Jewel phoned us from her ranch in Texas for an exclusive chat about all things motherhood and music.
Jewel on motherhood
SheKnows: As a first time mom are you getting a lot of advice from other mothers? If so, is it welcome advice and also is there anything that struck you?
Jewel: I had some good girlfriends helping me get the essentials together that I need and things like that. I'm also reading a lot. [Laughs] I kind of listen and take everything with a grain of salt and realize that once you get in there you figure it out and you do experience it.
SheKnows: Tell me about your children's album... and how it differs from your last record, Lullaby?
Jewel: It's going to be a great record. The first album I did here at home, my Lullaby album, I wrote it while I was trying to get pregnant. I kept singing in a way that would never wake a slumbering child. I've had a great reaction from fans who got it on iTunes and/or in the baby sections in Wal-Mart and Target. That was such a rewarding process for me to have simple songs that I created. Even people who don't have babies have been buying it saying it helps them relax at night when they're studying in college, or driving through traffic in rush hour. With the kids' album, I was really inspired while I was pregnant to try and write something that I thought my future baby would like. It was interesting for me to learn and study on how to write because a lot of babies love this rhythm. They like to bounce along to the rhythm and just clap. They don't understand the words yet and then as they grow up they can appreciate the storytelling. I also wanted it to work for adults because when I listened to kids' records I realized a lot of them were very grating to listen to. I wanted the parents to have a good time too. I thought if you can do children's music in movies like Shrek where everybody wins -- the kids like it and the parents like it -- I can try and do it on my record [laughs]. I also used Rocky Raccoon, the Beatles song, as a template. I've always loved that song as an adult. It's something children like as well. So I went about writing, hopefully, more crafted pop songs with storytelling lyrics. I have to say it's my favorite record I've ever worked on. I had a blast doing it. It comes out in the fall. Producing it was fun. I got to do everything from Dixieland to blues and folk. It was just a blast to produce.
SheKnows: You could have aligned yourself with so many products or campaigns. I'm curious what it was about the Libby's campaign that you wanted to be part of it?
Jewel: Two things are dear to my heart. One is I'm about to be a new mom and I've read a lot of studies about eating meals together as a family and how that gives children better self-esteem. Also, I like cooking -- but I don't like spending that kind of time in the kitchen. So, to me, it's about finding things that are healthy choices that help shortcut the cooking process and let me spend more time eating, hopefully, as a family. Libby's fruits, vegetables and frozen foods are really great. It's just a high quality brand that you can trust. The other thing close to my heart is music, and Libby's is doing a jingle contest. Of course I wanted to be part of it. They're letting America re-write their jingle. The winner can win a $10,000 prize! In these times, families could use that money more than ever. And anybody can take a stab at it. Writing songs is not hard especially something like this. It's just a sign of being creative. I thought it was a neat opportunity. I'll be judging it actually. So, I'll put the top five finalists and then America can vote after that. People can get all the details and upload their videos at facebook.com/Libby's Table.
SheKnows: That's so exciting. You get to do your own jingle of the iconic song…
Jewel: I'm always looking for ways that I can work from home with my home studio and stay busy. This is a great way to do it. Having a home studio has made projects like this a lot easier.
Jewel finds a Platinum Hit
SheKnows: How is Platinum Hit coming? I talked to Kara (DioGuardi) a few weeks ago and she's so excited to be working with you.
Jewel: Yeah, she's great and so qualified to be on the show as a judge. She's just really sharp and such an incredibly great songwriter. We're both excited about the show. We're both really passionate about songwriting and letting people inside of a world that many people don't ever get a glimpse of.
SheKnows: Of all your accolades and awards is there one that personally means the most to you?
Jewel: [Laughs] A few of them stand out. My American Music Award meant a lot to me because it's a fan-voted award and that does mean a lot to me. When I was on the cover of Time Magazine, it was a really radical moment to walk through the airport on my way to Europe for a tour and see myself on the cover [laughs]. It's still very surreal to me -- just pretty unbelievable.
SheKnows: Will we be seeing another country album from you in the future?
Jewel: I'd love to. I don't have any plans right now because I want to clear my schedule for the baby. I don't know what my work schedule will be right now. I might want to get back to work, I might not. I want to give myself the freedom to do it. And luckily, I'm in a position to have that choice.
Jewel dishes life on the ranch
SheKnows: Lastly, how do you like life on the ranch? I would think that it would be pretty inspiring for writing.
Jewel: We like it. I was raised on a ranch in Alaska and my dad's a cowboy. He's actually about to have a reality show that is on my family. Discovery is doing it -- The Alaskan Homesteaders. I was very rural growing up. Growing up that way helped me tremendously to keep my focus on my job and not lose my way. I knew I always wanted to live on a ranch so we took over this beautiful big ranch in Texas. As a kid, I was raised growing food and vegetables and things like that. It's a lot of work, very work intensive. My dad still does it. I don't. I just open frozen fruit and vegetables. It's a lot easier [laughs].