Producer/Songwriter Extraordinaire ESJAY JONES Discusses Her Favorite Musical Memories and Her Newest Collaboration With Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs!
Posted On 21 Apr 2017
The award-winning producer and songwriter Esjay Jones recently partnered with Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs to present Acoustic Sessions. This weekly musical event held Friday’s and Saturday’s from 8-11pm, will highlight performances by local musicians.
Esjay’s vision for the Acoustic Sessions is to curate live entertainment from around the world to perform as a complimentary experience to the Hard Rock Palm Springs’ guests and visitors. Esjay performs her acoustic session to her audience solo on Friday night’s, but on Saturday’s she holds global sessions that allow other artists to showcase their talent. This allows the musicians to develop themselves, as well as see different levels of touring artists that are stopping by to plug in and play.
Esjay has been a part of compositions for Sean Kingston, Jeffre Star, Disney, TimeFlies, as well as many other Top 40 artists. She’s currently building an artist compound and recording studio in Sayulita Mexico in Partnership with Earth Block International and underprivileged housing project, Echale a Tu Casa.
Learn more about Esjay Jones in the following All Access interview:
Hi Esjay Jones! It’s a pleasure to learn more about you…Thank you for taking the time to share your musical journey with us!
Thank you for the opportunity – The pleasure is all mine!
To start us off, do you mind sharing a little bit of your background in writing and producing with us?
I started off many years ago in a band in South Africa called Stealing Love Jones. We had several number 1 hits in South Africa and moved to the USA in September of 2009. The band was not signed but I joined Universal Music Publishing Group and Beluga Heights as a writer and later a producer. I have had the privilege of working with producers, songwriters and artists ranging from Alex the Kid to Gina Schock (The Go Go’s), Justin Tranter to The Underdogs.
What genre of music do you typically write and produce? What is it about that gene that attracted you to it?
I am a huge fan of alternative rock and Metal, but 9 times out of 10, I am producing and co-writing top 40, pop and radio friendly records for labels, artists and bands. People’s ears have gotten so used to hearing commercial top 40 productions that have programmed beats and very little live instrumentation, so unfortunately and fortunately I have fallen into the Top 40 game and enjoy being apart of bringing analog techniques into the digital era.
Do you have a favorite song that you have written?
There is a song called “Made To Lose” which my team and I wrote and produced with Demi Lovato in mind. Unfortunately it did not make the record. The songwriting “Pitching” game is very frustrating – maybe out of every 1000 songs you write, one song gets picked up by a major artist. I have thousands of records that I have written with great writers and producers that will most probably never see the light of day. Maybe one of these days I will release a mix of “The Hits that never got to be hits.” (Laughs)
I understand you’ve recently partnered with Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs to present Acoustic Sessions… Can you expand on this and tell us what this project is all about?
Yes! I am very honored to have partnered up with The Hard Rock in Palm Springs for these productions. Every Friday and Saturday we curate local and touring artist from around California and showcase them in an intimate lounge setting. We were inspired by the concept of MTV Unplugged so created a beautiful stage area boasting a Persian Rug, atmospheric lighting and candles dispersed around the room. It is an exquisite experience and is fast becoming the most popular venue in the desert. If you are in Palm Springs, please stop and say hello!
You seem to have an entrepreneurial side to you, which is an admirable quality! Are you working on any additional projects you can share with us?
If you want a successful career in the music and/or entertainment industry you have to keep moving and be innovative. We have a studio out in Palm Springs, which is booked out most of the week and runs 24 hours a day. When working with a client, I am generally the engineer / Producer and songwriter for the project, so I get to wear many hats. We also have a small sync and licensing department where we license original music to film and TV as well as create music on spec for Brands, Mnemonics, Companies, TV shows etc. My business partner and I run an entertainment and consulting company called SLS Event Group which handles the business of music, small events as well as social media, graphic design and branding. Whew… another coffee please!
How do you measure your personal success? What do you want in the future… what is your ultimate goal?
Personal success to me is not found in a bank account or achievements. Sure, everyone wants to be comfortable and leave some sort of legacy, but what is really important to me is that I work hard to do what I love and remain a good human that treats everyone with respect. When I first got to LA, I was so caught up in the fast-paced-jaded-lifestyle, that I forgot what was really important in life. Having a tight network of like-minded friends and family around you who love and support you unconditionally is the greatest treasure that you can posses. And a Grammy… a Grammy would be nice (Silly Laughter)
Can you tell us about a moment when you felt all your hard work as an artist finally paid off, perhaps a moment you felt proud of?
Wow, so many. Becoming a citizen of The USA was probably my proudest moment – You don’t realize how difficult it is to get a working visa for the USA, let alone become a citizen. Other moments I am proud of is sharing the stage with Fall Out Boy, working with Gina Schock from the Go Go’s, writing and singing on a track with Sean Kingston and Jeffree Star and most recently co-writing a song called “Magic” by MysterySkulls which featured Nile Rodgers and Brandy. Super cool!
Who are some of your biggest musical influences? What is it about them that most inspires you?
Hands down my greatest influence and inspiration is Alanis Morissette. I remember the day I heard Jagged little Pill in June 1995 – My life was forever changed and I felt this mystical connection to her (still do) even though we will probably never meet. That album, produced by Glen Ballard, is to this day one of the greatest albums ever written (In my humble opinion) – I love the unhindered truth, the raw-ness of the vocal, the brilliance of the production and over all sonic ear-delight!
Other major influences include Deftones and Incubus .. I have their lyrics tattoo’d on my forearms to keep their inspiration close at all times.
Oh wow, well Alanis Morissette and Deftones definitely (If you’re reading this, please hit up my manager Tom Maffei at The Management Company! Hahah)
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
If you are an up and coming artist / producer please feel free to send links to me. I love to collaborate and am always looking for fresh talent to develop. www.esjayjones.com. Be Inspired and Be kind to one another.