How Norah Jones Learned Not to Worry Too Much

(Paris) For more than 20 years, Norah Jones’ music has served as the soundtrack to the lives of millions of people, including in some of the most intimate moments of their lives.

“Giving birth to the sound of my music, getting married, making love to my music, I have heard them all and I love them all,” she told AFP during a visit to Paris this week.

“A friend of mine told me that Sunrise was her wake-up song, but I’m not sure I’m happy to serve as a wake-up call,” she added, laughing.

Since his first album in 2002, Come Away With Mewhich sold nearly 30 million copies and earned her a slew of Grammys, Norah Jones made her way into homes around the world.

Today at 44, the singer has found her rhythm, as relaxed as her ballads.

His eighth album, Visionsreleased last week, is the result of occasional sessions with Leon Michels, the multi-instrumentalist and producer.

“Neither of us had any big plans and we didn’t work much, once a week for a few hours while our children were at school,” Jones.

“It was very relaxed. That’s why it took so long, a year and a half! »

Norah Jones has often strayed in the past from the laid-back jazz with which she was associated in her early days, working with rockstars like Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) or rappers Q-Tip and Outkast.

His new album borrows from country music, tinged with retro soul and light touches of psychedelic rock, added to the piano ballads which are one of his trademarks.


“It’s a pretty fun record,” says Norah Jones, “we had a blast playing together, and I think you can hear that quite a bit in the recordings. »

She takes a similarly laid-back approach when it comes to listening to music.

“I had to give up streaming because my kids took it over and it’s all poop-themed songs,” she says with a laugh.

“I rarely listen to the songs that had a big influence on me when I started music. I have a turntable and a bunch of vinyl, but I’m too lazy to turn it on, it’s crazy. »

“Lately I found myself listening to pop music on the radio. I haven’t done that since I was at least 10, because at that time I started listening to jazz and took a totally different path. But I really like it. Billie Eilish is honestly awesome.”

However, she remains cautious when it comes to explaining the lyrics of her songs: “Sometimes it’s like my diary, sometimes not. It’s a little bit of everything that comes to mind. »

“Then we go back and refine. If at any point certain words sound bad or offend you, you need to correct them. On the other hand, if it seems sincere to you, you have to keep it, even if it’s something that seems cliché.”

If the musician seems even more relaxed than one might expect, this did not happen by itself.

The breakthrough, she says, was her collaboration with rock and hip-hop producer Danger Mouse on the album Little Broken Heartsreleased in 2012. “It was the first time I went into the studio without having songs prepared and I was super stressed,” she recalls.

“But over time, we got to know each other and we found ourselves super comfortable with each other. He was the one who taught me that it’s okay, at some point we don’t do brain surgery either! The songs will come when they want to come. »

“Since that day, I don’t worry too much.”

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