He started out hitting open mic nights in Downtown New York, to making his way in your favorite Spotify pop playlists. Cinematic pop artist, Elliot Jones has been making waves and generating buzz after the release of his recent single, i’m in love, a record about the relationships we create in our heads with no basis in reality. We caught up with the rising star to talk through his move to Los Angeles, his new single, and the importance in being a Queer artist. Check it out below.
Who are you and what do you do creatively?
I am a pop music songwriter and recording artist, and just an all around creative who makes art that I love.
How did you start making music? What led you to this industry in particular?
I got the idea that I was going to make music in high school, after I had been acting for quite sometime. I really started making music by just sitting down at my keyboard for hours at a time and trying to write stories to some melodies and chords. Then, I was playing live shows and open mics in downtown New York for years before I got the chance to take a writing trip to Los Angeles one summer. After that happened, I kind of felt like I had found my scene and started making music that I was proud of and really reflected me.
Speaking of Los Angeles … A city that swallowed me up and spit me out after four years haha. I know there are so many resources that spark creativity in the city, what have been some of your favorite resources for creativity?
Oh no I’m sorry to hear that – I’ve found LA feeling like home so quickly but maybe if you ask me again after I’ve been here for 4 years, I’ll feel a bit differently about it ahah! I honestly just love driving. Back home in Toronto and when I was living in New York, I grew up taking buses and public transit everywhere so every time I get to be in a car here, it’s like a bit of daily excitement. I also just love driving through the hills and seeing palm trees and so much greenery. I didn’t really see any of that that growing up so it’s all very exciting.
I can imagine there are some cons to that as well…have you had any struggles with finding that spark?
To be honest, Los Angeles has been very giving to me in the creativity department. I don’t write the best song of my life everyday but I definitely feel like I have creative momentum at this moment in my life. I think I’ve kinda paid my dues when I was struggling in New York [laughs].
Let’s talk about the single, i’m in love. Where did that record come from? What did you want people to take away from it?
The record comes from my repeated pattern of falling in love with the idea of someone, rather than the reality of it, and then feeling letdown. Instead of feeling guilty about it (or trying to change this habit), I wrote this record to kind of celebrate that stupid, unrealistic, euphoric feeling of fantasizing about someone.
Is there a line in that record that stands out for you?
The lyrics in the bridge are probably my favorite because they’re very dramatic and playful. The bridge also took me the longest to write; I think I re-wrote it three times before it became what it is. My second favorite would have to be “My god, my god, you got me out here looking stupid”, just because I think that’s what’s resonated with people the most.
You are preaching to the choir, my friend. And the way you share that narrative is pretty cool. How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard it before?
Thank you! It’s cinematic pop. The kind that’s playing at the end of your favorite coming of age movie. I always want people to feel like they are in a music video when they’re listening to my music – like life is a movie.
Is there anything you’ve learned from the experiences you’ve had in the past year that has impacted your creation process for your next set of material or your last record?
I feel like I’ve learnt so much in the past year that I wouldn’t even know where to start. One thing I’ve learnt most about is the art of collaboration. I have a very clear vision for most things and I used to be very stubborn with it, but the beauty of collaborating with other producers/photographers/creatives is that it is never going to come out exactly like I envisioned in my head. I’ve learnt to accept that and find beauty in the unexpected and the surprise that comes in the final product.
You’re apart of the LGBTQ community. I am so fucking excited about where we are in the art community. We are literally making history. How important is it for an audience to know that an artist is Queer?
I think it’s important. When I was growing up, that person for me was Frank Ocean. I was always kind of jealous that stars in the 70’s and 80’s were so flamboyant and expressive and growing up in the 2000’s, I felt like the acceptance of that kinda died and I was living in this very heteronormative culture. And then comes along this R&B artist who’s talking about Forrest Gump being so buff and so strong and the hip hop world loving it. He just really changed a lot for me in my thinking of what could and couldn’t be achieved for someone like me in this time. Now I truly believe the sky’s the limit and nothing can stop us.
30 years from now, what do you see in terms of our culture? Do you see a world embracing and accepting a culture with less emphasis on labels?
Definitely. I think we’re already there in many ways. Look at Lil Nas X and everything he’s accomplished! We still have a long way to go but I have so much hope.
Who are you listening to right now?
I love the new Caroline Polachek album – she’s incredible. Diana Gordon, Alexander23 and Tove Lo.
What’s next for you?
Next for me is recording all these songs and ideas that I have and then releasing them throughout next year. It all sounds so simple but its not!
At Brekfast, we have a little recipe: 3oz of art, 2tbs of free thought, 1cup of self doubt.
What would you say your recipe is?
“I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.” – David Bowie
Be sure to follow Elliot Jones on Instagram @imelliotjones
Stay tuned to Brekfast for more updates.
You can stream “i’m in love” below.