Rodney Jones Jr’s Eclectic Style is Artistic and Revolutionary
Musician Rodney Jones Jr. has superpowers when it comes to his skill. His church upbringing on the West-Side of Chicago has provided him with a template that has allowed him to travel the world and showcase these talents. Every genre presents itself as an opportunity to Jones and he excels. His influences range from Jay-Z to Quincy Jones. The talents he has been able to nurture over the course of his career have aligned him with the likes of legends like Mary J. Blije and Stevie Wonder.
Having such a vast and eclectic musical palate has only allowed Jones to expand his reach and unveil his latest iteration of himself in the rap artists Lil Rod. Socially Jones uses his voice to affect change. He recently created the Artist & Musician Justice for Peace March to address the world’s current climate and speak to justice through artistry. We spoke with Jones about his influences, his career and why it’s important for him to speak out as an artist.
1) Tell us about yourself as an artist/musician?
I’m a multi instrumentalist, playing instruments. I grew up playing drums in the church starting at the age of five. Bass is truly where my heart is. I’ve been fortunate to get to tour with Smokie Norful, Avant, Donald Lawrence, Brian Culbertson, Chicago Mass Choir, Georgia Mass Choir, Mary Mary, Tyrese, and Musiq Soulchild just to name a few. I get to showcase a wide span of different styles of musicianship. I’ve also been featured on many songs as a bass guitar musician artist credited as Rodney Jones Jr and features as a rapper Lil Rod.
2) Growing up in Chicago and playing for the church how did that training prepare you for your career?
I learned a lot playing in the church. It gave me confidence and allowed me to hone my talents. It allowed me to be versatile, taught me the meaning of being spontaneous, innovative, it gave me soul, rhythm and a chance to express myself freely while being in tune with the Most High.
3) You have worked with some legends in the music industry. Share with our readers what it was like working with some of these artists?
We often read or hear stories about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jackson, Ray Charles or many other legends from generations before us. Like many we wonder what it would be like to know them, work with them or be connected to them in any capacity. Well this is the feeling I got when I got the chance to work with Stevie Wonder, Mary J Blidge, Stephanie Mills, Shirley Caesar, Ice Cube, Faith Evans, Kelly Price and others. I do my best to think of them as just people so I can remain humble. Sometimes it’s like a dream and I am honored to be blessed with all of the opportunities I have had.
4) You’re releasing a new single. What can music lovers expect from the project?
They can expect the young and fun music as the artist Lil Rod is showing the the rap Artistry skills. The skills I hid for many years. But I’ve decided to be free again with my creativity.
5) Recently you put together the Artist & Musician Justice for Peace March, why was it important for you to speak out on Black Lives Matter and police brutality?
Because I’ve been racially profiled, harmed by the police, wrongfully arrested, and put into the system spending money and fighting to stay free. I often think about the black people, people of color and how their lives may have gone all the way left because they didn’t have the money nor resources to fight the system back like I did. I must do this justice for all my people. More often than less the Music world does NOT get treated with the respect we deserve. We make this world go round.
6) What’s next for Rodney Jones, Jr.?
As a producer on July 17th I will receive an ASCAP award for the most performed rhythm and soul song that I’m very excited about. I’m working on a few albums for artist. I’m very interested in breaking new artists and reinventing legends. I’ve always taken great joy and pride in helping other people reach their goals. When a producer does this it makes their legacy stronger. Currently I am working on projects with Eric Darius (smooth Jazz), Charles Jenkins (Gospel), Kelly Price (RnB) RaVaughn, Sparkel (RnB) and ready for what God has in store for me. I also plan to keep marching and planning protests to continue to speak out about police brutality and equality for black people until there is real change for my community.
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