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.

Jill Scott interview

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.

Part 1 — Jill Scott on hair, weight loss and beauty.

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!


Linda says:
June 2, 2011, 8:33 am
Jill can lose 150lbs and wear a Jheri curl and I will still be a fan and love the light that shines from within...YOU GO ILLY JILLY from PHILLY!!!!!
Christine says:
June 2, 2011, 8:39 am
I love me some Jilly from Philly. (Also, YAY Eve!)
Niki says:
June 2, 2011, 8:43 am
Jill looks great and sounds better than ever! And I think she is one of the prettiest women (that's *women*, not just black women) in the entertainment industry. That smile lights up a room! Can't wait to cop the new record!
RevealingBeaute says:
June 2, 2011, 8:54 am
Love it Patrice! I can't wait for Part 2. There's nothing like a interview that captures the soul of the person. I believe you're doing just that. xoxo
Kesha says:
June 2, 2011, 10:18 am
I'm the Magnificent... that's right go Special Ed! I love it!
Rochelle says:
June 2, 2011, 10:58 am
Yo are a great interviewer Patrice. Your questions always get to the heart of the matter! Look forward to part 2.
Tina says:
June 2, 2011, 11:37 am
Great snippet. I love Jill she looks healthy, happy and radiant!!! Health is wealth!
Valerie R. says:
June 2, 2011, 12:00 pm
This was a great start and I'm looking forward to the next part. I just love Ms. Scott!
Marsha says:
June 2, 2011, 12:07 pm
Awesome interview Patrice!!! I cannot wait until Part 2! I luv Jill and will definitely be purchasing her CD on 6/21!!!!
Tonia says:
June 2, 2011, 1:25 pm
Love Love Ms Scott! Great interview. Looking forward to Part 2
Nana says:
June 2, 2011, 2:34 pm
Patrice, you are so lucky. I love love love Jilly from Philly and I have already pre-ordered her album on iTunes. I'm looking forward to Part 2 of the interview.
Nappy Naturally says:
June 2, 2011, 5:40 pm
Yo Bella! You outdid yourself. Miss J.I.L.L.S.C.O.T.T. has definitely been the biz since I saw her at a show with The Roots back in the day. Thanks for the work you do on the daily, but this takes the cake. Rock on wit' yo' bad (not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good!) self.
pets says:
June 2, 2011, 6:25 pm
Great interview. Jill always looks glowing. I too like that sequined tunic top she wore in the video with Eve. Can't wait for part II.
Qalil Little says:
June 2, 2011, 6:54 pm
I love Jill Scott. I have loved watching her acting grow and I'm still waiting for the second season of the South African detective show.
luvmylocs says:
June 2, 2011, 9:48 pm
i love jilly!! her music has helped me "get over". i can't wait for the full interview. and if anybody hates on jill for losing weight, they can kick rocks! she's looking so hot in that video with anthony hamilton. i can't wait for the cd. it's going to be a good week, afrobella's mac lipglass and the jill scott cd! yippee!
Dani says:
June 3, 2011, 8:33 am
love everything about this! love jill scott, love the interview (cant wait for part 2), love the videos!!
Terez says:
June 3, 2011, 2:11 pm
So inspirational. I like how she says that there is more to people than what we see. I can't wait for the rest!
warrior11209 says:
June 3, 2011, 8:06 pm
Can not wait for Part 2!!! Will def purchase the CD onthe 21st.
Monica says:
June 3, 2011, 9:01 pm
She is so beautiful and talented.
missaj says:
June 6, 2011, 8:27 am
super awesome jill i love it! you got me through my divorce now it's time to help me find love again i can't wait until the 21st
TressBuzz says:
June 6, 2011, 5:39 pm
Jill I loved you in "Sins of the Mother!" Keep acting! Tressbuzz http://www.tressbuzz.com Black Hair | New Lengths
Shermika says:
June 7, 2011, 8:25 am
I cannot wait for Light of the Sun to come out. I've loved Jill because she has always been simply herself-LOVES IT!
alldaynatural says:
June 7, 2011, 8:47 pm
I have always appreciated Ms. Scott's openness and sincerity, which comes across in her music and in her interviews. I have June 21st circled on my calendar. Can't wait! Thanks for sharing this refreshing, honest interview. :-)
L says:
June 7, 2011, 9:36 pm
I appreciate Jill because she doesn't have a gimmick. Her success isn't based on wearing a bathing suit and pumps or gyrating on a stage. She's actually talented AND intelligent. Intelligence is a woman's best asset.
Sweetdrk1 says:
June 11, 2011, 9:17 am
I love all that is Jill Scott..no matter the hairstyle, the weight..she is real and in your face. Can't wait for part 2! Good stuff!
Shirl says:
August 11, 2011, 1:43 am
Alrighty then...go head Mz Jill Scott...looking & sounding fab on those two videos!!! Nice interview Afrobella.
Jan Virtue says:
August 11, 2011, 4:48 pm
This woman is really special. She is all that and more: An exceptional singer, rapper, spoken word artist and actress. But more importantly, she is beyond words. She has a light that shines from within which is there because she understands life and she's so beyond the bull crap. She is truly intelligent, funky, sexy and so fly. Nothing about her is wack, she is so above and beyond. I love her any way she comes because whatever she comes with is so deep and comes from within. We all can relate and that's what makes her so great. And when you come like her, you can only shine bright, touch people, make them groove and make them think. And it all adds up to LOVE. She is LOVE. You can see that and hear that. Love of self and the human race. Truly a breath of fresh air. Truly magnificent.
Ally S says:
September 2, 2011, 12:11 pm
I agree!!!