Following the release of his first solo album, “Child Of The State”, RockUrLife had the chance to chat with Ayron Jones!
First of all, how are you?
Ayron Jones: (Laughs) Good first question. I’m doing great!
What motivated you to make your first own record, “Child Of The State“?
AJ: For years I was playing in a group called Ayron Jones And The Way, and we toured behind my own project, my own label and pretty well my own records. At the time, when I was doing all this work, people didn’t realize all the work I was putting in, the producing, I had the hands in all the process of the music. For years my band encouraged me to go by my name. Finaly in 2015 when the band broke up, it was time for me to go by my name. It was important for me to make sure that my name was the one in front, and that people realize that me as an artist, conceptualises all those things.
You were first known as a guitar player. Why did you want to sing, and play guitar at first?
AJ: I always sang. I was singing since I was a kid. Whenever I was playing in a Open Mic, at age 17, at the cafés, and such of places, I was always writing my own music with singing. My motivation for that is that my guitar and my vocals go hand in hand. My first sessions of guitar came at age 13. I went listen to some records and told myself how to play from ear. So for me, the voice and the guitar were always matched together.
So natural born singer and guitarist?
AJ: (Laughs) No. I put a lot of work to it. But inspiration were always there.
Do you have some ideas or feelings you want to defend through this record? Your songs are about perseverance, getting through hard things in life, and about several problems in the US society.
AJ: I think for me the record is more about love, and love loss. That is really the base of the record. Those things are conceptualized in these different perspectives. It’s about differents perspectives of love, lack of love, or loss in our lives. Like for moments I love this country and everything about it, but they’re things I loose being citizen of this country. Being a black person in the western Washington state. So yes and no to your question.
Here in France, we have the same perception than you about America. You can love it, like for its culture, the landscapes. And you can hate it, like for its racism, violences.
AJ: Yes I know what you mean. We have the same feelings you and I. But several people have other feelings than you and I, and that makes also America so beautiful. The people sitting across the streets doesn’t have to be like you. I hope this records will play I role to have this conversations again about living side by side. That’s really important.
At the first listening of the album, the names of Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and even Micheal Jackson came to our mind. What about your influences and favorite bands?
AJ: Those people you just named. I was highly inluenced by Hendrix. By the grunge movement as a whole. Michael Jackson reminds me all the gospel in my soul. What puts me in music was gospel. He embodied the gospel feeling. And for grunge music, I was asking myself how do I wanna here grunge sound. That was one of my motivations for getting into music, finding my sound, how to put these two things together. My love for hip hop as well, Dr Dre, old school hip hop, Papa Roach, the sounds of the 2000’s. They all came together.
What do you think about the actual grunge scene in Seattle?
AJ: It just evolved. The faces of it are very different. The grunge scene now is lead by brown people. We have a lot of bands coming up with great potential, the frontrunners are more and more black people, like me. They’re touched be the gospel soul, and the sounds are very similar with the ones I put on the record. In time, when these bands gets more exposure, you will see them a little more. It takes time to get in front of the right people, be consistant with your perfomances.
Seattle, and the state of Washington are very different with like Wisconsin, Kentucky. It is more progressive?
AJ: Yes. Like almost all of the coast states. We have the western Washington, which is on the coast line. It’s very different of the Eastern one, which is twenty minutes for from here, and is more conservative. Two worlds collide here. We have an interesting place here, in the Washington state, it’s progressive but got conservative views as well. It’s a very interesting place to live because I think it got the true soul of America, the two places get together as one. That could sound illogical but we share the space and most of the time, with respect. The people here are very nice. You have sometimes disagreement over idealogical things but after traveling the whole state I’ve seen nothing but nice people. My interactions here are very beautiful most of the time.
You have a wife and children. Did they change how you make music?
AJ: It put more importance to my music, more urgency. I want to put my music in the highest level possible, to make us live confortably. My kids allow me to make to best music possible. They encourage me to be the best person I can. It definitely motivates me to grow and to continue to move forward for sure. I want to give them a happy life.
What are you thoughts about people of color in the rock industry?
AJ: I think that for a long time, people of color in the this industry didn’t get a fair look. You had some standards like Michael Jackson, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, but that’s all. Most of them didn’t get a fair shot. Now it’s a more progressive time and you have more and more black artists emerging and getting their chances. That’s really great and important. People of color are now getting opportunities that ten years ago they didn’t have. It’s very cool to be a part of that, to be one of many black artists getting a look in rock industry.
Do you have any dreams?
AJ: I’m leaving a dream. For real, my dream is to continue on the path I’m on, to inspire a whole generation of people, to seek greatness. It’s to continue to share happiness with my family, to continue to create. It also would be to be on peoples soundtracks’. Probably acting is my next thing after music. I dream about make people happy.
What about your future projects?
AJ: Acting, but music first. It’s just getting started. My single “Mercy” is first in the US radio, so it’s important to me to stay focused on that. But I’m thinking about the future, and acting is a thing I wanna get into for sure.
Do you have any tour planned?
AJ: Nothing solid yet, but the conversations are coming to happen. I’m looking forward to. But it’s just the beggining. it’s on the trail.
We are a French media and French people love to eat. Pizza, burger, or snails?
AJ: Oh man, snails but just because. Just why not. I’ll try it, I’ll do anything. You guys most eat it for a reason, so why not. I’ve got to give them a shot.
And our last question is: our media is called “RockUrLife”. So, what rock your life Ayron?
AJ: Nothing rocks my life more than staying on a stage. Watching people loose their minds in front of me and my music. Being in front of a crowd, being able to move them emotionally and physically. These are my greatests joys in life. The faces I see in a crowd.