While Sean Jones acknowledges that in 2018 “pop still rules the airwaves”, he’s emboldened by his ongoing success mining a rich seam of classic soul and r&b and says “I love a pop song as much as the next person, but it’s only natural that when the pendulum is stuck in the same place for quite some time it will swing in the other direction and people will crave real instrumentation and strong songwriting. There’s a great opportunity for soul artists to connect with those people”.
Since he first made his mark with Juno-award winning r&b vocal group In Essence, Sean’s expressive singing has shown his admiration for the traditions of great soul singers, and while he’s sought to bring contemporary influences and shadings to a classic soul style in his previous work, he’s now to embracing the classic sound wholeheartedly.
“I decided to write some retro soul music and not worry about making it more ‘modern’ to try and please a younger audience. I tried to stay as true to the initial inspiration as possible, just letting go and trusting that everything will be alright.”
The phenomenal success of Sean’s Soul In The City summer residency at Toronto’s historic Casa Loma was the catalyst that convinced him that the sounds of his musical heroes like Sam Cooke and Donny Hathaway don’t need contemporary sweetening to resonate with audiences.
“I think when the last album came out I felt like I I wanted to prove, amongst other things, that I could perform and carry a show that people would actually pay money to see, and I’ve created one of the hottest tickets in the summer with Soul In The City for 4 years running.
We play outside, in the glass pavilion in the gardens of Casa Loma, and up to 900 people come out to the shows. I have so much more to learn but I also have a new sense of confidence that is helping me to feel secure in the decisions that I’m making artistically.”
Sean’s new album Take Me is released on June 22. In October 2017 his first child Savannah was born, a momentous event which is at the emotional core of the title track.
“Funnily enough ‘Take Me’ was the last song written for this album. The track speaks to me on so many levels, definitely with me diving into fatherhood with the birth of my baby girl Savannah. I fall in love a little deeper everyday with her. I have never experienced this level of love and it’s beautiful and a little scary at the same time. “
The rest of 2018 will see Sean undertaking his eagerly anticipated Casa Loma Soul In the City residency for a fourth year, supporting the release of Take Me, and, intriguingly, releasing a second album in the autumn.
“Over the years I’ve tried to inject some of the pop and r ‘n’ b that I love that into the retro throwback songs I was writing, but I finally decided that that approach wasn’t working. I decided to put that energy into a project specifically created as an outlet for my other ideas; you can say it’s my alter ego. It’s called Sav Blvd. I’m finishing up production on that record and hope to release some new music off of that soon. There’s some very cool stuff that I’m super excited to share.”
Sean Jones has performed at London’s historic Trafalgar Square and at New York’s storied Carnegie Hall, and has had the privilege of sharing stages with a roster of greats including Usher, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, David Foster, and Snoop Dog.
Memorable performances include the nationally televised Canada’s Walk of Fame broadcast, the 2015 Pan-Am Games, the 2016 Invictus Games, and two appearances on the Queen Latifah-produced sitcom Single Ladies.
From hushed soul balladry to storming r’n’b workouts, Sean’s breadth as a recording artist and as a live performer guarantees his audiences a thrilling ride.