"They take artists who are bright, shining lights and just kind of dampen them, because they only care about making money," she says. I want to make music and I don't think you have to do all the other stuff. "There are too many businessmen who feel like they've paid for things, and expect you to do what you're told.
I consider it quite abusive." • Pop's 20 greatest female artists Judging by the content of Water for Your Soul, Stone's new freedom has had a positive impact on her music.
Life isn't so hard if you're in it with others." As a young girl first making her way, she found most veteran musicians encouraging. "I'm not intimidated by anyone else but she scares the s--- out of me.
It was kind of, 'Do not speak unless spoken to.' " Stone did her growing up in public, going from virginal teen soul princess to sexy, druggy rebel in a few short years.
In 2007, after an appearance at the Brit Awards, she was roundly mocked for her accent, which seemed to have transmogrified from West Country to some sort of transatlantic drawl.
Her third album, Introducing Joss Stone, received lukewarm reviews.
"[Stone] is currently as lost as her Devonshire vowels," said one critic.
If this is the case, though, she is hiding it well. "When I left EMI, I decided to base decisions on how much joy they are going to bring.If something doesn't sound like it's going to bring a smile to my face or someone else's, what's the point?" Her break from the record company was driven by frustration at attempts to shape her career, in which she says she was not just told what to sing but forbidden from getting tattoos or changing her hair.Her mother, Wendy Joseph, used to rent out guesthouses on the large property, one of which Stone has converted into a studio.Her accent has reverted to well-spoken, middle-class Englishness, with no trace left of the transatlantic wobble caused, she says, because she spent most of her late teens and early 20s in the United States.