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Interview with singer and songwriter, Kelvin Jones
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Interview with singer and songwriter, Kelvin Jones

Kelvin Jones is a British-Zimbabwean singer-songwriter. He picked up the guitar at the age of 16 and quickly got obsessed with music. Only a few years later, he wrote the song 'Call You Home' which became his breakout single after going viral online in 2014 and led to him being signed by Sony.

'Call You Home' has since reached Gold status in Germany with over 200,000 sales and was featured on ITV Series Cold Feet and in a CenturyLink ad campaign which was shown during the 2017 Super Bowl...

What inspired you to become a musician?

Learning the guitar and a friend of mine showing me John Mayer. I fell in love with playing guitar long before I thought of being a musician in the capacity that I am now. Once I heard John Mayer and BB King consequently, it felt like music was opened up to me for the first time.

Who are some of your earliest influences?

I remember my Dad, understandably, not being too happy that I couldn't stop singing "Sexual Healing" at 10 years old! I was and still am, quite heavily influenced by Noel Gallagher's writing in Oasis. He just values melodies in a way that I get. Not that lyrics aren't important, they really are, but I always hear melodies first so it made sense to me.

How did it feel to see your breakout single ‘Call You Home’ go viral in 2014?

Unbelievable. That's the best I can do to describe the feeling. It's one of those things you don't think could happen to you, so much so that even when it's actually happening you can't quite get your feet on the ground long enough to make any sense of it!

You have had significant success with sync licences on television shows and ad campaigns. What advice would you give to other emerging artists looking at these avenues for gaining wider recognition?

Honestly, it's such a game of chance that I think any advice anyone could give would be largely misleading when it comes to syncs. I think the best I could do is suggest just write for you and if you connect with it there's a much higher chance of others connecting with it, rather than writing for others.

What was it like supporting major acts such as James Morrison and KT Tunstall? Would you be willing to share some personal highlights?

My goal going into those tours was to learn as much as I possibly could from heroes of mine who've been at the top of their game for so long, so largely that's what I did. I remember James never missed a note, and his songs aren't easy to sing. So I asked him how he managed to stay so tight every night; he told me he used to not take care of himself and it was a lot harder but since he started looking after himself in every aspect, it all aligned. 

I had plenty of personal highlights on both tours; touring with KT we sat and talked for a long while about the whole music career thing and I learned so so much that I won't ever forget. One highlight with James was playing for the first time in my life in a venue John Mayer also played.

Have there been any difficult lessons learned?

Plenty. The people you choose to be around you are key to how well you do or how badly things go. Naturally, I've made mistakes here and there with the people I surrounded myself with and had to distance myself when I realised that. I also had a couple of bad shows and nothing teaches you like a bad show.

How have you integrated the Nord Stage 3 into your rig?

Before I had my own, it was like having a guitar without strings. Every show I'd have to try and rent or borrow a Nord, knowing full well it's what would complete the show. Now I've got one, my show has totally opened up. I can have so many different moments in the show because of the versatility of the instrument. Not to mention just how badass it looks on stage.

If you could work with anybody who would it be?

I think at this point, I'd be excited to work with Lauv or Anne-Marie. I'm into collaborating at the moment and those are artists who I know would not only bring something dope out of me but bring something immense to the room. 

In terms of the current music scene, who are you a fan of?

Lewis Capaldi, Dean Lewis, Chelsea Cutler. I think they are making music that makes me constantly excited to hear what they will come up with next.

Chelsea does things I could never imagine so I love her music for that, it stretches the way I look at my own music. Dean & Lewis are more up my street so it's always emotional listening to their music because it feels like something I'd love to express or did express in a past life.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?

Tour a bunch! I'm gonna tour across Europe in April & May, then late May/early June I'll tour across UK! 

Thanks to Kelvin for taking the time to speak to us. You can find out more about Kelvin Jones on his official website.

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