Interview: Laura Jones
Ever since House and Techno starlet Laura Jones track ‘ Love In Me’ danced into our lives in 2011 her tour diary filled literally over night, shining an underground star bright as any of her peers.
Laura’s career began by spending every penny on a music collection at an early age after discovering underground music on Ibizan dancefloors. Quickly she was taken under the wings of Circoloco and fabric. Since then, her touring schedule featured events like Detroit’s Electronic Movement Festival, the Warehouse Project, Amsterdam’s Mysteryland and Richie Hawtin’s Enter. to name a few.
Despite her relentless touring, Laura Jones’s measure as an artist doesn’t just stop at the DJ booth. She earned a reputation as a producer with depth and style thanks to timeless pieces centred around her classical training and sultry vocals. Her tracks, EPs and compilation CD have found homes with powerhouse labels like Leftroom, Visionquest and Crosstown Rebels. As a remixer she’s earning a reputation for breathing new life into house classics like Romanthony’s ‘Let Me Show You Love‘, Hollis P Monroe’s ‘I’m Lonely’ and Todd Terry’s ‘Bounce To The Beat’.
Anticipating Laura Jones’ Welcome To The Future performance, we caught up to speak about the pros and cons of musical training, Ibiza, Amsterdam memories and her forthcoming label.
“Dutch events and festivals are always on another level to the rest of the world.”
We’d like to get to know your (musical) past a bit better, so let’s start with your twelve years of piano training and three years on the cello and clarinet. You have quite an impressive background when it comes to music. How do you think does this affect you now when you’re in the studio?
My musical training is a big help but also sometimes can be a hindrance. I’ve been obsessed with playing music from an early age so I wouldn’t be doing what I do now if I hadn’t laid the roots down in my childhood. My music studies definitely helped me to write melodies and I’m very at home jamming riffs on my synthesizers. But at the same time dance music is a standard much like jazz. There are certain combinations of notes and scales that work and sound better than others. It is very simplistic in nature and the simplicity is what makes it complicated. It’s easy to make a complicated track but very difficult to make a simple track with good ideas. Sometimes my musical training leads me to making everything too complicated so I have to keep myself in check to make sure I’m not going off on a tangent.
Do you become a better producer by default when you have had experience on an instrument while young?
A lot of the earliest house and techno was originally written by people without musical training. A lot of house records are in minor keys because it was easier for the first producers to play the black keys rather than the white ones and MPC samplers lead to producers jamming certain types of riffs because of the way the eight by eight drum pads allowed them to work. Sequencers became integral to how producers wrote riffs because they allowed people to write music without musical training. So don’t be put off making music if you don’t have a musical background, sometimes that can be a help as using sequencers and samplers can sometimes bring you closer to achieving this particular style that house and techno has evolved over the years than playing a keyboard. But it also helps to be able to write sequences chords off the top of your head for example so a musical training does come in handy when you need it. I’ve also found it’s given me a good ear for pitch or key.
What are some of your parents’ records that have made a lasting impact on you and perhaps even your musical career?
My parents had a healthy record collection of which I definitely spent many an hour parked on their living room floor wading through, fiddling with the dials and knobs on their amp, music like Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Mike Oldfield and more.
I wouldn’t say anything that they owned shaped my career, I’d say my own musical discoveries in the years that followed have played a much larger part on where I’ve come to; the majority of which came from TV and film.
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