Country-pop singer/songwriter Caroline Jones, has just released a new single, “The Difference“. In 2017, Jones released her album, Bare Feet, and in 2018, she toured with Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band; now, in 2019, she will hit the road again, this time with Kenny Chesney.
Jones has been featured on the TODAY Show, the Wall Street Journal, Taste of Country, and performed at the Country2Country Festival in London. In light of her new single and upcoming tour, I sat down with Caroline Jones to get the inside scoop on all her ongoing projects.
Ariel Zedric: Could you talk a little about the inspiration behind your latest single, “The Difference”? How is it similar and different from other songs on, Bare Feet?
Caroline Jones: “The Difference” is a song about lasting love and real trust, about morals and values brought into the context of modern romance. It is a fun, sassy, sexy song and I wanted those emotions to come across in the video. It well represents the sound and production style of my album, “Bare Feet”, which fuses the pop-country and electronic-organic worlds.
Do you have a favourite track on Bare Feet? Or is that like asking you to choose a favourite child?
“Country Girl” is a song very close to my heart, as it’s an autobiographical song about my upbringing and my family. Every word of that song is true to my life. In terms of production, I’m very proud of “YOUR HEART IS MINE.” and “The Difference (Goshdamn)”.
Are there parts of your childhood or upbringing that you pull from for inspiration? How so?
My Dad loves hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors, so I grew up spending a lot of time in nature. I believe that this connection with the natural world sparked my imagination and informed my creativity. I use a lot of natural metaphors in my lyrics, especially “Bare Feet”, “Country Girl”, “Worth the Wait” and “YOUR HEART IS MINE.”
Very, very excited. There is nothing in this world I love more than touring and playing shows onstage. It is the reason I was born! I am especially looking forward to watching Kenny and his band and crew — how they operate, how they conduct themselves. Kenny’s fan base, No Shoes Nation, is super dedicated and passionate. They feel a personal connection with Kenny and what he stands for. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to experience that first-hand. This will be my third year touring with Zac Brown Band, which is a total dream come true. I couldn’t love, respect or appreciate those musicians and their crew and fans (Zamily!) more. It’s an honour to share their stage, and I never take it for granted.
Talk a little about your The Heart is Smart Tour. What inspired it? Do you have plans to continue or expand the program?
The Heart is Smart is a nationwide school tour and workshop series that I developed to inspire and connect with high school and college students through music. From 2012-2016, I had the honour of touring hundreds of schools and performing for hundreds of thousands of students of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds and demographics. I am extremely passionate about music education, but even more so about educating young people about the validity and meaning of their emotions and their inherent creativity. I want to live in a world where children are encouraged to follow their emotional guidance and their natural creative inclinations, and I will continue to do my part as an artist to connect with students on that level. I just signed on to be an ambassador for the Grammy Education Coalition, and we have been inviting students to watch my soundcheck and meet before my shows. I’m really excited about that initiative.
You’re also the host of Art & Soul on Sirius XM’s Coffee House channel. What is it like getting to speak with artists from all over the world?
I have always loved hearing the stories behind the songs from my favourite artists, a la “VH1 Storytellers”. That kind of peek behind the curtain is what drew me to artists like Jewel, who is a storyteller and philosopher as much as a singer/songwriter. So having a forum to have those conversations about songwriting and inspiration on Sirius XM’s Coffee House has been a joy. We’ve had some incredible artists on the show — James Bay, Regina Spektor, Devin Dawson, Steve Cropper, Butch Walker, Us the Duo…the list goes on.
What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to do or obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the music industry?
The constant second-guessing of your natural creative inclinations for a business gain is the biggest Achilles heel for any artist. But sticking to your guns and building a career and a fan base knowing that your integrity and authenticity are intact is also the greatest reward and fulfilment possible. So the greatest challenge becomes the greatest achievement. I’ve observed it in so, so many of my heroes.
What moment in your career so far has left you the most satisfied or proud?
Earning the respect and support of heroes like Jimmy Buffett, Vince Gill, Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney, and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. That those superstars would take me under their wing and trust me enough to share my heart and soul in front of their fans means the world to me and I will never forget their kindness and encouragement as long as I live. I owe the career that I have thus far to them.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My biggest inspirations are people in all fields who follow their dreams in the face of fear and adversity and achieve great things because of their courage. People like Tom Brady, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Willie Nelson, Alex Honnold.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists in the field? How has your success story panned out?
My advice is: spend all your time and energy on your craft, your talent, and your “product”. Decide what your product is — is it music? Is it singing? Dancing? Songwriting? Or is it your image? Or your social life? None of these aspects are “good” or “bad”, I just recommend being clear with yourself and not allowing any outside influences to distract you from your dream. For me, my product is music, and the joy and authenticity that it brings to me and hopefully others. When you have your vision for yourself very clear, it makes your path and your decisions much easier. You’re like a tree with a strong trunk that can withstand any storm.
Anything you’d like to add?
I have some new music coming later this month, so stay tuned!
Courtesy of Caroline Jones