jonesWe’ve been missing a smooth, sophisticated vocal on the musical spectrum lately, haven’t we? Luckily for us, we encountered JONES. She caught our attention with her R’n’B toned jam ‘Melt’ and has recently dropped her debut album New Skin, but it’s still not enough – we want to know more. Luckily, the singer-songwriter took time out of her hectic schedule to get us up to speed.

You have just released your debut album, New Skin. Congratulations! Tell us a bit about it and what the writing process has been like for you?

Thank you! New Skin showcases the different sides of me – musically and lyrically – and feels very much like my baby. It took about two years to make and it was a truly interesting experience, different to how I’ had imagined it would feel to make a record. I learned so much and the process helped me to grow as a person. Music is definitely my therapy.

You’re in the middle of a small UK tour. Do you look forward to touring? How does it compare to being in the studio?

Yes, I do look forward to touring, I see it as an opportunity to connect with new audiences on a personal level. I love sharing my music with people, especially live, when you can see people’s direct reactions and look at them while you play. It’s very liberating for me. Writing both alone and in the studio with others is wonderful in a different way, it’s a more introverted process but can be just as rewarding. I still have to perform whilst in a recording session, when putting the vocals down, but it’s different because you get the time to make it perfect and re-do something if it’s not right. Live shows have a different magic to them where you have to just go with whatever happens.

We see you supported HONNE on their US tour. Was that the first time you’ve been to America? What was the experience like and what was the reception to your music?

My first time in America was SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The HONNE tour was an incredible experience and took me to many places I’d never been before. The travelling was tough because we were pretty much somewhere new every day; I’ve never had to live out of a suitcase for that long, but the shows made it completely worth it. Thankfully I felt each crowd was really responsive to my acoustic set. I think it’s because HONNE’s music and my own are similar; both have a soulful vibe so I felt like we were playing to the right crowd.

We loved your recent single “Melt” and see you co-wrote it with HONNE. We’re big fans of the track and HONNE themselves, what was it like collaborating with them?

Thank you! It was a lot of fun and we’d already worked together when I recorded the feature on their song ‘No Place Like Home’, so it felt like we were all just hanging out and jamming together. They are super talented and very humble so writing with them is always fun.

You played the Lake Stage at Latitude Festival this summer. Was it your first time playing festivals? Do you feel the experience differs to playing venues?

This has been my first year playing festivals. It’s different from my own shows in venues because at festivals most of the crowd are just discovering you for the first time and some are just there by chance, whereas at my own shoes people are already familiar with the songs.

Did you have time to catch any of the other acts at Latitude and if so, who?

No I didn’t manage to catch anything else, by the time we had all eaten some food we had to drive back.
There’s a big soul influence on your sound. Who were your biggest music inspirations growing up? Do you channel them through your own music?
Yes, my mother listened to a lot of soul music and it has infiltrated into my sound, things like Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner and Bob Marley. I think I always reference the classics in my mind when I’m writing, they just set the benchmark so high.
Lastly, as you may have guessed, we love hearing new music. Who are you listening to at the moment?
There is an artist called Salute on the same label as me and he’s pretty good!
JONES’ debut album New Skin is available now.