What to Do Tonight: Jill Scott

Neo-soul, big-ass earrings
  • Neo-soul, big-ass earrings

At first, Jill Scott wanted to be a teacher. But when she found it too difficult to get good grades and work two jobs, she started performing at the small clubs and cafes and clubs near her Philadelphia home. “There are places to get your craft together,” she says of her hometown. “I found these places and got really comfortable being onstage. I wasn’t trying to win anything. I was performing in front of people with just words, and it felt good to me.” Scott’s debut album, Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1, came out in 2000 and received several Grammy nominations, putting her alongside other neo-soul singers like Erykah Badu. A soulful but understated vocalist, Scott says she has to be emotionally connected to a song for it to work. That’s one of the reasons she writes her own songs. “I’m a method singer,” she says. “I admire singers who get on the microphone and just sing. I think that’s great. But I have to know what I’m saying, and I have to feel it.” Scott, who stars in Tyler Perry’s recent Why Did I Get Married Too, is hard at work on a new album, The Light of the Sun, which is due by the end of the year. She and Maxwell co-headline a concert at Quicken Loans Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets: $51.50-$151.50. —Jeff Niesel

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