It’s a timely comment from Stefani given the release on Friday of her third solo album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like, which is being held from Spotify but is available on paid-for streaming services including Apple Music. Other artists who have windowed their releases from Spotify of late include The 1975 and Coldplay. Another part of her album release strategy includes a deluxe edition being sold at Target, which sponsored her pricey live music video during this year’s Grammy Awards.
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As a Gen-Xer, Stefani says she's thankful she got to experience life before things like Facebook and Twitter became a part of everyone’s existence. Her Twitter presence has amped up in the blitz for the album release and she recently began tinkering with Snapchat. On Friday, she's scheduled to conduct a Q&A on Facebook.
"Back in the day," she says, No Doubt used to get excited about going to the P.O. Box to get their fan mail. "When [social media] first started, it felt really embarrassing," she says in the interview. "You're shouting out yourself so much.... [Before social media,] the people that we loved, they were very mysterious. You didn't see them getting their nails done. Society has changed a lot! I think that people feel real good about tapping into everybody's life, and there's something comforting about that."
Stefani also talks about diversifying her career from a rock musician into the fashion industry and other endeavors. She founded the L.A.M.B. line of clothing and accessories in 2003 and Harajuku Lovers two years later.
"I'd always designed clothes in the sense that, for me, the big, exciting part about doing a concert was that I get to wear an outfit… So I started a line, a clothing line,” she says. “Obviously, I'm not a designer. I didn't go to design school, but I've been doing it my whole life; and I have a very strong taste of what I like, so I just kept pursuing it."
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She admits that branching out from her music career was a gamble, since you’re basically starting over — but with a skeptical fan base watching you.
“I think that having a name can sometimes be against you,” she says. “Especially in business because people want to recognize you for what they know of you…. You have to prove yourself, so I think that sometimes starting a brand outside of what people know you for is a struggle. I think the only way to do it is to be real about it, and to be pure about it, and to be honest and true to yourself."