She is the jazz diva whose Dusty Springfield-ish voice has won her many accolades. Born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar to sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar and concert agent Sue Jones, the American jazz and country singer-songwriter has nine Grammy awards to her credit. Jones’ India connection has always made news and, finally, “Little Miss Mellow” is ready to make her debut here. She is known for non-dramatic shows; her rippling voice is all the drama she has ever needed and that is likely to be the USP of the India tour. She will perform in Delhi at Siri Fort on March 5 and 6. Here, she talks about her journey, her father and her departure from soft ballads.
It has taken you a long time to have a performance in India. Why did you decide to come now?
I’m excited to come to India. It’s also bittersweet because my dad has just passed away. I’ve never played in India and my dad always wanted me to. It has just never worked out in the past. I’m usually so tired by the end of a tour that I never want to add faraway places. This time I planned it a while ago. I thought it would be nice for him and nice for me. It’s sad that he’s gone now, but I know he was very excited, so that’s a nice thing.
Was there a time when you wanted to get rid of fame? Was too much press attention annoying and depressing?
Yeah, during my first album, I definitely had a period where I said, ‘alright this success is amazing, but I don’t really want to be riding it so hard that I lose sense of my life, and my self and my sanity’.
Your last album, Little Broken Hearts (2012), was dark and a departure from the soft ballads you’re famous for. Also, how was the experience of working with illustrious producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burtan for this album?
It was a true collaboration. I put myself out in his world and was excited to work with all his sounds. We became good friends. It was nice to work with someone who could bring me out of what I was used to doing in a comfortable, natural way. It was like playing with my friends but also doing something different.
You were inspired by Billie Holiday. What was it about