Written by Timothe Davis
Alexis Jones is a 24 hour woman.
She is hard at work – busily promoting “Anyday” – her second album, connecting with artists across the country, trying to build a fan base, releasing her mix tape, “Diary of an R&B Singer,” and holding down a full-time job. Not to mention, she recently fully overhauled her website: alexisjonesmusic.com.
All of this in a very small market – Raleigh, NC – that’s not known for its music scene or its support of native artists.
As Alexis puts it, “Right now I’m independent. I would love to have a record deal, have my music be my career. But right now I’m still working, and I can’t rely solely on music … I want to wake up and do music every day.”
Big dreams for a girl whose first choice was not music. Truth-be-told, originally, Alexis wanted to be an athlete; she played college sports. But after graduating school – and finding herself – a love for music was awakened.
To that end, Alexis, who was also raised in a musical family, spends her free time working on her music. She has an in-home studio, which allows her to balance her day job with her musical career. It also saves her time and money. She has broadened her talents from singer to singer-songwriter, arranger, and producer, and she has stretched herself emotionally.
She recalls, “I was singing other people’s music at first. But I knew I wanted to write my own. So I locked myself in a room and for two hours just sat there until a song finally began to come. I’ve been writing ever since.”
“The difference [between the first and the second album} can be heard on the album,” she continues. “You can hear the growth in my writing skill, my vocal skill. My first album was simpler. I put more feeling and more emotion into the second one.”
That’s not to say Alexis isn’t proud of her first album aptly titled “Alexis Jones.” As a matter-of-fact, one of her favorite songs, “Ready,” is on that album. “I wrote it and it touches me every time I hear it.” But she recognizes the importance of growth, and she is striving to prove herself in a realm chock full of up and coming artists.
Alexis has also stepped into videos – an important piece of the equation for today’s stars.
“I did my first video in 2012 at the time of the first album. People not only want to hear you. But the fans want to see you in action. See you move, talk, and sing. That’s another way to connect with you as an artist.” Several clips and videos, including “Ready” and “Run This,” can be seen on YouTube.
More than music and videos, though, Alexis wants to create a brand. Part of that brand includes being known for the versatility of her music – R&B, POP, Neo Soul – to topnotch production and writing skills. She looks to people like Keri Hilson, Timbaland, Pharrell, and R Kelly as individuals who have managed to build a brand.
Because the Raleigh market is so small, she has endeavored to reach beyond her city limits and connect with other artists.
“Sometimes you feel like you are making music for yourself and for your neighbors. So I’ve tried to connect with other artists across the country.”
“What makes music more difficult is that I don’t think local radio stations support independent artists like they should. You go to Greensboro, NC, they spotlight. They are respecting that there are other people out here with talent. I don’t understand it. So I’m working on different singles. I’m networking with other artists outside Raleigh. I’m trying to make that one single that will possibly give me a chance.”
She hopes that one single will be on “The Diary of an R&B Singer.” Released March 21st, the mix-tape includes Alexis’ tracks mixed with industry tracks.
While Alexis loves music, she admits that it’s hard work. She also admits that she doesn’t do it by herself. Her family is a huge support network. Plus she has a deep faith.
“I’m spiritually guided. My faith is something I rely on and it keeps hope in my heart each and every day. As a person, you always need something for guidance. We can’t do it on our own. So just me believing (in God) it gives me strength.”
Faith + Hardwork + Talent = Alexis Jones singing any day.