Story: Jack Foley
SINCE she recorded her first album nearly a decade ago, Jewel
has continually attemped to explore fresh avenues, branching out
from her folk roots to incorporate rock, pop, country, blues,
jazz, and classical influences into her work.
Each successive album has found her experimenting with new sounds
and widening her artistic scope, with her latest, 0304,
promising to move her close to the mainstream than ever before.
Her four albums to date have sold 25 million copies worldwide,
while her latest long-player, 0304, finds the multi-platinum singer/songwriter
inspired by her burgeoning interest in modern dance beats and
The debut single to emerge from it, Intuition, was written
and produced by Jewel and Cuban-American producer, Lester Mendez,
who has worked with the likes of Shakira, Santana, and Enrique
Iglesias, and who also collaborated with her throughout the new
Joining Jewel on the song are Rusty Anderson (electric guitars),
Mark Oakley (acoustic guitars), Paul Bushnell (bass), Michael
Bolger (accordion), and Mendez on keyboards.
Commenting on her latest direction, Jewel explains: "I've
always been really interested in all kinds of music. I loved hip-hop
and rap when I was first exposed to it in the 80s, and I
loved the beats, and I loved the artists who had the ability to
be very lyrical with those beats.
"I also like the hypnotic nature of dance music; there is
something very primordial about it. And, of course, I love folk
I love story-telling and socially driven music.
"The tone of some of the new songs also leans towards jazz.
So you are going to hear my love of all these types of music on
the new album, and I tried to combine them in a way that makes
"You have folk melodies against hip-hop beats against a
French accordion against hand-clapping and whistling solos. But
it still really sounds like me."
Jewels previous album, the platinum-certified This Way,
was released by Atlantic Records in November 2001 and debuted
at #9 in the US album charts.
To date, it has sold in excess 1.5 million copies in the US alone.
Produced by Jewel and Dann Huff, it marked her first work as
Never one to rest on her laurels, Jewel then launched Soul City
Café in the Summer of 02, a multi-faceted programme
designed to expose, encourage, and develop new talent in a variety
of artistic media.
The project was launched with Soul City Café ArtBeat,
a showcase for emerging musical and spoken word artists who have
been performing with Jewel on her current tour.
This was followed by a Soul City Café video director search,
to find an aspiring filmmaker to direct the video for the title
track of her album, This Way.
Currently, Soul City Café is conducting a search for exceptional
up-and-coming talent via Music Quest, a competition for bands
and solo artists. Winners in each category will land opening slots
on Jewel's next tour.
In other recent Jewel news, her version of Lynyrd Skynyrds
Sweet Home Alabama
was used as the title song to the film starring Reese Witherspoon,
and she has also established her own film production company,
Magic Lantern Entertainment, which has acquired its first feature
film script, Wave, written by David Rothmiller.
Jewel will star in the film along with an ensemble cast, having
made her acclaimed movie debut in Ang Lees American Civil
War masterpiece, Ride With The Devil, alongside Tobey Maguire
and Skeet Ulrich.
She is working on her second book of poetry (to be love poems),
following the success of her two previous books.
Raised in Alaska, the 28-year-old Jewel has been celebrated as
one of the most gifted and accomplished artists in popular music
Her 1995 debut, Pieces of You, received the Diamond Award
for US sales in excess of 10 million (and is currently certified
at 11 million). The album spent a remarkable 114 weeks on the
Billboard chart, where it hit #4.
With 0304 Jewel is set to add a bold new chapter
to an already unique and extraordinary career.