After waiting two years to create a follow-up to her phenomenal debut album, Jill Scott returns to retake her rightful position at the top of the neo-soul mountain.
Q. Despite your celebrity, you seem abnormally grounded. I liken you to Sade. She releases her talent to the world and then retreats back to her life.
A. Well, I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness. I was never baptized, but one of the truest things that I remember is being humble. I know that every breath is a blessing and every wiggle of the toe is a miracle. I know that I am gifted, but I also know that it's not me. Let's say that there are four steps to get to the stage. By the third, someone else takes over. I never remember the shows and have to ask, 'How was it?'
Q. So, this is your alter ego?
A. Yes. I am very much a homebody. "Jill Scott" is a lot more powerful than I am. But, I like her a lot!
Q. Are you still a practicing Jehovah's Witness?
A. When I was 12, I decided that I wanted to see what else was out there. I believe that all of the religions have merit and that it's man that messes it up. I am more spiritual than religious. Sometimes I feel like a Buddhist and I need to chant; sometimes a Baptist and I need to holler and shout and sometimes I need to be a Catholic and need to purge my sins and confess. It just depends on where I am. But, I know I need to get there.
Q. Your mother gave you freedom at 12 years old to explore your spirituality?
A. Not necessarily. I took it on my own. It was my grandmother who wanted me to remain a Witness.
Q. What do you think of religion?
A. I remember one preacher who was wearing this beautiful silk suit who left the church in a driven car. There was a family and the children were begging for some hot dogs because they were hungry. I think preachers should make sure that everyone is on the same playing field.