Matt Jones


Plays Friday at George’s

By Brian Washburn

Swarms of Arkansas musicians are leaving NWA for their chance at the national spotlight. Among them is singer songwriter Matt Jones, who left for Los Angeles about a year ago. Jones wanted to broaden his fan base and get his music into every outlet possible. But even though L.A. can do wonders for those attempting to thrive in the entertainment industry, sometimes there is just no place like home, especially for Jones. 



“It was a rough start. About the second week I was there, someone broke into my car and stole all of my guitars, clothes and shoes. I was living out there with little to no money and had little tools to make music. But now, I can’t be happier,” Jones said in an interview last week in Fayetteville, a day after he returned home for a short break from the entertainment capitol of the world.

Although a rough start delayed the modern soul/pop rock singer-songwriter, he has landed on his feet in Beverly Hills and has found himself in the company of musicians and engineers who are helping him hone his sound and put out a full-length album. 

“I live in a complex in Beverly Hills with several other musicians who are helping to produce my full length, and the guy who is engineering it has worked for Fleetwood Mac, the Jacksons. Basically everything recorded from ’65 to ’85, he engineered, so it is above and beyond.” Jones said. 

Jones hopes to have the album out by the end of the year, but the sound won’t be the same old modern pop that NWA residents are used to. Instead, Jones says he will take to his roots and dig up some early soul influences, such as Stevie Wonder and The Temptations that made him fall in love with music in the first place. 

Jones will showcase his latest Friday night at George’s. He will perform with an eight-piece “soul review” with horns and keys, doing covers of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s soul. He will open the show with some original acoustic tracks. 

Living in L.A. has changed Jones’ writing process. “I used to write the guitar part first then the lyrics. But I have been writing constantly in L.A. and I try to write at least one or two lyrics a day, and then you can put almost any music to that. I am really experimenting right now. Some methodical writers can go into the studio and have a hook and a chorus in 20 minutes, but I’m more hit or miss. 

“It’s different in L.A. I have more inspiration because this is the first place I have lived outside of Fayetteville in 20 years.” 

For some, getting out of NWA might be the ultimate goal, but for Jones, coming home has never tasted so sweet. 

“The music scene in L.A. is oversaturated and they have bands that should never get on stage, but in L.A. everybody just pats each other on the back and kisses each others’ ass and it’s destructive.

“But here, there is no oversaturation yet. Fayetteville is way more artist friendly. It’s a place where I would love to raise a family…. L.A. is a great place to work, record and rehearse, but I would never (want to) live in L.A.” 

Many artists seek out management and labels in L.A., but not Jones. 

“L.A. has made me appreciate what we have here. There is no overall rivalry. It is very grassroots and heartfelt. I’ve only been back for a day and I already love it. L.A. is too money hungry. Whether it’s the film, music or TV industry, L.A. is all about the money.”

Categories: LIVE! In NWA