Shuf first came across Topaz Jones at a rooftop party in his home city of New York. Since that chance meeting he has been brewing 'The Honeymoon Suite', a new full-length that features contributions from Odd Future's Hodgy Beats and some of the slickest and sharpest production values on that side of the atlantic. His airtight flow, distinctive lyricism and New York City attitude to perfectionism is something to follow very closely in the year ahead. In Jones' own words, this is "just the beginning".
For people who haven’t heard Topaz Jones before, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is inspired by a blend of funk, psychedelic rock and soul.
Tell us how you started out...
As a kid just watching my pops in the studio and imitating him. Writing songs, singing, performing, all began very early for me.
What’s been the biggest turning point in your career so far?
I don't think I've had that true big turning point yet but the release of my new LP The Honeymoon Suite has definitely generated a lot of new fans.
Name a song you wish you’d made?
"Church" by Outkast or "Baby Be Mine" by Michael Jackson. Also "What A Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers. Those songs are fuckin’ perfect man.
What are your plans for 2014?
Mainly to keep giving y'all the best quality music and visuals. I also wanna do some touring because I'm a performer first and foremost.
What would you like to change in the music industry this year?
I wanna just influence people to do their own shit. Be themselves. Stop copying what everyone else is doing or making because there's nothing cooler than being a one of one. I made the conscious decision not to put any trap beats on my album. There's nothing creative or artistic about copying the same drum patterns we've all been bumping to since 09. Try something different.
Tell us about the best live show you’ve played (if any)...
Best show ever would have to be this show I did out in Brooklyn. I was still getting used to playing with a live band (AltoPalo) and the energy and vibes were crazy. The crowd got so hype when we did our last song it was wavy.
Who would you list as your biggest inspirations?
I'm really inspired by Sly & The Family Stone, Outkast, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Kanye West & Jimi Hendrix to name a few.
Where can people find your music?
Anything else you’d like say to our readers?
The Honeymoon Suite is just the beginning. Follow my lead.
Words: Duncan Harrison