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Interview: A Conversation With Ed Jones

Sounding like a young John Mayer with hints of Adam Levine, Ed Jones' debut album Going Places is a confident and brash affair. Effortlessly blending soul, funk, pop and indie this record is sure to excite the ears of many.

The opening track 'Rose Tinted Glasses' sets the tone for the album, with Jones' sultry singing and impressive guitar playing firmly established. 'Going Places' seems refreshingly oblivious to the current state of dreary chart fodder churned out by pristine popstars. Taking his cues from all directions, this 11 track album has something for everyone. Chock full of solid songwriting, catchy melodies and relatable lyrics, 'Going Places' is an album not to be overlooked.

However, Jones isn't simply a one trick pony or flash in the pan fad. 'Going Places' comfortably genre hops between the soulful swagger of funk and the introspectiveness of a singer songwriter. Jones, on the closing track 'Honey It's Getting Colder' with its mournful melody and heart on your sleeve lyrics, hints at the more vulnerable and mature songwriter he could become.

'Going places' is an unsual record for a lad from the south east to make. Traces of old stax records, the John Mayer Trio and motown can all be heard. The end result is an impressive record that blends classic sounds with a modern and exciting twist.

Read an interivew with Ed Jones below. He discuses the writing process for 'Going Places', what inspires him and his favourites albums of 2012.

1) What was the song-writing process like for 'Going Places'?

Going Places is the culmination of songs from the past three years and most of them came about through jamming with a couple of friends. I would put some chords together then they guys would add their own touches onto them but in terms of lyrics I would usually lock myself in my room until I got something half decent down on paper.

2) Were there any artists or albums you were listening to during the process of making this album that really inspired you?

John Mayer's 'Continuum' was constantly playing in the studio to the extent where we knew every word by the time we'd finished. Both me and my producer have a bit of a man crush on him and we wanted to capture some of the blues influence that runs through in that album.

3) To someone who is unfamiliar with your songs, how would you describe your music?

It may sound like a bit of a mish mash but I describe it as a cross between blues, pop, indie and funk. I like to take classic blues structures and put a bit of a modern twist on them whilst trying to keep the catchiness of pop and funk so hopefully there's something on the record that everyone can enjoy.

4) What would your dream band line up be?

I would start off with Pino Palladino on bass. He was part of the John Mayer Trio which produced some brilliant songs. On drums I'd have Steve Gadd who's worked with everyone from Eric Clapton to Paul McCartney and seems to be able to turn any song into a great one when he's behind the kit. Then on lead guitar I'd go for Stevie Ray Vaughan but his dress sense may have to be looked at. If I can't have him, I'll happily settle for my guitarist Ian who's a great laugh and always immaculately turned out. We'd need a great name too.

5) What was the last song that really had an impact on you?

We were driving to a gig a few weeks ago and my friend put on an acoustic version of Things Are Changin' by Gary Clark Jr. He has one of those voices you instantly take notice of and his playing isn't over the top but has so much soul that you can't help but stop what you're doing and listen.

6) What do you hope to have achieved in 3 years?

Over the next three years, I'd like to push Going Places further around the country and try and get it into a few more stores on the high street. I've already got material for a few EPs that are sounding quite different from what we've put out before. The next is going to be a fully acoustic blues sound that really strips everything back and after that we'd like to put together a neo-soul record to try and capture a lot more of a Motown influence. Aside from that, I'd love to establish myself as a great live performer, someone that people can come and see and have a great time because there's nothing better than the buzz of getting a crowd going. For me that's what it's all about.

7) What was your highlight of 2012?

It may sound a bit egotistical but I think it was walking into HMV and hearing my song being played on the system and seeing my album sat in its own little shelf. It was very surreal but really justified all the hard work we put in to making it happen.

8) Top 5 albums of 2012?

2012's been another incredible year for music but there were a couple that stood out for me. I've already mentioned him but Gary Clark Jr's 'Blak and Blu' is a great record that mixes together so many genres. 'Channel Orange' by Frank Ocean is outstanding and seems run flawlessly from start to finish in ways that very few albums do nowadays. I know everyone raves about them but Alt J's An Awesome is so cleverly put together and a worthy winner of the mercury prize. Also, Rocket Juice and the Moon's self titles LP is just brilliantly funky and in terms of a guilty pleasure I listened to Take Me Home by One Direction the other day and I'd be lying if I said a little bit of me didn't enjoy it.

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