Gwen Stefani's new album influenced by ska music: 'I'm going back to my roots'

The singer is going back to her roots for her fifth studio record.

Gwen Stefani has revealed that she will be returning to her ska and reggae roots on her new album.

In an interview on BBC's The One Show Gwen recalled when she first discovered ska music when she was 13 years old, thanks to British band Madness, and will incorporate the sound into her forthcoming album, due out later this year. 

"When I was 12 or 13 I got introduced to Madness by my brother. It was all about anti-racism and ska and unity," she said. "That really was the whole reason we started a band.

"[Ska] was kind of the idea behind this record, which was about going back to my roots, and basically disocvering why I got into music in the first place - what defined me and what made me feel like I'm meant to do something in this world. That was ska and reggae music. Suggs, I still love you!"

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Gwen also admitted that she didn't think expect to be releasing a new album this year - especially in the wake of the global pandemic. 

"I didn't think it was even possible," she said. "Someone said, they're doing it (by writing songs) on Zoom and I was like, 'that sounds horrible.' I tried it and I wrote a damn song on a phone!

"That was the start of this blaze of songs. I think I have over 20 songs and I'm doing a record - I never knew this was coming."

Gwen's as-yet-untitled album is her first in five years (outside of her 2017 Christmas album), since 2016's Top 20 record This Is What The Truth Feels Like. To date, Gwen has nine UK Top 40 singles and a trio of Top 40 albums.

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Article image: Lindsey Byrnes