An interview with Ahmad Jones of 4th Avenue Jones about their album release "Stereo"
How did 4th Avenue Jones start?
4th Avenue Jones started as an idea. I grew tired of creating art alone and
wanted to form a super talented band that had no limitations.
How did you guys come up with the name "4th Avenue Jones"?
4th Avenue was a street in South Central Los Angeles where my homeboy
Kenny’s mom had a house and would allow us to rehearse there. We had always
heard the saying “keeping up with the Joneses” which basically meant trying to
follow the trends set by another family or group. We wanted to set new trends with
original thoughts, ideas, and music and have folks follow us to righteousness and freedom.
We joined 4th Avenue and Jones to form the name.
What do you want to achieve with the new album "Stereo"?
We want people to fall in love with music again. Music is God given and a very necessary
part of our life experience. The title STEREO is suggesting to the listener that success for us
is not found in gimmicks or anything contrived. Success for us is all about using our God given
talent to make great art and complete our purpose.
Who and what inspires you for your lyrics?
Real life is my inspiration. Human struggle, progress, pain, joy, sickness, and health.
360 degrees of life, the whole thing. I would like to think I am honest and truthful with what I say.
I am truly an optimist and as such I desire to encourage hope and love with my words.
HipRockSoul, How did you come up with this sound?
We developed the HIPROCKSOUL sound by playing live in front of fans. The positive response
we received while playing certain things live gave us the courage to reach and explore.
Fear is a killer of creativity. Many artists are afraid of rejection so they play it safe with their music
while we prefer to take the road less traveled and remain true.
How has it been received by the hip hop community, as well as the rock, and soul?
The response has been great. A few people wish we were the same group they heard 4 years ago
but we will never be that group again. Our next album will be much different than our current album.
Anything that stops changing and growing is a dead thing. We will continue to grow.
What role does each of the musicians in 4th Avenue Jones
play in the creative process in making music?
Everyone brings different ideas to the table and Timmy Shakes and I collectively known as
The Factory Workers filter everything out and produce the finished songs.
What's your favorite song in "Stereo"?
How did you hook up with Gotee records?
My label Lookalive Records was looking for a partner and Gotee was willing to do something.
My man Jay King hooked it all up and brought the two labels together.
With the issues you had with pass deals (with Interscope Records)
how were you able to come to the table in agreement with Gotee Records?
It’s all about respect and fairness. Any partnership has to be built on mutual respect and
admiration, when you have those elements it’s easy to make it work.
What artist do you want to work with?
Prince. He’s the King.
What was the best thing that happened in your music career?
Joining 4th Avenue Jones
Are you working on any projects (present and future)?
A 4th Avenue Jones LIVE album, an Ahmad Jones solo album, Tena Jones solo album,
Gailybird featuring… album, and possibly an album by an incredible singer I introduced on
the Gumbo compilation named NeNe White. We are also doing a mix tape for the folks to enjoy.
If you had to do another genre of music, what will it be and why?
Well we already cover so many genres with our music so I don’t know. I love all kinds of music
and experiment with many sounds.
How did you accept Jesus in your life?
I accepted Christ when I was at my lowest. I had just returned from a tour and I felt depressed.
I thought once I achieved a certain level of success in my career I would be happy.
I had the success and I still felt oppressed and empty, I was searching for peace.
All alone in my mothers bathroom I called on the Lord to take the stress from my life.
I asked God to save me and I promised to serve Him if he would.
I immediately felt like a coat of trouble was removed and I started serving the Lord.
I was still flawed in a bunch of ways but I read the word daily, prayed,
and attended church regularly which all helped me to grow and mature in Christ.
Don’t think you have to be perfect for God to accept you,
he loves you the way you are and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Jesus loves you!
Have you been doing shows outside of LA much, and what are your plans for touring?
We rock shows everywhere and we plan to tour the United States heavily this year.
We will travel to Europe for the first time in August
and return to Europe 2 more times before the year is up.
How is it traveling and being on the road with your family?
Great! I love that my son Yeshuwa(9 months old) is able to learn and experience new things while
on the road. It’s great to read about places but it’s even cooler to travel to those places.
What's your favorite…?
Food: Turkey Tacos
Movie: The Matrix Pt.1
Country: United States, I need to travel more!
State: California and Hawaii
Music: All types
Bible verse: John 3:16
Any last words?
Be a peacemaker and pursue purpose.
Anything outside of God’s purpose for your life is a waste of valuable time.