How Jill Scott Discovered Joy & Self-Love During The Pandemic

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Self-love is the best love — a mantra that has resonated with the hosts of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered, all throughout the pandemic. In the latest episode, the hosts explore what self-love looks like, where to find it, and how to accept it.
First up: naming self-love anthems. For R29 senior editor Kathleen Newman-Bremang, hers are Beyoncé’s “Me, Myself and I” and Lauryn Hill’s “I Gotta Find Peace of Mind." For singer-songwriter and now-podcaster (and the realest Philly jawn) Jill Scott, hers is Shanice’s 1991 “I Love Your Smile," which helped her survive one tough summer. “Seventeen young men in our community passed away [from] gun violence," she recalls. "Seven of them I knew very closely. I had a tape of ‘I Love Your Smile’...it just made me feel better.”
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Early last year, Scott had been on tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of her first album, Who is Jill Scott? She’d booked gigs in France, Australia, and the UK, but when the pandemic hit, she had to pack up and return home, despite having the “best time ever” with her new band. It was a bittersweet moment — because even though Scott was sad that her tour ended early, she was happy for her health and for being able to spend time with her son.
“I had been on the road for over 20 years, so being able to go home for nine months was a treasure to me,” Scott says. “I got to unpack boxes that had been sitting forever. I got the chance to reconnect with my now 11-year-old in a very meaningful way. We just got a chance to kick it. Not: I'm comin' in real fast, I only got three days, so let's do something or not do something together. I got the chance to really spend time with him.”
For tea on what Scott would tell her 15-year-old self, advice on how to be your most authentic self, and what it was like to participate in one of 2020’s best Verzuz with Erykah Badu, listen to the full episode, below.
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