INTERVIEW: Elliot Jones

Layering himself in moody gradients, psychedelic tendencies and aesthetic sex, Elliot Jones has introduced himself to the world in a bold and captivating way. His lead singles ‘I’m In Love’ and ‘Emotions’ are pop focused moments that are soaked in experimentation and highlight his personal self exploration. 

The Los Angeles singer/songwriter’s current single ‘I’m In Love’ is a cinematic pop affair that suddenly came to him while he was in an Uber. Scrambling to write down the idea on his phone, it was the bare guitar riff with the melodical idea that he was going to scream “I’m In love” over the hook that came initially. 

“I was falling in love at the time but my problem was that I was constantly getting let down because people didn’t live up to my expectations. I built something up so much in my head that the reality of the situation was that it wasn’t even close to that. Instead of feeling bad about it and trying to fix that kind of thinking, I decided to pay homage to that ideology and that initial dream-like feeling” Elliot Jones confesses to

With that idea cemented in his brain, he took to the piano where he finished writing the song and then took it to his producer Zack Burke to expand the production with a dreamy and psychedelic-like tone. 

Inspired by Lana Del Rey with his lyrical layering, he wanted to create something dramatic and cinematic within this song. 

“I really want drama when it comes to lyrics and I think she is a perfect example of someone who does that too. So with this song I was channeling her dreamlike vibes. Especially the bridge is very cinematic when I talk about speeding fast on the five and not being able to kill my vibe”.

“However sonically I was referencing Tame Impala with the psychedelic approach. But I also took a lot of pop references like Tove Styrke and Tove Lo. Essentially I wanted it to be really trippy and psychedelic but I also wanted it to be still pop. It was just about finding the right balance” he explains.

The storyline follows Jones trying to impress someone and rapidly falling for them. So when I asked him about what was one of the most ambitious things he’s done to impress someone he starts to laugh as he thinks about his answer before getting really sentimental. 

“I was dating this guy and he was really into escape rooms, so for his birthday I basically made this escape box where he had to solve these three clues to get a number to unlock the lock to open up the box which was full of stuff from when we were dating. It was actually super cute”. 

From the thoughtfulness of his responses and general manner, to the emotional layering of his lyrics, you would think he would be a Pisces, Cancer or Libra. But he’s actually a Capricorn. 

“I’m the type of Capricorn who is like ‘I’m not a Capricorn’ and all of my friends are like ‘you’re the biggest Capricorn I know’. But from listening to ‘I’m In Love’ you would think I would be something really emotional like a Pisces but I’m actually pretty reserved” he confesses. 

Opening up to himself and his listeners has been a major part of his journey over the past year. But as he continues to find himself creatively, he is starting to be more confident with what he’s trying to say and what the vision is. 

“2019 was the year where everything came together with those two releases and people got the picture of who Elliot Jones is and what my music details. Both of them are very dreamy love songs and are quite euphoric, so with the new music that is coming in 2020, it’s going to be a little darker but I do think these two tracks set the tone well” he reflects.

Behind the scenes there has been a massive hustle in play to get the project off the ground and to make sure that he was releasing something with a purpose and real heart behind it. So with ‘Emotions’ breaking down the barriers in May, it set the beginning of a lot of motions to begin rolling. But he admits that people may not realise just how much time went into preparing the singles and how much growth he sees between the two tracks. 

“I actually recorded ‘Emotions’ two years before it’s release. It was actually written when I came to LA for the first time for a writing camp. So it’s actually a much bigger jump in singles in time than people know”.

“I came into ‘I’m In Love’ with this grand picture of how I wanted it to look and sound like from the actual song to the aesthetic of the music video, the lyric video and the artwork. Where as ‘Emotions’ was a slow burner. I wrote it two years ago and I then I moved to LA a year later and there was such a process behind actually getting it out and being confident with the full picture. So I think in reflection ‘I’m In Love’ is just more assured, trippier, dreamier and more experimental than ‘Emotions'” he reflects.

Apart of that time comes down to the simple fact that he’s an independent artist and doesn’t have a team behind him helping him roll out these songs. And he’s found himself constantly having to multitask. 

“I’m my own manager, publicist and creative director on top of also having to hone the artistic side. I have a lot of amazing friends who help me out but there are a lot of other things I have to do on my own like sending all of the emails and making sure everything is cohesive and makes sense as a package”.  

“It’s a hurdle, but it’s a hurdle I enjoy for now. I have to play every part in the operation, where as someone maybe signed to a label has the luxury of just focusing on the music and just has to visually come up with the idea for the cover and music video while someone else executes it. Where as when you’re independent, it’s all in your hands. You have to find the team to help execute it all. Which actually has been the biggest hurdle for me; finding people that believe in the project and the vision and want to offer their talents to include their vision inside of my journey” he explains.

But he’s found a community of artists to help support him and help brainstorm ideas of how to continually grow through the supportiveness of his fellow queer community artists. As a gay man himself, he’s found that other queer artists have bonded together worldwide to really push each other up in this very demanding industry. 

And he’s also learnt to be really proud of who he is through his music and use his voice to be as authentic as possible which he cites Frank Ocean as being a huge inspiration for that. 

“Frank Ocean was a massive inspiration to me as I remember being in high school and being so moved by seeing someone in the hip-hop scene coming out with something that was very direct and personal, in a scene that is traditionally less accepting. I would sit on the bus and cry to his music. I had never been loved but I still felt the music. And that’s why he’s always legendary in my book”.

Moving towards a bright 2020, Jones is preparing new releases that will show a moodier side of his artistry while still offering a pop sensibility. His Spotify streaming numbers have been huge this year and with a lot of playlist adds coming in hot, there is a lot of anticipation building for what he does next. 

‘I’m In Love’ is out now on all streaming platforms

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