Singer Assata Jones talks growing up in the new millennium, musical theater and Beyoncé

assata jones

What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Inspiration would be one of the most prominent aspects in any artist’s life. Your sense of creativity truly reflects your capability of your own craft as an artist in this industry. I would say that I seek inspiration and inspiration seeks me. At times, I appreciate my struggles, because any hardships, I turn into music. When I don’t feel inspired, I listen to music that is outside of my element and travelling is another great cure for an uninspired soul.

How did you determine your career path?
I was born in the ’90s, an amazing decade where music reached a sound that was of combination between our early years in hip-hop to classic rhythm and blues. Now that I am older, I see how much that era has influenced my sound. I come from a very cultured family. I am from Chicago. One of the most cultural cities in the nation. My first love was musical theater. Musical theater was a major part of my life for at least 13 years. During my teenage years, I lived in Toronto and New Orleans. Those two cities truly solidified my love for music and motivated me to become a solo artist. Although I was the new girl on the block and had to always adjust to other lifestyles, music is what brought us all together. That’s powerful.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
The best way to remain successful in this game is to stay ahead of your craft. It is never bad to over practice, because practice makes perfect. You have to make sure that you’re in this for the right reasons. Fame should not be the first goal. Those who seek fame, don’t last. Stay positive and find ways to maintain longevity.

I have yet to reach the lead in my craft. I am always conditioning. I’ve reached the minimal of my success, because I’m better than I was before, but it is always about growth.

Are there many misconceptions in your industry? How do you overcome them?
There are definitely many misconceptions in this industry. On the outside looking in, we see luxury cars, money, mansions and tabloids, but these people are just like everyone else. They have made a career out of their talents, just how doctors and lawyers seek degrees for their talents, except they aren’t under radar. It’s better to live privately and let your music do the talking.

How do you set goals?
Personally, I have a life coach that assists me in mapping out my life goals. We take baby steps starting with three years all the way to a month. I make realistic goals that will eventually lead me to the life I have been dreaming since I was a little girl.

Who is your role model in the industry and outside of it?
In the art industry, Beyonce is my role model. The day that she influenced my life was when I came across her VH1 “Driven” documentary in 2003. I was so intrigued by her dedication as a young child. That documentary gave me so much motivation and hope. Being only 11 years old at the time, I knew in my heart that I wanted to change the world with my music. Now that I am 20 and I see how powerful and successful Beyonce has become, my dreams have grown bigger and I thank her for paving the way. I am certain that I was not the only 11 year old girl that was watching her that day. Beyonce truly runs the world and I hope to share the same legacy. Aside from the industry, my greatest role model is my grandmother, Alice Palmer. She is my rock and my biggest fan. My grandmother truly inspires me within my music. I’m mostly excited for my success, because that’s when I know she will be her happiest. That’s when I can say, “We made it Maw Maw!”

How do you stay motivated?
I like to speak everything into existence and put positivity into the atmosphere so I say, “I am an international world renowned celebrity that sings, dances and acts. Influencing young women around the world who seek self empowerment and self expression. I aspire to be a Grammy award winner, movie star and model who will use my abundance; creativity to develop a foundation for youth.”

How does music affect your culture?
Unfortunately, music has a violent influence in my community. Chicago is the murder capital in our nation. We have had more killings than the last war. My city has received the name, “Chiraq” which disgusts me. Our music scene has created attention for all of the wrong reasons. Although we have positive artists thriving, there are many that are responsible for promoting violence. I would like to see not only Chicago, but our nation reach peace. Music is the answer for bringing everyone together, but it has become the answer to our deaths. I can’t change anyone else, but all I can do is create music that lasts and inspires greatness.

How do you use technology?
We live in a day where technology plays a great role in society. We have a chance to keep updated with our favorite artists day-to-day. I continue to stay consistent on my social networks and make sure everyone feels special when they reach out. It’s better to stay hands on, because that’s how you grow your fan base.

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