July Jones Interview: “Women have definitely risen and fought for our place in music”

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New artists pop up on my radar (and in my inbox) every hour, but sadly not many of them can captivate my attention for longer than that. Fortunately, this is not the case with emerging British songstress July Jones.

After doing some covers on YouTube and writing for other artists, July recently unveiled her ‘proper’ debut single “Jump in the Water”, a dark and brooding anthem which celebrates the courage that comes with jumping into life. I caught up with Miss Jones, where she divulged some more details about “Jump in the Water”, her musical inspirations, as well as some thoughts on the representation of female musicians.

July is definitely one to keep tabs on, ladies – I, for one, surely will be!

Sum up your sound using three different foods.

Orange (fresh), Chilli (spicy) and Pizza (filling).

Is July Jones your real name? It has such a glamorous sound to it.

I wish! My birth name is Julia, but I was born in July which then stuck with me as a nickname ever since I was little. When I moved to London, I didn’t feel as though ‘Julia’ really stood out as an artist’s name, so we brainstormed for a couple of months and now, everyone knows me as July Jones.  I’m glad you like it.

You have said that your debut single “Jump in the Water” is a metaphor for jumping into life – what exactly in life are you ‘jumping’ into?

My whole life I’ve been jumping into the unknown – always going on adventures not knowing what they’ll bring. I’ve already done so much in music; when I was little I wanted to be in a gospel choir so I decided to work for a scholarship and finish high school in USA (true story), I also signed to a German record label when I was 14, not knowing what that would bring; I moved to London with no money a couple of years back and found a way to take care of myself. You can see a pattern emerging here – I basically jump into everything, which has gotten me to where I am now… and I’m totally loving the journey.

What are the connotations of water, to you?

Depth, force, repetition and serenity.

The red lipstick on the “Jump in the Water” artwork is very striking. Who does the best red lipstick?

Thank you very much! I’m obsessed with matte lipsticks, I’m currently using Barry M Matte Lipstick. (I know nothing about makeup though, so open to recommendations).

What is the difference between focusing on your own material, as opposed to when you were writing songs for other artists?

When it comes to other artists I usually start by talking to them, getting to know them, and really trying to understand what that particular artist is trying to say with their music. Those sessions are usually really hard going but, at the same time, always so much fun.

When it comes to my own music, I’m very specific about what I want for myself. I throw away a lot of good work in order to get to the sound I want which, essentially, is dark electro-pop.

Which female musicians inspire you?

I wish I could list them all! My favorites are definitely Banks, Lorde, Astrid S, Dua Lipa, Halsey, NAO and Rihanna, but the list never ends.

What are your thoughts on the representation of women in the music industry?

I think women are strong and powerful in the industry. We have definitely risen and fought for our place in music, and I’m proud of where we are today.

Is there too much emphasis on appearance for female musicians?

I think in this day and age, different artists choose different paths. If an artist feels like being sexy and exposing her body, she is welcome to do so, but I think it’s mostly up to ourselves to decide how we want to represent our music. Yes we’re all judged, but I think everyone is always judged in one way or another, aren’t we?

You did some Pride shows this year. Why is the LGBT community so important to you? What does it represent?

Yes, it was my second Pride this year. Pride always makes me cry, as a bisexual woman it gives me a sense of belonging and love. Every year I go to Pride, I’m shocked over and over again by how many people turn up.

Where, in your opinion, is the music industry heading?

It’s going very electronic, very processed and I’m totally loving it.

What’s next for July Jones in 2017 and the future?

I’m in the studio almost every single day at the moment, working on my sound and recording a huge catalogue of songs that we’re working up to releasing. I recently signed with new management here in the UK and right now we’re just trying to define exactly who July Jones is, and how we can best deliver that to the world with the most impact. I’m excited to really get started – there’ll be some more singles released this year, but 2018 is the year the fun really begins.

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