As part of the “Behind the Board” interview series with The Recording Academy, songwriter and rock producer Esjay Jones dives into her journey through the music industry.
For those trying to make a career in music, it’s common for your career to have many twists and turns, and Esjay Jones is no exception. Born in South Africa and raised in southern California, Jones found her calling early on. As a child, her ballet teacher pulled her parents aside to tell them to reconsider her dancing career. After making the shift, she landed an internship at Northwind Recording and started her career as an artist in South Africa.
However, as time went on, she pivoted from being an artist to producing and writing: “I just fell more in love with what happens behind the scenes," said Jones. "Understanding the psyche behind an artist, having come from that world, it's allowed me to really have this intimate and emotional connection with people who are precious about their songs and not sure if they want to bring someone else in. And it has allowed me to be really transparent in the curation and creation of songs."
In addition, Jones as explained why she keeps on going back and listening to classic albums by bands such as Deftones and Incubus. To her, they are “imperfectly perfect.”
"I would much rather capture those imperfect moments and figure out how to work them into the production," she said, "because I feel that is what a listener is listening for. It's that emotional connection making [the listener] go, 'Oh, that person I'm such a big fan of, they're human, too!'"
Most recently, Jones worked on re-imagining and enhancing several of the original songs by Grey Daze, the band of Chester Bennington before he joined Linkin Park. Look out for the new Grey Daze album, Amends, coming out on Loma Vista Recordings this Spring. There’s much more to come from Jones on the horizon.