Jewel’s trying to keep her music ‘authentic’
New York ? It’s almost a cliche when a star complains about being a celebrity.
But you get a sense that Jewel is genuine when she talks about her disdain for the fame game, even if her attitude is a bit contradictory.
For example, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter said in a recent interview that she doesn’t like doing interviews: “I don’t think it’s healthy to talk about yourself all day. … You can get a little carried away with yourself.”
Jewel, whose full name is Jewel Kilcher, has had to deal with being a celebrity since her 1996 debut, “Pieces of You,” which included the hits “You Were Meant for Me” and “Who Will Save Your Soul.”
She followed up her multiplatinum effort with 1998’s “Spirit.” She published “A Night Without Armor: Poems” that year, and made her acting debut in Ang Lee’s “Ride With the Devil” in 1999. But she tired of being in the glare of the spotlight. It took three years to release her latest album, “This Way.”
“I was dead tired, and I was unhappy,” she explained as her boyfriend, rodeo champion Ty Murray, sat close by, holding their snoring dog. “I couldn’t do my job effectively anymore.”
She refreshed herself by spending time in Texas, working with the cattle and doing other chores on Murray’s ranch.
“It’s just nice to be able to access myself the way I did growing up; just to go out and be alone, get on a horse and look at the sky and just be alone, be able to write,” she said. “I just enjoy that, I like being away from all this business.”
She’s also written the book “Chasing Down the Dawn.” Her new CD, which was released last November, has already gone platinum.
Was it hard to wait three years between albums?
I didn’t know if I’d come back … because … there’s this whole seductive rhythm of like, “Have another hit, be more sensational, be more over the top.” So every time you come out, you look more and more like a cartoon of yourself. It’s really hard to hold on to what makes you an authentic artist. And it takes stepping back from it.
What made you so tired and frustrated?
I just toured from age 18 to age 25 without ever having had a holiday, practically. Just constant work. And I’m a songwriter, and never ever once having had time to get away, being outdoors, where I write best that’s like never feeding yourself for six years. I think that was a big part of it. I found it artistically draining, and if my art isn’t happy, I’m not really happy, my spirit isn’t really happy. I think the other part of it was just, you know, playing catch-up to how much my life had changed. Just dealing with this completely new life circumstance.
Are you worried about the album’s commercial success?
I think when you do something out of your own love for it, it strengthens your position. The only way I know how to go about things is from the inside out. I can’t look at a song and go, “That’s what’s a hit.” … I just do the song first and worry about radio later.
You’ve got a big ring on your finger. Do you have some marriage plans?
No wrong finger! … I’d like a family probably one day, but … I don’t feel like an adult quite yet.#