Kelvin Jones came to the fore last year by winning the Best Newcomer section of the Urban Music Awards and caused a bit of a stir when he debut track 'Closer' went online. The official video has been nominated for various 'Video Of The Year awards', and if that's not enough we are now treated to his just released first album - Stop The moment, not bad for a guy is who is only 20!
Kelvin is essentially a soul singer of the more gentle variety, in the vein of George Ezra and Passenger. His younger influences are there too with a little nod to Craig David's Fill Me In and bass lines that reference The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. His bass playing is distinctive and has an idiosyncratic growl like punctuation at the end of a song but he plays a mean guitar and piano too.
His songs are perhaps what you would expect from a young singer songwriter, focused on love and relationships and inherent paradoxes. The upbeat pop rhythms of 'Good Together' are somewhat misleading, ironically this cheerful sounding song is about love gone wrong as Jones sings “all we do is hurt each other...all I know is I'm leaving you.” The soulful, Closer is about holding onto love. His youthful idealism and romanticism are obvious in the sensitive 'As You Wake Up'. The Red Hot Chilli Peppersesque 'We Are More' is indicative of an ever hopeful love, as introspective as it is uplifting.
For all his youthful optimism, he seems to understand the human condition with all its frailties, absurd contradictions and the darker side of relationships amidst the mind games people play. This is well reflected in No More Lies, a cri de coeur for honesty and clarity at the end of a failing relationship and a quest to understand 'where did they go wrong? In Follow You Down he writes about the pain of unrequited love after a break-up, whilst still not completely conceding it's over. As he painfully chants “we are over”, there is a sense of the hopeful romantic that he still yearns for the object of his love him back.
In a brief respite from love in all its guises but another plea from the heart in Track 19 as he expresses the desire to be his owe person – 'tired of working for the man...I hope I'm not ordinary' Is this autobiographical? Who knows? It certainly shows a sense of ambition either way. Interestingly he contradicts himself with the 'I wouldn't Change You' stating 'we're only ordinary – we'll break promises.' Perhaps this shows his maturity as a person and a writer in knowing and observing that we are all full of contradictions - That's what's makes life so interesting.
Kelvin Jones is a sensitive and evocative songsmith who is wiser than his years. While still channelling his youthful charms to appeal to those of his own age group, his talent extends far beyond. His debut should go far towards bringing this thoughtful song-writer to greater prominence.