20 year old singer-songwriter Kelvin Jones instantly became a You Tube sensation after posting his track ‘Call You Home’ at the beginning of 2014. The video found its way on to Reddit, and was then subsequently discovered by researchers on Good Morning America. This huge exposure meant the track was viewed over one million times in the space of 24 hours! Not bad for a young lad from Hertfordshire, UK, who only started playing guitar five years ago by teaching himself to play by watching BB King videos!
PHOTOGROUPIE: (PG) It's been a bit of a crazy year for you. What were you planning to do in terms of career, uni etc before your video went viral and your music career took off?
KELVIN JONES: (KJ) Boringly, I was planning on becoming a musician. Although I was studying Civil Engineering at Portsmouth University, I had a vague plan of transferring to a London music course and hopefully finagling my way into the music world that way
PG: How has music always been a part of your life?
KJ: Because of the genius that is Michael Jackson, I was obsessed, perhaps unknowingly, with music from a young age. Then like most people, as I got into my teens, music became an identity thing, so I’d listen to whatever my brother was listening to or what the cool kids at school liked. That ranged from 50 Cent to Fall Out Boy, all in an effort to fit in I suppose. And finally I began to create music myself and that opened up a whole different appreciation for it, and I dwell in that appreciation now
PG: Do you come from a musical family?
KJ: If there’s a single musical bone in my family, it’s been buried deep. PG: What inspired you start to writing songs?
KJ: Simply curiosity. I think the only reason anyone ever starts writing is out of curiosity. But you carry on writing because you discover so much inside of it. For me it was, and is, the cathartic nature of it, and most strikingly, the feeling of connecting with someone.
PG: You started playing guitar a few years ago, what was it about the guitar that you were drawn to rather than another instrument?
KJ: The clumsy truth is that, rather unassumingly, I stumbled into playing guitar. My real first love was the piano, but they were too expensive and clunky so my parents never got me one of course. It was only when my brother bought a guitar that I got interested in it. I think had my parents bought me a keyboard, I’d be a pianist.
PG: Why do you think social media picked up 'Call You Home' so quickly?
KJ: Hmm…well I think I’d be obtuse to ignore luck’s part in all of it. But social media isn’t a thing, it’s just people. And I think people happened to connect with something in that song, something real. I can’t pin down exactly what that is but I remember how I felt when I wrote the song, I know how I feel when I listen to the song now, and I like to think whatever that feeling is is what people also feel.
PG: You're now signed to Epic records and Four Music, how are the preparations for the album going?
KJ: Every day I wonder if people will love this thing I made as much as I do, but then that’s all you can really do; make something you love, and hope others do. So yeah, the album’s finished and so in a way, the really important work is finished. Now we're booking some festivals and just basically getting the word out to people. But I honestly think if it's good, it will go. And if it sucks, it won't. All we can do is give the music the opportunity to be heard. Does that make any sense?
PG: What can we expect in terms of style and sound?
KJ: Kind of a new sound…I hope. The underlying current of the album is a pop feel. Pop ties every influence in this album together because I’m a huge fan of strong melodies (thanks to all the Michael Jackson I listened to as a kid) But the layer that makes it a little more interesting is blues; I’m a blues nut so that seeps into everything I do. But my hope is that the blues undertone is subtle enough so you can’t quite point it out explicitly, but there enough so you can’t miss it. To put it in a cheesy way, hopefully your ears won’t hear it but your heart will. Ew, that felt gross to say.
PG: Can you give us a sneak peak of a title and release date?
KJ: I can indeed; the name of the album is Stop The Moment, and it should come out early 2016!
PG: Is there a song or album that has changed your life?
KJ: Not an easy question to answer for most, but to me it’s pretty clear. There’s a live album by John Mayer called Where The Light Is. That album colours everything I do, everything I hear, and in some ways everything I see. In that album, there’s a song called Slow Dancing In A Burning Room, hand to heart I’m not sure I really ever loved music personally until I heard that song.
PG: What does the future hold for Kelvin Jones?
KJ: Great things I hope, and by that I don’t necessarily mean great in the positive sense. Just in the scale sense. I seem to be drawn to extremes. I wouldn’t be a good poker player because I like going all in every time haha. I had a conversation with a friend once about the future, we realised that we both felt like we were peering above the fence, seeing all the wonderful things on the other side, but not yet able to be on the other side. We surmised that that feeling is perpetual. So I guess what I’m struggling to say is I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I hope there’ll be someone who cares enough to ask me that same question in 20 years.