Kelvin Jones

Recently, we caught up with Kelvin Jones, the 19-year-old from Stevenage discovered by the American TV show Good Morning America, prior to his performance at Live at Leeds. With a new album set to be released this year, the talented musician is destined for great things. We discussed meeting celebrities, the new album and his love for blues music.
By Graeme Smith


Tell us a little bit about yourself

Sure. My name is Kelvin Jones and I’m a musician. I’ve had a crazy couple of years, some pretty insane things have happened!

In your first interview with Good Morning America you said you’d not had chance to sit back and process it all. How does it feel now?

Wow, yeah, that’s true. I guess that this is about a year and a half later. The best way I have thought of to describe it is if someone asked you to picture 100 people then you could do it, but if someone asked you to picture a million people, even after a year you just can’t imagine what it’d look like. It’s like picturing a million people, or a million listeners, it’s just hard to picture that concept. My best understanding of it is in the way that it makes me feel, which is getting to stand on stage and play in front of people. That’s a result of all of this. It’s my real visual.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you in the last two years?

One of the most insane ones was, about a month ago, I got to play in the Freemason’s Hall in London and in the green room there was Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Ben Kingsley. I spoke to Benedict Cumberbatch and to Sir Ben Kinglsey and that was pretty insane. That came about as I’d been asked to do an event and I said absolutely. The other one that was really crazy was last year I got to play in front of 2000 people in France. I love France. I speak a bit of French, so that was great. It was amazing! It was kind of the first time going from playing in pubs in front of 10 people so to be on stage in front of 2000 people, was pretty crazy, yeah.



Kelvin Jones

Video via Youtube

So what plans have you got for the rest of Summer, is it festivals all the way?

Yeah pretty much, just being on stage and playing in front of people because I think that’s the best way to explain to somebody what your music is, is to just play it to them and to have them connect to it. So festivals and any gigs that we can do, that’s the plan.

Tell us about the album.

The album, simply put, is a collection of sounds that I think are the best sounds in the world. I don’t mean that as in it’s the best music in the world, but more that I decided what went on there. I wrote every song so decided what sounded good. So, to me, these are my favourite sounds, if that makes sense. This is what I really love. In a more connective sense, it’s a pop album with a blues influences, acoustic kind of pop. It’s all full band, but it’s a lot of guitar, a lot of my guitar sensibilities in there. With a little bit of blues because that’s what my influence is. Basically it’s 12 songs that I really love.

Did you grow up listening to a lot of blues?

I grew up listening to Michael Jackson actually, you know. I thought I could dance. I absorbed it more than listened to it, taking it in subconsciously. Then, when I got to around 14/15, I had my first awakening where I wanted to break out from what my parents were listening to and figure something out and I happened to, at the same time, pick up a guitar and just fall in love with John Meyer and BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughn and all these kind of blues greats. There was something that they were saying with their guitars that you can’t say with words. I’m not such a words guy. They’re great but I find them a little constricting in that I can’t flow with them as much as I can with music, with a note, and that’s what I loved about these blues guys is maybe that they would deliver three or four lines to set up a song, then pour their hearts out on a guitar in a way that I couldn’t tell you what word that note was, but I could say that it touched me in some way, and that’s where my love of blues started, but because I already had this pop thing that I loved it always stayed true and I still love and listen to pop music. It’s like trying to bring those things together.

Any last words?

Well my album comes out later this year. This is the first time I’ve put everything into something and I’ve come out with this thing that I really love. So I guess my last word would be that I really hope it’s a pure expression of how I feel at 20 years old.

Kelvin Jones played at Live at Leeds on Saturday 2 May 2015.