Blues artists Joss Stone, Keb Mo and Malina Moye on why the Blues is still relevant
"The Blues are all about telling the truth, and being honest to who you really are". That was the belief that ties together the Blues artists in town for the Mahindra Blues festival.
We meet at a five-star in Lower Parel, and talk blues – a genre of music often credited to be the orgin of most music. "There is always this talk of what came first – jazz or blues," laughs Keb Mo, three time Grammy winner, who is known as the master of modern roots music. As he says, he doesn’t really try to stay relevant to fit in with the music scene today, but prefers to tell tales and stories about history through his music. "Blues is all about telling tales of love, life and the controversy that arises in those. And those will always resonate with people. It has revealed to me who I really am."
We then meet Malina Moye, who since she is left-handed, plays a Fender Stratocaster upside down. "My father gave it to me and I just truned it around. He said, 'that ain't right' and I said, 'it feels right'." Moye is known to be the top female guitarists in the world, and her music is a mix of rock and soul. "I think women don’t play the guitar because they don’t see more women doing so. I hope that will change. You have to mix blues with other genres – that’s how it seeps into popular territory. It’s called the evolution of life."
There was also the headlining act, Joss Stone, who actually says that her recent album, Water For Your Soul, doesn’t have "any blues songs". "But there is a lot of blues in my repertoire," she laughs. If you grew up in the 90s, you will remember Stone, who managed to mix the blues influence well with 'pop' music with her songs such as Super Duper Love and You Got Me. "I would like to think of me as being genre free. I think that would be very boring right, if you made the same songs with the same sound. I like to genre hop."
The 28-year-old musician, who when not touring, stays in the country side shire of Devon in England, doesn't care of she is peaking high on the music charts. "The songs which I released when I was younger had lot of money behind them and that's why they became 'popular'. It’s the recording company pushing it that decided what is popular or plays on the radio. Today, am still doing the music I do, but I don’t know the guys who can push it! I am happy with the few people who do listen to me." She plans to play all her hits for her show in the city on Valentine’s day. "I am going to play all the love songs! It’s just about keeping the crowd happy."