We’re super excited that Kevin Jones has joined our Young Ambassadors Board! Kevin is a talented songwriter and musician who won The Young Songwriter 2018 competition. We caught up with Kevin about how he got into songwriting, his advice for aspiring young songwriters and so much more.
What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first? I’ve always been into music, since I was a little kid. I think the idea of writing my own song was something I wanted to do, but didn’t really realize that I had the ability to do until I was around 10 years old. I really started writing a lot more in middle school after being inspired by British artists like The Beatles, ELO, and Tom Odell.
What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? Hard to choose a favorite part because they all kind of work together, but I’d say creating the melody. I love progressions that support a unique, yet beautiful melody. I consider melody to be the most important piece and if you have a great melody, then your song can just flow around it.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? There are a lot of ways, but I usually start by messing with chord progressions on the piano. Sometimes I have ideas based off my own experiences that I feel like would make for a good song, but usually the music comes first. Several songs of mine recently have been started just with a drum loop though. I add instrumental layers to it until it creates a mood that I feel would convey something meaningful.
What achievement are you most proud of? Opening for Tom Odell at Thalia Hall in Chicago
Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why? Out of what I’ve released, it’s between Clara and Barista Girl. I love the simplicity and relatability of Clara while Barista Girl was quite intricate and I’m proud of the work I put into it.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? Jeff Lynne, Tom Odell, or Vulfpeck
Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone? I don’t think anything is ever really mastered, you’re always learning something new. Right now I’m trying to learn how to write more genres for various artists that I’ve been collaborating with.
What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about writing songs but hasn’t started yet? Or do you have any tips for 8-18 year old songwriters who are already writing? Just go and make something! Don’t let anything cause you to doubt your ability. And have fun doing it! Make something you enjoy. If you run into a roadblock, don’t be discouraged. Take a break from the song if you need to and return with fresh ears. Listen to lots and lots of music!
Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:
Artist? Theo Katzman
Songwriter? Tom Odell
Song? ‘What Did You Mean (When You Said Love)’
Album? Invitation to Her’s
Gig you’ve been to? ELO at the Hollywood Bowl
Lyric? “Love is a beautiful thing
And on your hand I see that there’s a ring
And I would understand if I had put that ring upon your hand
But it was not me, it seems
How could that be a thing of beauty?”
Catchphrase? “That is NOT my job!”
What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn? Piano is my main instrument. Would love to become a better drummer
Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks? Cartoon voices
What are you non-musical hobbies? A little bit of video games and spending time with my girlfriend haha
What do you think matters most to 8-18 year olds? Being loved and finding good friendships
What do you like about Song Academy? How much effort they put into teaching kids about songwriting! People don’t realize how healthy songwriting is as an art form to practice. I love seeing kids learn to write music, I really wish we had more things like it over here in the states.
Aged 8-18? Written your own original songs?
Then enter The Young Songwriter 2020 competition before the 31st March 2020!