Gwen Stefani has released three singles in the past year – including two collaborations with her fellow Voice coach, Pharrell Williams, “Spark the Fire” and “Shine” – but fans are still eagerly awaiting a new Gwen solo LP, the follow-up to 2006’s The Sweet Escape. Stefani is still mum on her third album’s details, but two things are certain: She’s very excited about her forthcoming music, and the woman who famously penned confessional songs like “Don’t Speak” and “Cool” (about her No Doubt bandmate and former boyfriend Tony Kanal) and “Ex-Girlfriend” and “Underneath It All” (about her husband, Gavin Rossdale, with whom she shockingly split last month) will be delving into her personal life for lyrical inspiration once again.
“My songs are really about my life, for the most part, so they capture time periods,” Stefani tells Yahoo Music. “Singing them again, after you’ve gone through life and come back, it’s so intense… I just write about my life. Really, you can’t come across any human being that doesn’t have like crazy stuff going on the entire time.”
Stefani says she’s been regularly taking “15 minutes to write down what I’m feeling; it’s so weird that moments like that can turn into songs later on, even unexpectedly… I’m in a real spiritual phase in my life, so it’s all about listening and being grateful and being in the moment, kind of being open to channeling and being guided. So when you’re in that place, anything can happen. And it has, in so many magical ways.
“I feel like I’ve always been spiritual, but in the last two or three years, different people have come to me in my life. And I think one of those people would be Pharrell,” she reveals. “I think that’s what we do in life: People remind you, on your journey. Things happen and you’re like, ‘Whoa, OK, I’m going here now, because I need to.’ And when you need to, it’s almost like a gift when hard things happen, because you find this energy that sometimes gets lost in the clutter of life.”
If the recent upheaval in Stefani’s personal life, after ending her 20-year relationship with Rossdale, is bringing her down, she certainly doesn’t let it show. In fact, she seems bubblier than ever, especially when discussing her new music. While Pharrell isn’t involved in her recording process right now, she’s clearly very enthusiastic about her current top-secret collaborators. “The people that I’m working with now, it’s literally like The Breakfast Club,” she gushes. “It’s like, up all night, in love, discovering each other, like a weird Benetton collection of weirdos. 'How are we all in the same room right now?’ Like, it’s meant to be. It’s magical… I’m so excited about the music. I feel like it’s my reward for everything I do. It’s so crazy when you have nothing, like you walk into a studio with nothing, and then you have a song that captures your life.”
While Stefani says she’s in “a weird cocoon phase right now, about ready to bust out butterfly-style,” there’s still no firm release date for her album, and she’s in no hurry to emerge from her studio cocoon before the time is right. “I want to share [the new music], but at the same time, it’s really for me… I’m not in a rush for it. I’m just in the moment of being there,” she muses. “I just feel like I’m in this place of just trying to be honest and grateful and listening. And just trying to, I don’t know, be a good person.”
Gwen Stefani will be playing a special “Priceless Surprises” show for MasterCard cardholders at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Oct. 17. For more information, go to Priceless.com/NY.