with her music and positivity. “I realised that music is so powerful. It can do so many other things,” Stone told the Saturday Star.
“There are no barriers to it. So I thought why not have a gig in every country in the world.”
Stone said she expected it to take two-and-a-half to three years to visit 204 countries.
Stone will perform in South Africa in a fortnight for one night only at the Big Top Arena in Carnival City.
“I’m very excited to be performing in South Africa,” said Stone. “I look forward to meeting new people, listening to new sounds and just enjoying the South African culture.”
Stone will only be in the country for three days before heading off to Tunisia. “I wish I could have stayed longer. I was keen on doing some sightseeing but unfortunately have a very busy schedule.”
Stone, who has performed on stage with James Brown, Gladys Knight, Solomon Burke, Blondie, Smokey Robinson and Melissa Etheridge among others, says she has been to South Africa twice.
“I came down a few years ago for an arts festival in South Africa which I really enjoyed.
“My second visit was with my dad. I didn’t get to see the country much as I slept the majority of the time I was here.”
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, the similarly multi-platinum Mind, Body and Soul topped the UK Albums Chart for one week and spawned the top 10 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 was nominated for Best New Artist and became the youngest British female singer to have her debut album top the UK Albums Chart.
Her third album, Introducing Joss Stone in 2007, achieved gold record status and yielded the second-highest debut for a British female solo artist on the Billboard 200. Stone released her fourth album, Colour Me Free! In 2009, which reached the Top 10 on Billboard.
She released her fifth album, LP1 in 2011, which also reached the Top 10 on Billboard.
The 27-year-old has sold over 14 million albums worldwide and has earned numerous awards and accolades, including two Brit Awards and one Grammy Award out of five nominations.
Although Stone does not have an opening act yet for her concert in Joburg, she said:
“We are looking at a musician from South Africa to open for me. We have been listening to various musicians and will make a decision very soon.”
Stone was full of praise for South African music. “I have heard quite a bit of South African music and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The musicians are very talented in South Africa.”
Stone said her fans could expect an exciting concert.
“I plan on singing songs from all of my albums. We will play old stuff as well as the latest songs, so it will be a mixed performance.”
Tickets are still available for the performance through www.bigconcerts.
Prices from R300.
Date: Wednesday, April 2. Venue: Big Top Arena, Carnival City, Johannesburg.