Spreading Messages of Love and Peace with Seattle’s Own: Ayron Jones
Music has always been my outlet. I remember being two-years-old listening to James Brown. I grew up in the church so Gospel music was always there. Singing came first. Before I found any kind of instrument, I was a singer. I wasn’t very good when I was a kid because I had a raspy voice. It took me awhile how to figure out how to use my voice. It’s really been within the last year, where I truly found my sound vocally. As soon as I could sing though, I wanted to write my own music. I then picked up a guitar at thirteen. I’ve been self-taught since that day.
My New Single “Love is the Answer”:
This song was written during the election time period. My whole message the past few years and the purpose of this song, has been to promote peace, love and tranquility. It’s also to make a statement recognizing that we do live in a very diverse place. It’s interesting times, it feels like we are preparing to go to war again. This song is to be a beacon of hope. Hopefully people listen to it and really get what I’m trying to say. It’s one of those songs that I feel would give me momentum leading up to the next single as well. Most importantly, my first song had to project the love that I wanted to see in the world.
How the “Love is the Answer” Video Came to Be:
I was approached by Anthony Nelson who has done a lot up here in Seattle. He’s worked with local stations, producing television shows. He approached me with an idea for a short film. He wanted my music to be the feature in the film. Essentially a music video, but longer. That’s how this initially came to be. Anthony felt the same thing I was feeling, which was we need to show people around the nation that we are united together. Through diversity there is this thing called love. The video was a representation of that. It shows my evolution as an artist as well, while personifying the message that love and peace are the answer. We can’t keep going the way things have been. There are too many people who are stuck in old ways; taking people down, divide and conquer. We can’t have that. I felt like it was important that the message came from Seattle, WA and relayed peace to the rest of the world.
Working with Barrett Martin:
Working with Barrett Martin was such a treat. He definitely brought out the best in me. Barrett was the main producer of this entire project. He had experience in making music commercially. I went from playing in bars to jumping on a national stage overnight. I was used to recording on my laptop and doing a lot on the fly. In doing that, I was learning so much about songwriting. Working with someone like Barrett and having him over my shoulder guiding me through this process was amazing. He brought a lot of that major label direction to the record. He has real life experience from all over the world. I can’t say enough about what he brought to the table.
The Influence of the Early 90’s Seattle Scene:
I’m born and raised in Seattle. It’s absolutely impossible for you to grow up here and not have that impact you. It was everywhere. Everyone had the style, had the songs and knew the music. I wanted to come from an angle that had more soul, gospel and R&B, while also keeping it grunge. Bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana and Pearl Jam were hugely influential on me. They were the ones I looked up to. Even now, I consider them my peers and look to get advice from them. They did it and now that’s what I’m trying to do — carry the Seattle torch for my era.
I’m on a couple albums with Mike McCready. One of them is a project he put together called the Levee Walkers, which features McCready, Duff McKagen and Barrett Martin. I’m a singer on that album. We will know pretty soon when it is coming out. It’s so great to have people like that in your corner. Those you looked up to and try to emulate.
Finding My Audio Paint Job Sound:
I was sitting in the van with my bass player, on the way back from Wyoming a few years ago, trying to figure out the foundation of this new album. I had a few songs already, but needed to find the keystone. This new album is more of a pop record, which is what I wanted to do. My bass player told me I sing like Michael Jackson, I have a groove in my head like Dr. Dre and now all I needed was to add some Beatles’s pop and I would have the signature sound for this album. And that was it. Taking the foundations laid in modern pop by the Beatles and Motown, keeping it grunge, all the while adding a 90’s hip-hop tone to it and still conveying R&B soul. A lot of the emotions you hear are my pure emotions. I went through a lot personally during the time period where I was creating this record. I was getting used to being in the spotlight. I’m from the hood. When all of sudden you get the spotlight, almost overnight, you have no idea how to deal with it. It took me some time to catch my stride. I’m at a point now where it’s finally happening. I know exactly what I’m doing, I know where I’m going and I know how to handle all of it now.
The Emotion of My First Major Label Release:
It doesn’t feel like you would think. You don’t want to do cartwheels and back-flips because there is so much more work to be done. I’m very excited to have this out, but I’m also quite anxious to get some more work started. There’s a lot ahead of me still. I’m certainly very happy with things. I wouldn’t say I’m overly excited and I wouldn’t say that I’m not excited. I’m right in the middle where I need to be — enjoying where I’m at for the moment and just keeping my eyes on the prize.
Looking Forward to Most:
Traveling the world. Obviously my obsession is on the stage, but my overall passion is traveling — getting to new places and meeting new people. That is what I cherish the most about being on tour.
Practicing What I Preach — the “Love is the Answer” Campaign:
(For upcoming shows in Spokane, Portland and Seattle, Jones will be donating a portion of the proceeds to One America and United Way of King County)
Three years ago as things started coming my way, I had a hard time handling my ego. I grew up with a lot of poverty around me. When you get a little bit of fame, you don’t know what to do with it. It’s easy to self-destruct. My ego was starting to overwhelm me. I knew it was and I knew I had to do something about it. I realized the act of giving is the way to receive in life. Since 2013, when my last album dropped, I’ve been practicing this act to take a portion from whatever I make and give it to a charity that I feel represents what I am all about. It was very important to me with this “Love is the Answer” campaign — that I was actively giving back to the community that gave me so much. Since I have devoted my life to giving with the intention of lifting the people around me, I have seen tremendous things happen in my life. This campaign means a lot. It’s a thank you to my community in addition to me just being the person I have chosen to be. You have to stand for what you want to see in the universe. Everything is just a reflection of who you are as a person. I want to become the change that I want to see. I stand firm with that belief. As long as I can benefit others being the person that I am, I can never go wrong. That’s only going to bring more peace and solitude to the world.
Ayron Jones — Audio Paint Job produced, by Barrett Martin and Jack Endino, will be released through Sony backed Sunyata Records on June 2nd, 2017.
For more information including tour dates visit: AJandtheWay.com
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~Feature in collaboration with/produced by: Jeff Gorra
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