January 31, 2012
The globally acclaimed singer held a "Artists Speak to Artists" Q&A session at midem today
She was joined onstage by Brian Nelson, general manager of the singer’s own label, Stone’d Records. The overall message was on the importance of freedom: especially important for Stone since her difficult departure from EMI in 2012.
Still today, Stone remains wary: “You’ve got to be careful about who you choose to work with,” she said. Hence the creation of her label. “I’m excited about artists that haven’t gone crazy on the radio,” she said. “If I love it, I want to help it. That’s why I love these guys,” namely the Stone’d team.
So what is Stone’s focus today? Freedom, without a doubt. “I’ve recently been freed from major label stress. So until recently, I’ve had to fight to be creative. Now I have the freedom to do things like make a record in 6 days with Dave Stewart in Nashville;” the result of which was her latest album, “LP1“.
“I’ve also just done another completely different project,” added Stone, “and I can choose which one I push;” a crucial possibility not afforded to her before.
Said Nelson on the making of LP1: “The band would vibe on it and improvise; and in six days we had a master. There was never any thought of whether it’d be in the radio. It’s like how Joplin or Led Zeppelin made albums in the seventies.”
“It’s all about having the freedom to do whatever works for you, without having a man in a suit tell you what to do,” said Stone. “So we went back into the studio, and then remembered why we started (making music in the first place).”
So is there a business model for this kind of approach? “We won’t lock ourselves into something stifling with one label or partner, precisely because the industry’s changing so much,” said Nelson. “There’s confusion out there, so we need to have freedom to switch. And if you’re not nice we’d rather not work with you!”
Concluded Stone: “There are no rules. If it’s inspiring it will inspire. So I love collaborations. I’m told “You can’t sing with everyone, Joss!” And I say “why not?!” There are no rules in music, so why should there be in the music business?”
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