Singer, songwriter and actress Jill Scott talks about her blossoming acting career, the joys of motherhood, and why she’s not longer with her son’s father. Check out her interview with Essence Magazine:
ESSENCE.COM: Congrats on the possibility of an Emmy nod for Best TV Drama Actress! If you win you will be the first African-American woman to do so. Did you expect such acclaim or pressure?
JILL SCOTT: No pressure, but I’m excited. It’s definitely something I dreamt about, and if it comes to fruition then that’s wonderful. In regards to expecting the acclaim, I wish I was that forward thinking. We were just there doing a good job, and after the show was done we thought, Well, maybe. I am proud of the work that we did.
ESSENCE.COM: Does this Hollywood success mean your music fans won’t hear your angelic voice anytime soon?
SCOTT: As much as I take a break, music never gives up on me. I have to write, sing, listen to my iPod, and that inspires me to create. It’s a part of me that I don’t ever want to go away, no matter what else I do, so I’d say that you can expect a new CD possibly this year, I hope.
ESSENCE.COM: Congrats to you on your new bundle of joy, Jett Hamilton. How has motherhood been treating you?
SCOTT: Wonderful. I named him after a black gemstone that my makeup artist in Africa had; it was simply called Jet, and I fell in love with it and the name because I thought my beautiful baby is a gem. I truly loved being pregnant and feeling what was going on inside my body and watching it change. It’s difficult to recoup but still amazing nonetheless. I would have another one.
ESSENCE.COM: So does that mean you had an easy labor of love?
SCOTT: Not at all. I was in labor for 36 hours. After that experience, anytime I have reservations and think I can’t do anything I remind myself that I survived the birth of my child (Laughs). Although I didn’t scream my baby into this world, the pain continued after he was born for at least three weeks. During labor I felt like I needed to put the fire out. Everybody kept telling me the pain wasn’t going to last forever but after 20 hours of it I left the building. I felt like I was on the ceiling looking down at myself like, Dag, girl, you still in labor? I know my experience isn’t everyone’s but I believe people need to be realistic when sharing their stories about their pregnancies and birth. When he arrived I held him in my arms for about an hour and then went to sleep because I was simply exhausted.
ESSENCE.COM: Well, at least your hubby-to-be was there to support. How has he been adjusting to Jett?
SCOTT: Yes, he was there and for a couple of days afterwards while I stayed in hospital, but John and I are no longer together. When you have a baby you’re dealing with a lot of emotions and I don’t know how much of it had to do with us breaking up, but it happens. We definitely love our son and we are co-parenting and working on being friends. It is what it is. I have a lot of support, so I want for nothing as far as that’s concerned. I know some might criticize me or the fact that my son is being raised in a single-parent home, but I wasn’t raised in a two-parent home and I had a good relationship with my dad. I have hopes for him and I’m sure his father will do his part as well.
ESSENCE.COM: As a mother, what has been the biggest lesson thus far?
SCOTT: My heart and prayers go out to all single moms because it’s tough, and I can’t imagine any teenager dealing with a baby and all those hormones raging. I can afford to have this child at 37 because I have a support system and I can talk to my girls, Mo’Nique and Erykah [Badu], but I don’t understand how any mother does it alone. I don’t believe I suffered from postpartum because I didn’t feel depressed, but it was jarring and I can understand now how some mothers lose it. What he’s taught me is that I thought I was grown and patient but I was neither until now. Even when I hold him and dance with him to his favorite song, Marvin Gaye’s “Come Live With Me,” and he holds me tighter and then relaxes, I realize that I never knew unconditional love like this before, and I’m looking forward to watching and helping him grow.