Publication: Clash Online
JONES (her name is written in all caps; a statement of intent) doesn’t have a career back-up. It’s just as well that she has the ability to create effortlessly cool electronic pop out of nothing more than pure instinct.
“Someone once told me that you should always have a Plan B, and I thought that was bad advice,” she tells Clash. “I feel like if you’re really going to go for something, you have to put your heart and soul into it. You have to put your blood into it, and you can’t do that with a foot out the door.”
Born and raised in East London, Cherie Jones-Mattis is a 25-year-old who spent her formative years immersed in the sounds of reggae and neo-soul. “One of the earliest memories I have is me sitting in the car with my mum. She was playing ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley, which is still one of my all-time favourites. She was a single mother and, although she never made music or played instruments, outside of raising me it was her whole life.”
JONES shares the same musical obsession of her mother – you could say she’s a product of it. The spectrum of her musical education shines throughout her own sound: the deliberate delicacy and poise of Erykah Badu, the stark emotion of Marley, and her namesake – Grace Jones.
Cherie’s debut album, ‘New Skin’, released at the end of last year on independent label 37 Adventures, is a whirlwind of sweeping ballads, Scandi-pop grooves, and stripped-bare moments of pure vulnerability. JONES describes how, for her, music represents “everything, amplified,” and is unique process of cathartic creation. “It’s a deeply personal thing that can represent your feelings times a thousand. To me, music is like magic.”
This mysticism around music extends to JONES’ take on life in general. “I’m not that religious but I heard a quote once that goes: ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans’,” she concludes. “Life is going to happen anyway.”
WHERE: East London
WHAT: Soul-inflected, poised pop
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Indulge’, ‘Melt’, ‘Handful Of Gold’
FACT: She’s been writing her second album during sojourns to Stockholm and Copenhagen, and admits to Clash she’s currently having a “love affair” with Scandi culture.