"Zac, Jimmy and Kenny have each been endlessly supportive and kind to me. I consider them my greatest mentors" We chat with Caroline Jones
She's toured with some of the biggest names in country music, and has millions of YouTube views, she's also played at festivals around the world, and her 'The Difference (Gosh Darn)' was one of our favourite songs of 2018. So we were chuffed to have the chance to speak to Caroline Jones about her recent EP, her friendship with Zac Brown, and a writing good songs.
Hey Caroline, so, tell us a bit about you, what do you do for fun?
I play music! It’s my job but also my biggest joy. I love experimenting with different instruments and sounds. I also really treasure my time spent in nature and I love the ocean/the beach.
You released a new EP recently, All Of The Boys, what can you tell me about it?
The All of the Boys EP consists of four versions of my new single 'All of the Boys' — the original album version, a country mix in which banjo and mandolin are heavily featured, a dance remix by Andrelli, and a stripped-down Coffee House mix that reveals the more intimate side of the lyric.
How did the song come about?
I originally wrote the song in the third person — “she makes friends with all of the boys” — inspired by my sister. A few months later, I showed the song to Zac Brown, who suggested I tweak it to be from the first-person subjective — “I make friends with all of the boys” — to make it sassier and more powerful.
I record and release the best of the songs I write. I’m always writing and creating, but only my best work makes it to the studio. We recorded the Chasin’ Me EP in between tours with Zac Brown Band, Jimmy Buffett and The Eagles, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and Vince Gill. It was fun to bring more live energy to the Chasin’ Me EP since I had been on the road so much.
I love ‘The Difference (Goshdamn)’, what can you tell me about that song?
Thank you! That song is one of my favorites as well. It’s so romantic, sassy, and flirty, but also deep lyrically. I’m also SO proud of the production on that song. It marries dancey synth bass with banjo, live drums with filtered samples, etc. One of my greatest joys in producing is blending the organic with the electronic as far as instrumentation and sound design. It’s also a VERY fun, high-energy music video that we shot in Miami and Tennessee.
If I only had three minutes, what song of yours should I listen to?
The first half of 'The Difference' (it’s longer than 3 minutes!), because it really captures my blend of pop and country.
What’s the key to writing a damn good song?
Songwriting is magical to me, to this day. But if I had to string words of advice together regarding the writing process, I’d say the most significant aspect of a song is the seed of inspiration that birthed it - the melodic and lyrical intention, the underlying EMOTION. When a songwriting receives true inspiration, the process of crafting and completing the song is just a matter of structure, personal taste and time. But it’s the deep place in the creator’s heart that the song comes from that connects to others and makes the song memorable and impactful.
You’ve toured with Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band, which was your favourite?
Impossible to choose! I am so, so blessed to have been taken under these superstars’ wings. Zac, Jimmy and Kenny have each been endlessly supportive and kind to me. I consider them my greatest mentors. I am forever grateful to them for the opportunities they allowed me to share my music with their fans.
I usually ask, what have you got planned for the rest of 2020, but I’m not sure any of us know… so, what’s the thing you’re looking forward to doing most when things settle down?
Of course being able to play live shows again!!! But also, just to be able to play music with my friends, collaborators, and band.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I have always believed that being a woman is a gift and an advantage, not a disadvantage. I try not to take any rejection or criticism personally, period; whether it’s from a place of sexism or not, focusing too much on others’ limiting beliefs slows you down and distracts you from your dreams and creativity. So I do my best to focus on my music and my supporters.
Have you noticed a difference at all in the last couple of years?
Yes! There is a greater awareness around and appreciation for the copious, abundant talents of women in music. It’s a beautiful thing. I strive to lead by example!
Can you give us a taste of the kind of music you listen to in your spare time?
I listen to old country (lots of Willie Nelson!), new dance and pop (I love Kygo), Billy Joel, Coldplay, Fleetwood Mac, Tori Kelly, Keith Urban, Vince Gill, The 1975, Jacob Collier, John Mayer — it runs the gamut!
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
I’m sure everyone has heard Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour album, but if you haven’t, better late than never!!!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
With oat milk, which was a recent and delightful discovery for me!