THERE are a lot of great artists coming through…
that means this year’s music is in very good hands. I have been speaking with July Jones about her new track, SOLO. It is a fantastic track - and one I was keen to learn more about. She discusses her musical rise and how she has changed since her earliest material – and why she decided to settle in London.
I ask whether SOLO is the sound of where she is now; if we are going to see more material emerge; those new artists worth a longer glance – whether the music from the past is more influential and important (than that) of the present.
Hi, July. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. I’m fantastic, thank you! It’s been very musical - like every week. I've been in the studio almost every day; definitely eating way too unhealthy…but making some amazing music.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Of course. My name is July Jones (yes; like the month of July). I’m a Dark-Electro-Pop artist and songwriter based in London, U.K.
SOLO is your new track. Is there a story behind that one?
Haha, of course: behind every track I put out there’s a (sometimes embarrassing) story. SOLO is about terminating a long-term relationship and kind of getting through the process of moving on. It definitely feels very lonely and cold once you break up; so I went back and forth in this relationship just because I was holding onto somebody. I got mad about it and this song came out. It was written in less than an hour - so the process was very fast.
The embarrassing part of this one is that my ex-girlfriend is actually the video director (on the music video) for SOLO - which is about her. We are still really close and she’s my best friend in the world. Our workflow and love for art is so strong that we just don’t actually care about the break up. As long as we have a sincere, artistic and amazing product in the creative…it’s still embarrassing to tell, though; people find it hilarious.
The song has a very contemporary and vivacious vibe! Was it easy putting it together? Will it lead to more material?
Thank you. Yes!
SOLO was the first song where I felt like I found my musical style: from there on, it just exploded creatively. I have some great new tracks lined up for the rest of this year that really reflect my sound and personality - each with their own visuals.
In terms of sound; it was easy putting together on the day - but to get to the Electro-Pop sound I wanted; it literally took me my whole life. I’ve been working so hard to find who I am. I’m so proud of myself for growing so much, so fast.
I hear shades of 1980s music in the single. Are you inspired by artists from the past? Who did you grow up listening to?
Thank you. I’m definitely inspired by the past - but I’m more inspired by the present. I love current artists and take inspiration from various genres. I absolutely adore artists like The Weeknd, Lorde; Dagny, Billie Eilish; Halsey, Lana Del Rey and 6lack.
Every single one is different - but I definitely take inspiration from all of them.
It seems like, on Bad Influence, you are embracing more R&B shades. It is a departure! What was the reason for taking a new direction? Do you think this song is the ‘sound of July Jones’?
I still love Bad Influence but it was never a song that defined my style. We knew that while putting it out there - but we are still super-proud of the track. At the time; we decided we would either put it out at that time or nobody would ever hear it.
It’s all a part of a process.
Debut single, Jump in the Water, resonated with fans and the uninitiated alike. How does it feel knowing that song got such a lot of love?!
Jump in the Water was my first release - and I couldn’t be more proud of it...
I knew no one in England back then when I was writing this particular song. I travelled to Bristol to a producer four-five times and paid him everything I had to help me produce the track - but it worked out really well. I think it got as much love as it did because it was sincere: I really meant what I was writing and I was opening myself up to the world.
Also, loads of my friends are gay - so definitely enjoyed the video. Haha!
You are a champion of L.G.B.T.Q. rights. Do you feel more musicians should act as patrons? Is this something you will dedicate more of your time/career to?
I think those kinds of decisions really depend on a person/artist: if someone doesn’t want to expose themselves and wants it to be only about the music, then that’s how they should be. As long as they feel comfortable and accepted in the community - I don’t think anyone is obligated to promote it. It’s a beautiful community to be a part of. I’m actually so glad I turned out gay and became a part of this.
London is where you are based. How important is the city and its people?
I feel like anyone that lives in London has a love-hate relationship with it.
London can be tough to live in: it’s expensive; it can be dirty, aggressive and lonely. But, at the same time, it’s real; it has all the opportunities and people you can wish for - you just have to dare to ‘jump in the water’ and take them (see what I did there).
IN THIS PHOTO: Billie Eilish/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
How much time do you have?! I can recommend all day…
IN THIS IMAGE: The logo for MEMBA/IMAGE CREDIT: MEMBA
If you had the chance to select the three albums that mean the most to you – which would they be and why?
The Weeknd - Kiss Land
I love the artistry, the production - this album is a bit inspiration of mine
Lorde - Pure Heroine
She brought something really fresh to the table: there’s a lot of simplicity in the sound of the album.
Rihanna - ANTI
In love with the heavy production of the album.
Is there any advice you would give to fellow artists coming through right now?
Be real to yourself; find your true strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Don’t deceive yourself into believing you’re perfect at everything - you’re probably not. Focus on what you’re good at and make that (be) your advantage.
At the same time; work twice as hard on your weaknesses.
What gigs do you have coming up as we head through 2018?
I just played a gig at Metropolis Studios (which was fun). Apart from that; I’m doing a mini club tour and will be gigging across the U.K. in the coming months - so keep an eye on my Spotify and socials for news.
Do you have any ambitions of resolutions for this year at all?
Make music, take risks and be truly happy.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Thank you! Billie Eilish - Bellyache
Follow July Jones