Kent Jones has had the magic touch for music since he was in diapers. The South Florida native grew up from a young tot making noise with pots and pans to learning how to play the drums from his auntie. After honing his skills on the piano and the hammond organ as well, he sharpened his understanding of music while taking jazz music classes . That’s when he made the decision to start producing.
“By experience, I got around to that side after my musical upbringing made me realize it was something I loved to do,” Jones told VIBE. “I love hearing myself. I love making my own songs. After awhile it became my.. I don’t want to say job because it never feels like I’m working so much. But it definitely became a key component to who I am becoming and where I’m going to be.”
Over the years, Jones has developed from skilled producer to budding artist himself. After receiving guidance from veteran’s like Fat Joe and Miami producers Cool & Dre, Jones is ready to take DJ Khaled’s We The Best Recordings to a whole new level.
His most recent single “Don’t Mind” has spread like wildfire over the radio airwaves from the East to the West coast and, like most dedicated artists, Jones is shielding a gold mine of unreleased music until the time is just right.
Don’t believe the hype? We spoke with Jones the success of his single “Don’t Mind,” which was featured on his summer mixtape Tours. He also speaks on life before he was signed and how he got down with We The Best.
Your recent mixtape “Tours” has several different kinds of sounds on there. Do you feel like you’ve solidified your sound at all? If not, are you on your way to doing that?
KJ: Yea I feel like I’ve done it with the tape and the new records I’m working on plus the ones I’m sitting on that aren’t out yet. I feel like it all connects. It connects the biggest line musically because there’s a sound that people have fallen in love with that’s now all over the radio and there’s a sound that’s approaching the blogs little by little. I’ve got a lot music that I’m ready to share. It’s just timing is everything. Everyone is enjoying the “Don’t Mind” record off the tape. We give thanks, but the next project is going to be crazier.
What stands out about “Don’t Mind” in particular to you?
It almost didn’t even make it on the mixtape. Well, I got the tracklisting from the guy who does my artwork and then Dre and Khaled sent me the tracklisting and the track wasn’t on there. So I hit up Dre and asked him what was going on. It was that song and another song. The other song really didn’t make it, but that one we had get something done sonically on there. So Cool mixed down the entire Tours record. So we had to go back in and fix it. Once we got it back to Dre, that’s when it just made it.
When did you know it would be the hit you needed?
I’m gonna be real with you. When I made it, I thought it was a good song with good rhythm. I was saying some stuff. It wasn’t until I took the record up to Orlando. My brother at 104.5 DJ D-Strong was taking a listen to some records and he came across that one. D-Strong told me it was a hit. But I enjoyed making it. The day I made it, because I made the beat and everything in one day, it was before I went on the road. At one point I was like, you know maybe the people will respond to it differently. Now did I expect it to go as crazy as its going? Of course not.
It’s a every radio station in the tri-county area.
Everywhere in the country right now! It’s playing everywhere in the country right now. So it’s just a blessing. We give thanks. The first mixtape has a hit record on it.
I know you work closely with Cool and Dre. How did you guys meet?
We knew some mutual people. They introduced me to Cool while Dre was in L.A. Me and Cool bonded then when Dre came down it was the same thing. We kept building what we have up until now and we’re continuing to build what we for the future. It’s a family situation 100%.
Recently, you’ve been rocking with DJ Khaled’s We The Best. What was life like before you were signed and how has your career progressed?
Well, before I was signed, I was just working. But if you mean when did I start seeing the results of my work, then that’s different. I was celebrated for the whole month of my birthday. I started hearing my records all over the radio and in the clubs. But when I got signed, it meant I had to work even harder because there’s always someone out there that wants your career to be over. There’s always going to be somebody that will speak negatively and will want you to stop what you’re doing. I feel like before I was signed I was working hard.
What I will say is that, before I was signed, I always kept the faith. Before I was signed with Khaled, I was signed with Fat Joe for a year. After I was signed with Joe, that’s when people started to know Kent Jones as a producer. I was working to build my own sound for years and years. Joe ended up getting into that thing he into that year. Then I ended up getting with Cool & Dre on the management side, and we built. We did different projects together, and then it was like a snowball effect.
So it’s like now, looking at it in the third person, people actually know who Kent Jones the artist is, and if they don’t, they know the song. And to them, the song is crazy so they want to know who did the song. Now I’m starting to realize that saying it is one thing, but we’re seeing the proof that we’re going to be here for a long time. We’re not here today and gone tomorrow like a lot of these cats.