Thursday, December 8, 2011
DONELL JONES SPEAKS By Crystal Booker
R&B STAR DONELL JONES CHATS WITH MASS APPEAL. By Crystal Booker
KANSAS CITY – R&B sensation Donell Jones performed in Kansas City a few months ago during the much-hyped Intimacy Tour at Municipal Auditorium. Those in attendance received a special treat as they were serenaded by the silky smooth sounds of R&B sensations KEM, Donell Jones and Ledisi.
KEM performed his popular hit “Love Calls.”
And Jones rocked the audience with his popular tune “Where I Wanna Be.”
Afterward, I sat down with Jones one-on-one to discuss his career, his wonderful mother and his exciting new album “Lyrics.”
See our Q&A below.
CRYSTAL: How are you enjoying Kansas City so far?
DONELL: It has been awesome! Man I’m loving it. It’s a beautiful city.
CRYSTAL: How long have you been in the music business?
DONELL: I’ve been in the music business about 17 years. I started when I was about 19 years old. I’ve been doing it ever since.
CRYSTAL: Who are some of your early music influences?
DONELL: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers, Jean Carn, Alisha Meyers, Teddy Pendergrass. I could go on for days. There are so many great artists that inspired me: Marvin Gaye, Nat King Cole. So many of our black artists you know, that put it down back in the day really inspired me growing up.
CRYSTAL: I notice you have your mom with you. Has she been your biggest fan?
DONELL: Yes. My mother is my biggest fan and my biggest supporter. She goes on the road with me. And it’s great having her around. In the beginning of my career, I had my boys with me. But now that I’m older, I want to spend as much time with my mom as I can. So that’s why I got her with me.
CRYSTAL: With the songs that you’ve had in your career, what is your favorite?
DONELL: “Where I Wanna Be” would be my favorite song. That song meant a lot to me and it’s one of my favorites to sing.
CRYSTAL: Tell me a little about your new album?
DONELL: The new album is called “Lyrics”. I really wanted to make a statement with the record as far as throughout my career I pride myself on writing great lyrics and that’s pretty much why I named this album “Lyrics”. There’s a lot of great stories on the album. It’s really all about love. Love ain’t going nowhere. You have good sides of love and bad sides of love. People cheat. People wanna make love to be happy in love. That’s what it’s really about. The good and bad sides of love.
CRYSTAL: How would you describe your music style?
DONELL: My style is really just smooth R&B. It’s really laid back. It’s something that I don’t gear towards any age group. I think anybody can listen to it and get some inspiration from or relax to it. Ya know, have a glass of wine. So, that’s how I classify my music. Just something really smooth.
Donell and Crystal talk R&B music
CRYSTAL: What do think about the music industry right now?
DONELL: The way I feel about R&B right now is it’s a little crazy. The music business is not what it used to be. Everybody and they mama who got a computer want to be a producer and or artist. I think the reason why is because it’s watered down. It’s not enough people who really perfect their craft and try to learn the history about music. Hopefully, it’ll get better. But there are some great, talented young brothers out here that’s really serious about it. So hopefully, we’ll get the chance to see them shine.
CRYSTAL: What advice do you have for up and coming artists?
DONELL: Don’t try to be like anyone else. Create your own style, your own sound. Those are the people that last a long time and have a lot of longevity. Believe that you can make it. And never give up.
CRYSTAL: If somebody wanted to know what’s going on with you, how would they do so?
DONELL: If yall wanna hit me up, go to facebook.com/donelljones96 and twitter/donelljones96
CRYSTAL: I want to thank you for taking time to speak with me. It’s been a pleasure.
DONELL: Thank you Crystal.
Crystal Booker, a distinguished member of the Kansas City Film Critic’s Circle, is the movie critic of Kansas City’s Magic 107.3 FM. She is also a contributing writer to I Love Black Movies.com. To view her movie reviews, click here. For the latest reports and celebrity interviews, check out “Crystal on the Scene.” She welcomes both your questions and comments 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org