In the 10 years since Gwen Stefani last released a solo album, she has had two sons, returned to No Doubt, become a TV personality and watched as her life “was literally blown up.” In an interview at her Beverly Hills home for an in-depth feature article.
Ms. Stefani, 46, spoke candidly (and plentifully) about the circumstances that led her to make her most personal album yet. “This Is What the Truth Feels Like” (Interscope), out Friday — and how spirituality and the guidance of Pharrell Williams have shaped her artistic process. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
“He’s one of those people who always points me in the right direction. It’s not like we’ve ever been that close, it’s just that he’s so intense and he has such amazing advice and he makes you think. Some of the stuff he said to me in my lifetime really made a huge impact, and of course the music we made together is incredible. “I wrote him [in 2014], because my boys were obsessed with ‘Happy,’ and he wrote me back saying, ‘Do you want to come play at Coachella?’ And I said, well, I just literally gave birth.
I stayed up all night thinking, God, maybe if I wore a black jumpsuit. Maybe, I could do it. After you have a baby you so want to get back. The first time I left the house was to go walk onstage and do ‘Hollaback Girl.’ I got a tour bus and brought the kids out to Coachella so they could see I was friends with Pharrell and show off to them. And then I got the call about ‘The Voice,’ and they were like, by the way, Pharrell is doing it. I was like, what? You know what, yeah! I want to do it.”