“You are what you eat,” the cliché goes, and though you can “Fake it ’til you make it,” it is impossible to fake something you have never experienced.
Of the new hybrid electro-trance and pop ilk that includes Alex Clare‘s “Too Close” and Roisin Murphy‘s quirkiness, it is clear that the driven, cutting style of Jones’ anthems could not come from a meek soul. Indeed she is a powerhouse in mind and spirit and her veracity bursts forth from the first exposure to her recordings.
As the story goes, Jones was born in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day, and hit the ground running. (Probably crawling quickly at first, but then running) winning beauty and talent contests, including the Miss Baltimore pageant. Developing into a track star, her competitive drive was just as strong which might explain why Jones, who grew up in Washington, DC, finished at the top of her high school class and went on to graduate from Princeton University.
The daughter of two lawyers, Kwanza foresaw a career on the business and legal side of the entertainment industry. However, a chance meeting with Quincy Jones and a performance at the world famous Apollo Theater altered her course. Leaving LA behind for the moment, Jones moved to New York City where she taught herself guitar and honed her songwriting while attending law school.
It was in NYC that Jones’ brush with “love gone wrong,“ when she was kicked out of her New York apartment during the winter, planted the seeds for the incisive songs on her upcoming release, Supercharged about strength and self-reliance. The album, a fusion of dance and pop, is produced by Luke Tozour who has also worked with Katy Perry, Pink, Mika, Adam Lambert and Selena Gomez.
She credits her experience during a rigorous nine-day climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (the tallest mountain in Africa) as teaching her about the power of perseverance: Jones reached the top via the Western Breach — one of the most difficult and dangerous routes which was later closed because people died from rock-fall. She says, “I could have taken an easier route but where’s the fun in that?”
MusicZeitgeist: Your tracks embody a very distinct new hybrid of electro and pop. What informs your sound?
Kwanza Jones: Here’s the skinny… I’m a gladiator in a thong a/k/a Kwanza Jones. And, that’s Kwanza Jones all day, everyday and even on the weekends. In other words, no, “Kwanza Jones” is not my stage name. It’s my actual name.
I make music for superheros and divas (or those who want to be). You see, I’m a dance-pop diva that’s on a mission to get you SUPERCHARGED! It’s all about inspiring action…it could be on the dance floor, in your love life, in your work, in your home, in your play or just in your everyday.
MZ: Where is your music being played/heard?
KJ: Worldwide baby! Find me on Twitter, Facebook…[don’t worry] I’m friendly. Oh, and, on Billboard. I’ve had two songs hit the dance charts – “Think Again” and “Time To Go.”
MZ: How long before you know your work is done?
KJ: [I’ll be at it] forever, because…I. Don’t. Stop. “Supercharged” the new album and the video are coming soon, so sign-up to my mailing list to get a sneak peak!
Kwanza Jones’ Vital Links:
- Kwanza Jones – Official Site
- Kwanza Jones on Facebook
- Kwanza Jones on Twitter
Listen now to “Think Again (Album Version)” by Kwanza Jones and other artists we have featured at the MusicZeitgeist.com’s free Indie Music Jukebox
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