I’ve been fortunate enough to interview a wide variety of famous folks through the years. Enough to be able to honestly say – not every celebrity is an interesting person. Not every celeb is a scintillating conversationalist. You don’t walk away from every interview thinking, wow – I’d love to be friends with this person because they seem so interesting and AWESOME.
But Jill Scott…she’s all that, and then some. And she’s been an Afrobella inspiration from day one.
Her latest album Light of the Sun, will be released on June 21st. The album shows a blunt, honest, gritty, more hip hop side of Jill on certain tracks, while she still delivers the heartfelt soulful lyrics we’ve all been loving all along. The first video from the album is for Shame, and it shows that new Jill Scott flavor. Sexy. Sassy. Totally in control. And YAY for Eve!
(sidenote – DYING over Jill’s sequined dress. Want!)
Interviewing Jill Scott has been a dream of mine for years. Her music has been part of the soundtrack of my life and her lyrics have helped to guide me through both good times and bad. And as a celebrity icon for full figured, natural black beauty, there are few people I respect and admire more.
It was such a pleasure to speak with Jill, to ask her the questions I’ve been wanting to ask, and to get her unhurried, well considered, thoughtful and honest responses about natural hair, being healthy, LIFE in GENERAL.
Our interview was scheduled to be just 10 minutes, and we wound up talking for 23. I wanted it to last indefinitely.
So normally with an interview of this magnitude, I’d prefer to present it alongside a video to go with it. In this instance, video will be up next week so you can hear Jill actually speak on these issues. Today, I’ll just feature one part of our Q and A, if that’s alright with you.
Afrobella: …to so many people, they look at your and they brand you as an icon that speaks to their particular experience. So to so many women, you’re considered a natural hair icon, or plus size icon and now you’re in a period in your life where you’re changing. How is that, and how do you feel about being seen that way by women and how do you feel about your hair and your beauty and your evolution that we’re all getting to see right now?
Jill Scott: Well I think that change is good, and its necessary. Typically when I go through something, I’ll always cut my hair off. And I’ll wear wigs, and I’ll wear weaves and I’ll wear pieces because I like fashion. I like style and its fun to me. I’m very much a girl and I don’t know. I wont say worried…I’m interested to see how people look at me as someone who’s lost 60 [lbs] and working on 20 more. I’m interested to see if they’ll still feel connected to me or not. I don’t know. I wasn’t trying to be the spokesperson of natural hair. I just like my hair. I like how it feels, I like how I look. I enjoy my culture and my heritage. I see my mother and my father in my hair and I enjoy that. But at the same time I’ve been natural for 20 years and it was time to change. And when I get bored of this, I’ll cut my hair off again.
Afrobella: It’s just hair.
Jill Scott: It’s just a part of me but it doesn’t define me. I actually wrote a poem on the album called “Womanifesto” and I’m saying all the things, well not all the things, but a multitude of things that I am, outside of…I think the first line says “Clearly I’m not a fat ass.” One I don’t have a fat ass, Two I see women being defined by…defining themselves as well as society defining them according to their physical attributes, that is something that occurred with being a Hottentot, and I’m seeing the same kind of… well I don’t want to call it an illness, but I see the parameters that are created by that. And I’m hoping to allow women, or give I guess permission in a sense, or to inspire to define themselves by more than just physicality. You have a heart, you have a mind, you have interests you have goals, you have passions, you have failures, there’s so much to a human being, there’s so much more to a human being than just physicality and I’m hoping to inspire that.
If I lose weight and try to get in shape I do it for my health, because I now I have a two year old and I want to be around for him. I want to run with him, I want to ride my bike and play with him. Those things become very important to me because I love him, which helps me love myself more — not that I didn’t love myself when I was overweight and I’m still not a small girl and I never will be. And I’m comfortable with that. But I can be healthier and I can be physically stronger. I can jog up 19 steps and not be out of breath with a baby on my back. It feels good and I want to continue that.
And this is just a taste, bellas. In next week’s installment you’ll get all the goods. I talked to Jill about diet and exercise, her morning routine with her son, and how she feels about being accessible to her fans via Twitter. You can follow her there @MissJillScott, or “like” her on Facebook!
I’m loving her latest video with Anthony Hamilton.
And I can’t wait for Light of the Sun! Will you be copping it on June 21st? I plan to, for sure!