Meet the soul singer who is capturing hearts with her latest single “Giving It Up”.
Bringing us old-school soul with a contemporary twist is London-hailed singer JONES. Cherie Jones-Mattis originally captured our hearts in 2016 with her critically acclaimed album New Skin, cementing hits such as “Melts” and ‘Hoops” into our minds. Three and a half years later, and JONES is back with her sultry genre-bending hit “Giving It Up”, showcasing her self-assured vocal prowess for an effortlessly stunning track. The accompanying video sees JONES on a dreamy beachfront, basking in the nature and hazy sunshine.
Having spent her childhood immersed in Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Mariah Carey, JONES honed her ability to tap into any given genre whether it be delicate balladry or left-of-centre R&B. We caught up with the rising star and talked creativity in quarantine, new music, and her home town London.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Cherie! How are you and how is lockdown treating you?
I’m good thanks! I struggled at first but it gave me lots of time to think, to move into my new flat and settle properly. To be honest my brain has adapted to not being able to go out and it just feels normal now, and my introvert nature has probably thrived. I think it will take a period of adjustment to go back to life in the outside world.
How is affecting your creativity and productivity?
At the beginning very much so. I had a bit of a writer’s block but as time went by some ideas started to flow. And now I appreciate the time it’s brought.
How did growing up in London influence your music?
Honestly, I have no idea! I don’t think it has very much, at least not that I’m aware of. It may have affected my sense of ambition, being in a city where people come to find opportunities but then I think I always would’ve been this way.
And you’ve spoken about how a local community centre got you into songwriting – will you tell us a bit about this?
Yes, I went to a community arts centre in east London at age 15. I did a music production course and singing course – it was something separate from school. I’d always loved singing but it was here that nudged me the bridge the gap and cross from just singing to writing. Thank god that place existed.
And the music video is really beautiful and atmospheric – how involved were you in the creative direction and the story of it?
Thank you! In its initial direction I was quite involved I’d say. I was very clear in my mind that I wanted it to feel dreamy and out of normal life. Then we decided to work with (the director) Nina Ljeti, we were brainstorming across the Atlantic (with here being in LA and me in London) So Nina took my direction and crafted the initial ideas into a full-blown video concept, finding all the locations too.
Do you feel vulnerable putting out music that’s so close and personal to you?
I think a few days before I know I’m about to release something I definitely feel vulnerable, but then I have to just embrace the fact that that’s the only way I can do music, it has to be super personal otherwise it doesn’t feel mine. It’s a good growth experiment – to do things that make you feel a little uncomfortable.
Is there anyone you’d love to work or collaborate with?
Yes! My dream collab would be Kevin Parker from Tame Impala. I have lived inside his records since I first discovered him and his sound resonates with me more than anyone else has in a long time.
What’s next for you?
If we were not in lockdown I would’ve said my next show! But since we don’t know when that will happen I’m excited about sharing a series of songs over the rest of the summer. I welcome being vulnerable again if it means that they’ll be getting out there.