Last year we did a little feature about Harriet Jones, who released a new video just last month – Dealin’ Man Blues (you can watch it below). “In a big number of new female solo artists there are some great talented girls who do not forget about their roots. And not only theirs, but all the musical roots that gave birth to rock music in general, such as blues and soul. […] Harriet Jones is one of them.” We had a little chat with her a few days ago.
Rekwired: This year was very productive for you, wasn’t it? How do you feel it in the end of 2013?
Harriet: Good, I’m glad! Yeah I guess it was, lots of good things happened. I’m actually really content with how 2013 went, I think I made the best of it and I don’t regret a thing. I’m always awfully sentimental about letting go of another year but I’m excited for 2014, I think It’s gonna be mental.
Rekwired: Sounds intriguing. Are there any release plans aside from Dealin’ Man Blues single in January? Some new songs?
Harriet: Yes! So… Dealin’ Man Blues is released on January 27th I think and I’m actually planning on going into the studio in January to record some completely new songs. The producer is really great and I feel quite strongly about the songs as they’re very relevant to me still at the moment so, touch-wood, people may like them.
Rekwired: I’ve heard that you don’t play covers. What’s the reason?
Harriet: Well it’s funny really because when I first started playing guitar and music, I never learnt to play anything other than my own songs when I started writing straight away. So it was never really a thing of not wanting to do them out of trying to be ‘credible’ or whatever, but more I just couldn’t. But I think if you can play your own stuff, you may as well do that anyway because you feel it and you get it and you mean it. If you can bring something new to a cover though that’s great. I’ve actually played one or two now for fun but for the most part I like telling my own stories.
Rekwired: Which musicians/bands you can name as your influences?
Harriet: This question always gets me because there are so many different ones. Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Paul Weller, Janis Joplin, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths, The Beatles, Dinah Washington, etc. There are SO many. Some more obvious than others too, but I guess that shouldn’t be sneered at because bands like The Beatles are obvious choices because they were so revolutionary. I’m not sure if you’d even notice the influences when you listened to me because its all little things inspired by bigger people.
Rekwired: Well said. Any touring plans in near future?
Harriet: Yes. I’m doing my third UK tour in February, starting on the 20th in Hull. Then Glasgow, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Manchester, Brighton, one other place and then ending in Liverpool on the 27th at The Lomax. I like to move around a lot so touring is a total dream for me. It’s sort of like uncaging an animal when you get to go on tour, you can’t wait to play the new stuff to people and getting to visit new cities, and meeting new people and other like-minded musicians is a bonus.
Rekwired: And what about collaborations? Is there someone you work with or would like to work?
Harriet: No I’ve always written alone. I’m probably a control freak and for me songs work when I’m honest and detailed and speaking from experience so it makes sense that I have done it by myself this far. But there are people I’d love to work with. A soul/rock n’ roll track with Paul Weller would be a dream, or something with The Arctic Monkeys or what not. In terms of production wise, I’ve done a lot of stuff in the early days with my brother whos a great guitarist and bassist. In January, if all goes according to plan, I should be going into the studio with George Moran who’s a brilliant producer (George is also Miles Kane’s guitarist and has worked on production for Alistair Sheerin in the past) and really gets my vibe, so I have a lot of faith in that!
Rekwired: Great thing to hear from you. We all hope you’ll make your plans come true. You made a good start, and now you’re going ahead to the future with big steps. Can you give any advice for other young people who want to start a musical career?
Harriet: I’m not sure really, I’m still figuring it out myself. All I’d say though, and I guess it applies to any sort of pipe dreams like mine, is that if you’re gonna do it, do it 100%. Be passionate and be excited and pour every part of you into it. I think the only way to be is be mad for it. Mad to experience things good and bad and mad to tell people about it along the way. Even if it means you’re always skint, or can’t keep down a job, or are risking missing out on the stability a run of the mill office job might bring you; I believe like attracts like and even if it doesn’t work out to the extent you’d like it, you can sleep soundly in knowing you tried!