Louisiana native dreams of integrating hip-hop culture with country music

Photo credit: Jordan Margolin

Name: Willie Jones

Industry:  Music

City:  Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana (aka the “318”; aka “The Ratchet City“)

Genre: This Louisiana native brings a new musical style and flow to the country genre.

Favorite artist: Life is too short for favorites. I’m inspired by so many artists, but originality is something that I’ve always been drawn to about an artist.

If you could choose one word to describe who Willie Jones is, what would that word be? 

Original.

As an artist, longevity is determined based on bringing a different sound or feeling to the music. With trap music being mainstream on the radio right now, how do you integrate or stand out as a country artist?

Just doing me, and not comparing myself to others.

At the age of 17, you performed on “The X Factor” with celebrity judges like Simon Cowell and Brittney Spears. What do you think went through their heads hearing your voice for the first time?

“What the f—?!” At the time I didn’t even realize how different my voice and style was, because I was used to doing it back home; singing country. But stepping on that stage, seeing the reaction on people’s faces, along with the judges, I had a moment of disbelief; as I’m sure they did.

In a recent social media post, you were holding a BET Award after visiting their headquarters. Your caption stated,  “BET will have a country category one day …. mark my words.” What are you doing now to make that change happen?

By staying true to who I am, and getting the awareness out about myself as well as the music. I actually held that award at the BET headquarters in New York City. I feel like I’m one of the few, if not the first, country artists to perform at their headquarters. It’s definitely on their radar.

Tell us about your experience with Tidal. Tidal was created to ‘restore the value to music by launching a service owned by artists. Do you feel like you are a part of this streaming music revolution? If so, how?

I think all artists who stream are apart of the revolution. Tidal has been really supportive of my music and me from the jump. I’m so thankful to have them on board with me. It was an honor performing at their offices. I personally think Tidal is the best music streaming service out.

How do you personally plan to change the music game?

I’ve said it a million times, but just staying true to myself and continue to push the boundaries of country music. I have so many big dreams that I believe with all my heart will come true. I just want to continue to be the voice that isn’t represented in this genre.

Tell us, where will you be five years from now? What are you doing now to make that happen?

Making more music, touring and touching more lives. Every day I strive to continue doing these things. Just getting better at my craft.

 

Chelsea Davis
Chelsea Davis

Multimedia Journalist

Catch me in front and behind the camera. I'm a writer, producer, media personality, and creative soul.



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