Q+A: 5 minutes with Amber Jones

Art can come from anywhere. A wealthy neighbourhood. A run-down household. Sometimes, musicians rise from formal fields of study. And Amber Jones is one such artist. As a nurse, she helps others through her efforts, and as a musician, she hopes to do the same, while simultaneously fulfilling her deep desire to express herself creatively. And to begin this new chapter of her life, she has unveiled her debut single, ‘BLUEBERRIES’. Today, we are interviewing the young creative. Discussing her dream collaboration, her most life-changing moment in music, and more, this is what she had to say:

Stream / Download: Amber Jones – ‘BLUEBERRIES’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Nothing else really fulfils me the way making music does. When I’m not creating, a part of me feels hollow like something is missing. As a kid I didn’t necessarily excel in the classroom, nor did I captain a sports team; I created melodies and I sang. That is the one thing that always came so easily, and I took it as a sign to follow the creative path.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Almost always the sound. I’m not Beethoven or anything, but I always hear melodies in my mind. Once I make out what the chords and key of the song are, I follow it up with lyrics.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Not at the moment, unfortunately! But 6lack is number 1 on my list, I’d love to make a record with him someday. Fingers crossed!

What’s on your current playlist?

6lack’s new album (Since I Have A Lover), and RAYEs new record ‘Escapism’ with 070 Shake.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Eye contact is key. When I sing live I want the audience to feel like I’m connecting with them. How I feel is – I’m not on stage for me, but rather for them. It’s all about sharing your gift and letting the crowd feel the good energy that music brings.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Writing music that I would want to listen to. Locking in the sound/style that just feels so right in my gut. Listening to artists that I like and letting multiple genres inspire me to create something similar, but also different. I always want to maintain originality.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

They’re not always the same, which I like. But most times I go in with an idea prepared. I’ll hum a melody to Scott (my producer), and he’ll come up with some chords that he thinks will fit nicely. We then start building the track from the bottom up. Once we have a foundation, Scott runs the track and I freestyle over it, singing about whatever I’m feeling in the moment. I like taking the first few passes home so I can re-listen and sort through the best lyrics so I’m ready for vocal day – when we record the actual song.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I remember the moment so clearly. I was halfway through my nursing degree, 2 years left before graduation. I went to a concert with a friend (The Civil Wars were playing). I feel not only mesmerized but inspired while watching the band perform. Something was like, that can be you, Amber, there’s more for you than just nursing. From there on I felt confident that music was going to be a part of my future in some form. It wasn’t going to be just a hobby, but something more, something beyond what I had previously imagined.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Hot tea with lemon!

Any emerging artists on your radar?

kerri, DESTIN CONRAD, Ambré.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Listening to an emotional, moody beat. If a particular chord progression moves me I suddenly feel a need to write lyrics and melodies over it.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I wouldn’t call myself a tech-savvy gal, but Scott (my producer) has all sorts of gear that always makes our songs sound top-tier. I wish I could cut up vocal clips and produce the way he does, but I’m slowly learning with time.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Yes, but not so music related. Currently working on a mobile Vitamin IV drip start-up. Music is my number 1, but I do enjoy promoting health and wellness hence my nursing background.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I’ve definitely become more confident in myself. I’ve realized that the only way to become a better artist is to be free creatively. Sometimes you have to write music that isn’t great in order to write the next great song. I’ve had to explore genres and try new ideas until I found the one that just felt right.

Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Many more single releases and a few live shows in LA and San Diego.

Famous last words?

You’ve got to believe in yourself so much that closed doors only sting for 5 minutes, not 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years.

Follow Amber Jones:


Image credit: JJ Jimenez