Mr. Jonez Talks About His Views on Love, Music & Newest Project #RelationshipStatus
Mesmerized by the provocation of crisp stanzas and thrilling narratives, Mr. Jonez learned about the power of music when he was younger. He began freestyling at the age of 11 under the guidance of his older cousins. Mr. Jonez didn’t know what it was, but he enjoyed it, the impact and penetration felt by telling a simple story by using words that rhyme. “I always liked writing poetry and things like that,” he says.
By the time he turned 18, Mr. Jonez was rhyming, and performing hip hop like a pro, and that’s how he got his first big break. “I went to a house party, and met Raphael Saadiq there. I started freestyling for him and the party went bananas. I got an opportunity to go to L.A and start recording. I came back home and I thought I had made it big. I didn’t know the industry was a lot tougher than having a phenomenal feature and producer,” he admitted. “Basically, I just started taking it more serious. I came home and started pushing my material, staying on my grind and next thing you know, the WIZF [radio statio] in Cincinnati named me the number one artist of the week. They started playing my record. It’s been uphill since then.”
The pragmatic innovator is dubbed as a local celebrity—He’s a two-time Grammy consideration for his single Stay With Me. He performed at sold-out shows for the families devastated by Hurricane Katrina; and he’s currently running his own e-store under the signage Jonezy Boy Entertainment.
Mr. Jonez has a rapping style that’s similar to Pete Rock [CL Smooth], which is a complement to his knack for storytelling. “I really try to stay original. That’s what I learned with being around Saadiq, and being around people in this business, while listening to some of the greats like Will Smith and Dr. Dre, and Snoop. They all talked about being original. If me being original gives me a song like Pete Rock, then that is a great comparison. I’m starting to get the LL Cool J vibes, now, with the new single called Stay With Me. I try to stay original. I sit back and look at people that surround me. I look at those things, and turn them into songs. I try to be as original as possible while maintaining as much of the positivity as I can within the narrative. I try to get that message across when you hear the song or you hear my sound, you can immediately say that’s Mr. Jonez.“
Discovering that it took more than one hot single to make it in the industry, “It was a shock,” he says. “It made me feel like I didn’t know if I wanted to move forward with the music. I don’t want to say depressed, but I was shocked. I was working with this Grammy award-winning producer [Raphael Saadiq]. I thought I was going to make all this money and do all these tours, so it was definitely a wake-up call.”
As it turns out, making it and sustaining, those were two different things altogether that Mr. Jonez had to consider. He began working a regular job, while still trying to figure out his next move. As luck would have it, another opportunity presented itself, and that allowed Mr. Jonez to visit L.A again, to record his album. “I took advantage of that opportunity, and that’s when I knew that I was really serious about putting the grind and the muscle behind my career,” he says.
The rapper felt inspired by God, and his kids to move forward. “In this entertainment business or the music business, I have come across several times where I felt like I wanted to give up. I had family and publicists that kept pushing me to do what I’m doing.”
Mr. Jonez persisted even though he faced a couple upsets in the beginning. He made the decision to keep going. He’s since released a sequence of singles including his latest visual for a scripted series called #RelationshipStatus. “It’s a musical documentary that we’re currently filming We just dropped the trailer to it via social media—It’s with all types of relationships, the good the bad and the ugly of being married, cheating and infidelity. All those projects and situations are within the musical documentary project.”
Mr. Jonez created an intense vibe by versing over melodies, while the movie plays out on YouTube like a short film. The storyline is set under the suggestion that love is forever as far as the vast relationship topics covered in the feature. He’ll do a project once a year that lever between egos, personalities and family. Initially, he said it was easier to do one musical documentary in one setting instead of five or seven different videos… “Nobody else is doing it. None of the major celebrities is doing this in the Hip hop world. I just wanted to make sure that I brought in something unique, different and something that’s eye-catching. I like to make messages in my songs—I do it from a storytelling perspective.“
Mr. Jonez worked with a videographer from Cincinnati to capture the art, but he’s the creative director for the entire project. When Mr. Jonez broke the script down, he actually used stories from his own life. He admitted that when he thought about his mother, and brother, he felt inspired by their marriages. “I dived so deep into it that I talk about the relationship between the sun and the moon, the trees and the grass and the wind, the left brain to the right brain, the heart to the kidney; all of it has a relationship when you can breakdown your anatomy, even with the universe.”
Love and lust, that is a hot topic for sure. Some people prefer the intense whirlwind of love, where others want to feel craved by the petitions of lust. “Love is something that we all have,” says Jonez. “It’s whether we tap into it correctly and we pursue it correctly. Lust is something that we all have as well. It’s kinda hard to say one way or the other. “I’ll say this, its easier to cheat in 2020 than it was in 1970. There are things out here, placed in front of us to help us lust. It’s a tricky situation. I would prefer love over lust although I’ve lusted before and though it was love in a past relationship. I can’t say that lust or love is one way or the other. I know they both exist and love is more powerful than anything on this earth, which is God. God is love, and throughout the universe and the world.”
Mr. Jonez said that artist should invest in themselves… “Rather than stay in your lane, stay in your passions,” he continued. “Invest in yourself and don’t let people tell you that you can’t do what you want to do. I get hit up by people all the time, and I tell them they must believe in themselves first. If they don’t make me believe they have confidence, then I won’t like their song anyway. They should move forward and try to make sure that they take certain peoples criticism with a grain of salt, but acknowledge it and just go forward and continue with what you believe. If you believe that’s what you want to do as an artist, invest in yourself and keep moving forward.
Make no mistake about it, Mr. Jonez is still teachable, which is the reason he encourages artist to discern criticism.
Mr. Jonez said that if he couldn’t do music, he’d travel the world—he desires a full, healthy, and successful life. “I would want my own radio show at some point.”
The rapper said that it’s important to have a team of people in your corner, to help facilitate your vision and mission to succeed, because you cannot maintain success alone. As for now, the sky is limitless for Jonez— Although he’s still pursing his dreams, Mr. Jonez is moving in the spirit of love and light. He’s not letting up anytime soon.