In Conversation with Tameca Jones, Part II

Tameca Jones is an intense soul singer based in Austin, Texas. Not long ago she collaborated with Gary Clark Jr. on the track “Wings” from his new album, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.

She’s just released a thrilling single, “Hot and Bothered,” from her first solo release, an EP due out in 2016.

After gaining a strong reputation as a gifted cover artist and stirring performer, Jones’s latest work includes her own compositions. Jones recently took the time to talk to us about her songwriting journey, favourite creative fodder, and long term goals. (See the first part of this interview here.)

On Songwriting
I’ve always written songs. I started out by writing the melodies and lyrics for a band called 8 Million Stories. (I’d answered their ad for a singer/songwriter on Craigslist.) We were together for about three years.

After we broke up I formed a jazz band while trying to write originals solo. It was super hard writing without a band because I didn’t play an instrument and had zero musical knowledge. I spent years writing crappy songs in Garageband and learning how chords and melodies worked. It took a lot of sonic turds to yield a few roses. It’s still pretty arduous to write a song, but I hope to collaborate with producers and other songwriters who can expedite the process. It sucks to work by myself.

A Powerfully Sensual Voice
Only a few people have commented on the sensuality in my vocals, but It’s something I’m hyperaware of. I always strive to get out of my head and ascend to the ether of spirit. In order to connect with the audience, It’s essential for me to silence my doubts and fears and access the visceral consciousness.
That’s easy for me to do in front of an audience. It happens automatically when I step on stage. It’s difficult for me to achieve that in a sterile recording studio where I’m alone, standing in one place hooked up to a machine.

There are singers who are machines when they get in the studio, but fall flat live. There are singers who melt faces live, but that fire isn’t present when they record. I’d probably put myself in the latter category because I’ve had a lot of live performance experience but very little recording studio experience. However, I’m about to get a lot of studio experience now that I’m recording my EP.

Feeding the Artistic Self
A book called The War On Art by Steven Pressfield deeply influenced me. My friend gave it to me because I was super when I recorded in his studio. Recording is so hard for me because I constantly get in my own way. I judge the notes before they come out of my mouth and my thoughts and lyrics before they leave my head. It’s so easy to become creatively constipated. This book taught me to recognize the asshole (doubts) in my head and tell her (them) to “shhhh.” It’s a must read for every creative being out there.

Artistic Mission Statement:
To deliver sonic honey thunder and stop world ear hunger.

In the Now
Right now I’m writing and recording for my EP, which is set to release in mid-February. I’m gonna call it Naked because I’m stepping from behind my covers and showing people my range as an original artist.

On the Horizon
On the horizon for me is SXSW and touring around Texas and beyond. I’ve built up my name and reputation in Austin; It’s time for me to venture outside of my birth city and melt faces around the nation!

Wanda also writes the blog The Mindful Bard:The Care and Feeding of the Creative Self.