An Interview with Racquel Jones

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In the world we live in today, it’s important that we not only find out voice but that we use it. That said, using it can come with consequences, so if you do use your voice, make sure your words are true and directed at the right people, at the right time, for the right reasons.

Racquel Jones is a strong woman with a powerful voice and a guiding vision. Her newest effort, IgnoRANT, is a searing commentary on the world we find ourselves in today, and in my opinion, Racquel has hit the nail directly on its proverbial head.

So, I’ve Racquel with us for a chat today. Among other things, we touch on her need to create, her new album IgnoRANT, her production process, her thoughts on the scene today, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Racquel Jones, you can head over to her Facebook and dig into the going on in her career. Once you’ve done that, enjoy this interview with Racquel. Cheers.

Andrew:
Racquel, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Racquel:
I have spent the year creating, mostly painting, and writing some music here and there. I spent it also doing some much-needed shadow work with myself. This pandemic has caused a lot of understandable fear and anxiety for everyone, so it was an important time to reassess myself, tap into my inner and higher self and evaluate and cement my values, not according to things that are tangible.

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music? 

Racquel:
That’s like asking someone, “What first got you hooked on the need to breathe?” I don’t know, because it’s necessary? I am a creative. I create organically and music is as innate as anything else I do organically. 

Andrew:
Who were some of your early influences? 

Racquel:
Bob Marley, Nina Simone, DMX, Lauryn Hill, Burning Spear, Mahalia Jackson, Kirk Franklin, Biggie Smalls, Foxy Brown, Floetry.

Andrew:
Let’s talk recent events first. Tell us about your new album, IgnoRANT.

Racquel:
IgnoRANT is a blatant polarizing conversation starter about stereotypes, predominantly associated with marginalized people, mainly women, and black people. It is important for me that we understand that until we have empathy and understanding through getting to know each other and have respectful conversations, we are all ignorant to each other, both victimizer and victim, and the change will not happen. 

Andrew:
This album covers some pretty heavy territory. What lyrical themes are you exploring with your new music? What’s the through-line, and what are your goals for the album?

Racquel:
The through-line would be that it is first persons’ examination of stereotypes. Themes range from examining anger…why are women angry, hurt, degrading and misogynistic racial fetishes, slut shaming, beauty constructs, arrogance and even police murders of black people.

Andrew:
How about the production side of things? Do you self-produce, or do you bring in outside voices? 

Racquel:
So I’d like to think the process with my production team is a unique one. By the time I get to the studio they are already equipped with sound references and an overall idea of what direction the album will go, and then we dial in and embark on the creative process together from there. 

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? What are a few of your favorite albums and why?

Racquel:
Something about vinyl says pure art to me, and I’m an art collector, so vinyl it is. It is precious and timeless.

Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

Racquel:
I am also a visual artist who cannot separate that from things I hear sonically, so I just do them both simultaneously, which is why the record is paired with a body of paintings that I did. 

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days? Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

Racquel:
Some of it is utter trash, some of it is amazing. I was told by my partner recently that I tend to focus on the negative, so I’ll just focus on the positives in this scenario. The one positive that is my favorite these days is the revolution and emergence of female artists unafraid, saying what they want to say and how they want to say it, not asking permission anymore, but occupying and dominating spaces that were usually male-dominated territories.

Andrew:
Last one. We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 restrictions. That said, what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most in the post-COVID world?

Racquel:
Performing. Connecting with my audience on a stage. It is such a humbling and impactful way to connect for both them and myself, and I love being in that vulnerable space of sharing with my fans. I miss that. Sharing and exhibiting my art.

Interested in learning more about Racquel Jones? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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