The Power of Music
Music is in my DNA, encoding the structure of my development, growth and has even at times, contributed to my functioning as a human being. I’ve always believed that music is the one vital component that we have to connect with one another. On levels that know no judgment, have no rules and can create a spiritual unity that is as close to religion as you can get without having to choose a denomination. We live in a vast world full of so much beauty and opportunities. But we all know how easy it is to get caught up in the negative space that dwells within the myriad of our nature. This is when so many of us turn to music.
When we need guidance or inspiration through the words and stories of those who have been where we have or where we long to go. Or if we simply just need to dance. Stumbling upon a lot of my music collection by accident, through the help of one of my favorite Youtube channels SoulPancake, finding Simonne Jones was no different.
SoulPancake is the brainchild of actor Rainn Wilson and his 2 friends, Joshua Hamnick & Devon Gundry. Its purpose is to open & challenge your mind to “big think” through topics like spirituality, art and philosophy. It also aims to inspire you and simply make you happy with a HUGE variety of video “shows” including my favorites Kid President, The Science of Love and My Last Days. Now continue on to my video encounter…
With dark hair flowing from under a large-brimmed black hat, a simple black dress, detailed only with studs embellishing her shoulders. She held onto her guitar with a calm confidence that drew me in before she even started singing. Outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), she stares into the camera as she begins an empowering song about desiring nothing but a physical connection. Starting with a simple acoustic guitar riff, she takes her time as she wanders through a light installation toward Wilshire Boulevard. Breezing through honey sweet vocals and candid lyrics, she moves to a beat created by hitting the guitar against her palm. She makes multi-tasking look quite easy, which I can assure you, is not. (See the video here…)
Arts & Smarts
Resembling an offspring that Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet forgot they had, Jones spent her teen years modeling. Then she took her life in a completely different direction. With an intense love for science and medicine, she studied biochemistry, devoting her studies to the HIV field. She graduated with honors in Biomedical Research AND Visual Arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After co-authoring a research paper on detecting different structures within HIV, she was published in Science magazine. As a humanitarian, she traveled to Ghana, where she researched an adolescent HIV/AIDS program she created to raise awareness about the disease. Her passions not only resided in the science world but flowed over to the art side, where she expressed herself through painting and visual arts before succumbing to the one passion that drove harder than the rest.
Learning to play piano by ear, how to read music and play guitar, Jones decided to focus on her music career. She relocated from Los Angeles to Berlin. Much like one of her heroes, Leonardo Da Vinci, Simonne believes art and science are very closely related: both problem solving and experimenting in common. She creates an entirely different electro-acoustic sound by combining her passions into one outlet. She constructs her own atmosphere and mood, creating a unqiue form of expression. To add a new element to her art, she began building her own guitars and mini drum trigger pads. Connected to her laptop and allowing her to trigger any sound she wants, this is how Jones builds her own songs live. By tapping the pad coordinated with her laptop, she records each sound, programs and transforms it into music right before your eyes!
Staying in full command over her art form, she also takes on the role as producer of her music. Her songwriting approach is simplistic yet strong. She focuses on themes of youth, freedom, love and an overall wonder. She also brings a unique, raw sexuality that’s not over-the-top in your face but subtlety shown between whimsical melodies and a dash of rock and roll. Jones really is the whole package: intelligent, unusually relate-able, mysterious, stunning and yes, even a little bit weird. But really, who isn’t?
Her outlook on life is more than refreshing. Accomplishing more in her 31 years on Earth than most do in a lifetime, Jones emphasizes that questions are more important than answers and that we, as human beings, have the potential to surpass even our own dreams. Plus, she believes music can change the world.