Kelly JonesCD title: Heisenberg
Genre: R&B / SoulCountry: USA
New single available on iTunes. iamkellyjones.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Songstress Kelly*Jones is accustomed to drawing comparisons to artists like Lauryn Hill and India.Arie. In fact, she does a cover of Arie’s "Brown Skin" that is so stirring, it's tallied nearly 12,000 views on YouTube. But where Arie made a name for herself with "acoustic soul," Jones has crafted "electric soul"—a striking mix of soul and synth—her very own.
Hailing from Mount Vernon, NY, Jones’ origins in music are fairly familiar: she grew up singing in the youth choir at her father’s church, becoming a soloist early on. Having her voice and soul nurtured by both the faith-based community as well as by her three older and wiser sisters (two of them also singers), writing lyrics quickly became a form of expression for a child with much to say, but few willing to hear it. This environment, a cacophony of set boundaries and independent thought, along with varied influences like Stevie Wonder, The Beach Boys, Donny Hathaway, and Sheryl Crow, became the conduit that helped shape Jones’ mentality about the role music plays in life and in personal growth.
As an adult, messages of self-knowledge and empowerment are prevailing themes in Jones' songs. She gives an offering of earnestness, both musically and personally, on the song "Electric Soul" from her forthcoming 2013 album. When she sings: "this electricity is burning in my soul and I gotta get it out," there is an undeniable sense that she means more than just the music itself. Throughout her songwriting, she allows listeners to eavesdrop on her internal dialogues, with real-life struggles underscoring even the catchiest of melodies. On the skillfully rendered “Alphabet Song”, Jones sings her ABCs—literally—and shares her disappointment in the industry machine that has yet to embrace her. The song’s opening statement, “do you hear what they play on the radio these days? I guess anything will pass for music,” is a bold testimony for a singer to make, but Jones has more than enough vocal talent to justify the sentiment.
Having shared her gifts as a solo artist for ten years, Jones has travelled as far as Ghana and Italy to perform and hone her self-assured stage presence. She has shared the stage with renowned rock-jazz pianist ELEW (Eric Lewis), opened for Grammy winner Marsha Ambrosius, “freestyled” with comedian/singer Reggie Watts, and counts a first place win at the famed Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night among her many accomplishments. Also the musical director, keyboard player, and vocalist for the group Kolition, Kelly helped lead the band to a 2013 Best Hip Hop Group victory at the Artist in Music Awards in Los Angeles.
As her achievements and accolades continue to grow, it is the depth of emotion in her voice that truly sets her apart from her contemporaries. Jones’ vocals are instantly recognizable as genuine, resulting in lyrics and melodies that are inspired. She proudly represents the continuing resurgence of artists who exalt passion and innovation; the ones who relish in straying away from roads most travelled. Her identity as a songwriter is born from a desire to change common perceptions. Jones firmly believes that music, an ancient and sacred form of communication, possesses an electricity that can be felt and understood by anyone, no matter their native tongue. This electricity inhabits the body, envelops the spirit, and ultimately makes us all feel alive.
As she prepares to set her own voltage to its highest level, Kelly*Jones seeks to be a radiant contrast to the commonplace and predictable trends in music.“I call my music Electric Soul because I believe that good music should make you unable to sit still. It should invoke you to dance, groove, bop your head, tap your foot; it should make you feel something. And even beyond moving you physically, good music should also stir you spiritually. To me, electric is the best way to describe the way music makes me feel.” - Kelly*Jones