Ayron Jones has been around Seattle’s music scene for quite a while and has performed with legends like B.B. King and Run D.M.C. His music harkens back to the kind of rock and roll that is considered “classic” today. Oh, and about his first record — the one and only Sir Mix-a-Lot produced it.
What bands/projects have you been affiliated with?
Ayron Jones and The Way, Deep Cotton, the Levee Walkers, and now my solo project.
How long have you lived in Seattle? What neighborhood do you live in?I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life. I was born at the University of Washington Medical Center and grew up in the Central District and lived there up until 2017, when I moved to Alki Beach.
Seattle has changed so much over the years, what’s made you stay in the city?
I’ve stayed in Seattle because of my deep love for my city, the state of Washington, and the Puget Sound region. The music scene here is also one of the best in the world. The fans here have helped me develop into the artist I am today and I also can’t think of a better place to raise a family.
Can you give me a brief bio — how’d you get into music and why’d you stick with it?
I’ve been into music since I can remember. I’ve always had a desire to create music — be it through composing or performing. Initially, I got my start in church where as a little boy I learned how to sing and was introduced to performance art. From grades 6 to 12 I was involved in the orchestra, where I learned to play the violin and picked up basic composition skills, even though I was terrible at the violin. At age 13, I started to teach myself how to play guitar and by the time I was 17 I was performing at coffee shops and open mics. This went on until I turned 21 and formed my first project. I didn’t have the experience at the time but my raw talent immediately started turning heads and I found myself landing opening gigs for some bigger acts, like Robert Cray and Los Lonely Boys. In 2011, I received a call from a band called Deep Cotton, a punk band affiliated with Janelle Monae’s label, Wondaland. That was the point that I’d say that I really started focusing on developing into the artist I would become. In 2012 my band was discovered by Sir Mix-A-Lot and in 2013 I released our first indie record. That was when things really started moving. By 2017, I released my second indie record and my first solo project, this time produced by Barrett Martin. That’s what got me here, where I am today with Big Machine/ Varvatos Records.
The reason I stuck with it was because of my love of the journey. No matter how hard it got or whatever obstacles got in the way, my love of the journey and this overwhelming desire to reach greatness has been what has carried me through thus far.
Why do you think Seattle’s music scene has always been so vibrant?
I think the music scene in Seattle has the luxury and detriment isolation. It’s no secret that it rains most of the year in Seattle. I think that the rain coupled with the fact that Seattle is tucked away in the corner of the U.S. create a proverbial musical soup that breeds world-class musicians and genre-benders. I think that’s why we continue to see the kind of musical innovation we have throughout Seattle’s history.
Favorite local venue you’ve played? Favorite local venue to see a show at?I’d say my favorite venue I’ve played would be the Crocodile Cafe and my favorite place to see a show would be the Showbox Sodo or the Neptune Theatre.
How would you describe your sound? Who are some of your influences?
My sound is like if Michael Jackson played guitar like Jimi Hendrix in Kurt Cobain’s band. My influences span different genres, from Dr. Dre to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan to Derek Trucks, Michael Jackson to Soundgarden. All these names and more have helped influence my sound as an artist.
You just released your first single “Take Me Away” with a major-label. What made you make the leap to sign with a label and how has that process been?
I knew it was time to jump to a major because I had hit a ceiling in my indie career. I had a great indie career! I had opened for some of the greatest acts in rock and roll history. I had paid for and released two of my own records. Life was good but that never-ending question kept nagging at me: “What’s Next?” I didn’t have the network or the resources to take myself any further than I was at that point. That’s when I knew it was time for a major.
You’ve been doing music for a long time. How has your sound changed and/or stayed the same?
I guess the best way to describe how my sound has changed overtime is to say “I’ve cut the fat.” Over my years of playing and gaining experience on the stage I’ve learned how to give the people what they want. I think when you’re growing as an artist there’s this idea that you need to make things complicated. That somehow the more complicated the more respect you’ll get. The truth is that most people just want it simple and straightforward, especially when it comes to rock.
COVID has stopped all live music for the foreseeable future, do you have any ideas or plans for what these next few months might look like for you? Are you working on anything right now?
For the next few months I’ll be finishing up my album and getting ready for 2021.
Where can people find your music? How can they support you and other local musicians during this pandemic?
I’m on all available DSPs (a.k.a. streaming music services) and I think the best way to support local musicians right now is donating money to their projects, taking time to watch their live streams, and just reaching out to see how they’re doing.
Favorite song from a Seattle area artist OR about Seattle/the PNW?
I’ll give you two. Posse on Broadway by Sir Mix-A-Lot and Spanish Castle Magic by Jimi Hendrix