We caught up with Kelvin Jones after his gig for the Coffee House Sessions Tour!
The Coffee House Sessions are a series of live acoustic and semi-acoustic performances from some of the UK’s hottest singer song-writers and acoustic musicians.
Join us every Wednesday in the Terrace bar to see newly signed artists perform live for free!
Last year we were joined by the likes of Seafret and Hudson Taylor to name a few…
You just played the Leeds Coffee House Sessions, how was it for you?
Good! Really good fun thanks. It was just kind of like jamming, you know.
I’d say your sound is quite distinctive, where has that come from?
It’s weird, you spend so long trying to find what your sound is and then it just finds you. I have no idea!
Would you say it’s the stuff that you listen to?
Probably something like that! It’s the things that I absorb without meaning to. I listen to a lot of blues and pop music obviously.
You had a couple of covers in the set, what made you choose those songs in particular?
So ‘I Need A Dollar’, I first heard that song a while ago and I thought it was great. I thought it was this kind of funky, badass tune. I started playing it then and now it’s my karaoke “bring it out when I want to have fun” kind of song. ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ is just a big monstrous tune. It’s beautiful. You like it as well?
Yeah I love it, really great version earlier too! How has the rest of the tour been so far?
Good! It’s weird because you wake up and you’re there in front of people to play and then you go somewhere else supposedly, and you play, but it feels like you didn’t really go anywhere. Every few hours you’re playing in front of people.
How does it compare to other tours you’ve played on?
It’s entirely strange. Before I did all of this I was playing in pubs in Portsmouth, about a year ago. It reminds me of that. It’s strange because I’ve just been playing festivals and it’s and weird to come down from playing in front of thousands of people and then you’re playing in front of people just drinking and having a good time. It’s nice! Chilled out.
What festivals have you done this summer?
I was playing in mainly Germany, I did a lot of stuff there. A lot of festivals in Germany and then I did my own tour over there, actually.
How was that?
Crazy. Insane. The first show, the first time I turned up, we’re in the bus which has tinted windows. It’s really cool. I’m looking out the window and I can see 100-150 people lined up to go into my show. It doesn’t quite make sense. It’s cool though.
I saw that your album is out in Germany and a few places around Europe, why the delay over here?
My friends keep thinking “do Germany love you or something?” Not really, it’s not that, it’s just we’re starting promotion in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Then we’re going to come to England and do some stuff, it’s going to come out in March/April over here.
You’ve released one single over here, how do you decide which songs become singles and which ones go on the album?
They kind of choose you. All of them are like your kids.
Then you can’t choose a favourite!
There’s no favourites, you love all of them equally, but they’re all different. Some of them are Adele, “sit and cry to yourself” type songs, and that doesn’t quite make sense as a single for me. So the one that’s been released but not pushed to radio yet, so I guess it’s really coming out in a few months, ‘Call You Home’, is a song that went viral about a year ago. It kind of blew up so I thought people must like the song so it made sense. And I love it as well.
What’s the album about as a whole?
Mainly love songs. I used to be embarrassed when people asked what I wrote about, because I’m not Bob Dylan writing about how the world is changing. I was talking to one of my managers, who’s about 50 years old, and I said at 20 years old the only thing that’s really mattered in my life is love stuff. He said at 50 years old it’s still the only thing that matters, it doesn’t change. It just clicked for me, I should be proud of this. I’m writing about things that actually connect with people. Most of it is love stuff, and some of it is about being 18 years old and dealing with that situation.
What made you decide to call it ‘Stop The Moment’?
I wrote the song in Berlin called ‘Stop The Moment’ and my producer challenged me to write a song that wasn’t a love song, to write one that’s not about a girl! So I started to think about what else is going on. I realised that I’d just left secondary school and it had been a year since I’d hung out with my friends. It was the little stuff – the walking down to the shops, the hanging out. That was the stuff that I really missed. So I wrote this song about appreciating those little things that you forget to appreciate. Then I got obsessed with the idea of pausing time and appreciating the little things. Just hanging out like right now. In a year’s time you might be somewhere else remembering when you were doing this. That’s what it’s all about.
If you were at secondary school, did you start music very early on in your life then?
I started when I was 15, so pretty late on. That’s when I picked up a guitar and writing songs. I’m 20 now so not too long ago.
What was it, at 15, that made you want to do all of this? You don’t hear very often of musicians starting so late!
I know what you mean. What were you listening to at 15?
Terrible, terrible songs. The worst chart music you could be listening to!
So at 14/15, it’s either the chart stuff or whatever your friends tell you to listen to. For me, everyone was listening to Fall Out Boy. I was going through that phase. Then suddenly I discovered the music of John Mayer and BB King, and none of my friends were listening to them. It was like my own secret thing that I found. That’s what started the whole thing off, I got really obsessed with it. But I’m still listening to chart music as well!
I think everyone has that phase at some point!
Yeah! Be proud of it.
What other plans do you have for the next year?
I just found out that I’m doing O2 Islington in London which is pretty awesome. I’m opening for Jasmine Thompson. That’s going to be really fun, that’s in two weeks’ time. After that I’m doing a tour for three weeks in Germany. In England, most of the stuff is going to be early next year. I come back from Germany in December so probably end of the year.
Any plans for a tour over here?
I think around the time the album comes out. Go around England and do this whole thing again.
Anything else, any festivals planned for next year?
Hopefully! I’m playing at most of the festivals. I didn’t play at many festivals this year, I played at a couple, but not many English ones. I did Isle of Wight, just a few. We tried to wait to do the big ones next year as the album will be out next year so it makes more sense. So hopefully you won’t get sick of me next year!
Finally… what’s the end goal?
So two years ago, I gave up going to university to do music. The one thing that I said to myself was that I just want to be up on stage playing music. I literally said “if I can just get to go on stage every night or every other night and play guitar, the rest of it I don’t really care about”. I never expected to get to record an album or all of the crazy stuff that I do but that’s still it for me. If in 10/15 years’ time I’m still on stage, then that’s it. I‘m happy.