Back in March, Gwen Stefani released her highly anticipated new album, This is What the Truth Feels Like. Her record label told her it would be a hit, and that it became. The solo record, her third, landed at the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. It also marked her first solo album to reach the top spot; a feat only five other female artists have accomplished in the past. Some may argue that technically it’s her second record to land at the top spot with No Doubt’s breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom, doing the same in 1995.
In conjunction with the release of the new record, Stefani joined forces with social media site LinkedIn to become an “Influencer.” “Influencers” are business people who have made a difference in the world and share their stories and ideas on the website to their followers. Stefani joins a long list of fellow “Influencers” including Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Oprah, and many more.
In an exclusive interview with LinkedIn, Stefani spoke openly about the music industry on topics like what drives her to do what she does, whose advice influences her most, and how she adapts to the always-evolving music industry.
“People should always do what’s genuine to them and their heart,” she explains to LinkedIn’s Daniel Roth when asked about what advice she would give young musicians. “Try to be true to yourself because people see right through that stuff. For me, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be anywhere outside of my dad’s garage.”
But sometimes, even when you put your whole heart into something, you need to take some advice from someone else and adapt. “I listen to them [my team] because I don’t have all the good ideas. And some of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life are collaborations. Everybody has a gift,” she admits.
“An example of this would be, ‘Gwen, the record feels too personal. We think you should just put out an artistic body of work.’ At that point, they were probably right, because I hadn’t written the rest of the record. Instead of listening to that and quitting, I went back in and wrote ‘Used to Love You’ the next day. I sent it to them, and for the first time ever, somebody from a record company called me to say that they thought I had a big record.”
As with any musician, no matter if they are an up-and-coming artist or a veteran like Stefani, selecting a single to represent a full album is tricky. “I think that singles are a mystery and you can think about them as much as you want, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to ever get one,” she explains. “It doesn’t matter if you work with the greatest single makers, which I’ve done, it doesn’t work like that. There’s a magical piece to it.”
To see Stefani’s complete interview, head on over to LinkedIn here. This is What the Truth Feels like is currently available in stores.