Austin’s sensational “cover girl,” Tameca Jones, has blossomed into the city’s most profound soul singer. However, her path to becoming the next big breakout star from Texas consisted of a couple of left turns.
With an English degree and pre-law credentials behind her name, Jones was set to slay courtrooms as an entertainment attorney. However, a set of twins later, she found herself on a new career path; one that has touched countless souls across the Lone Star State. Now, risen from her bashful beginnings in 8 Million Stories, where she impressed with her bountiful, ever-giving vocals, Jones is finally ready to let the towel fall with her upcoming EP, Naked, exposing her first publicly available original music to the world.
Jones is prepared to take the next step in her journey. So, let’s not mess around and dive right into Naked with one of the EP’s most poignant tracks, ‘Head Over Heels’. A candy-cane vocal that breaks every assumption you might have; the soul foundation of ‘Head Over Heels’ is seasoned with a light scatter of pop and that very exclusive ‘Tameca Jones’ attitude. Her well-honed tone fits over the top of the occasional cymbal shatters, giving the song another, rockier layer and some real depth; a perfect analogy for the woman, herself. Her lyrics of unconditional love are exceptionally versatile and carried with intense passion through her soothingly refreshing voice making the song relatable to the mass of her fans; especially the mothers– definitely not an easy feat. But, I blame the English degree.
TMI was fortunate enough to get a sneak-peek into Naked and its charismatic creator. Here’s what Ms. Tameca Jones had to say.
TMI: I love the idea behind the title ‘Naked‘, why did you choose to feature less covers on the EP?
TJ: I made my name in Austin tricking out covers. I clothed myself in other people’s music. I wanted to show people that I could create original music too. I never got into music to become a cover artist. It took a lot of time for me to figure out how to write a song. But now that I’ve put in the work, I’m ready to take off the covers and expose my original art.
TMI: You write about sex a lot, do you find music to be a way to channel your feminity and womanhood?
TJ: I write about sex a lot because I’m deprived as a single mom. I don’t get as much action as I would. Straight up. However, I probably would write about sex even if I was getting laid 5 times a day. I often think of the microphone as a penis. Sometimes, I whisper to it breathlessly. Sometimes, I scream into it passionately. I try to perform with as much vulnerability and passion as possible because if I can’t feel it, the audience won’t either. If I can’t make my nipples hard with my product, then the audience will be left flaccid.
TMI: Tell me about your favorite song on the album?
TJ: My favorite song would be “Sandman” because it has that old school 6/8 vibe and a sepia kind of tone. The song reminds me of beige silk sheets blowing in the wind. I really get into character when I perform it.
TMI: I’ve heard ‘Head Over Heels’ is about your son; do you think being a mother has helped you adapt as an artist?
TJ: Being a mother helped me to become an artist because it pushed me to make a living doing something unconventional. I knew I could sing, was fairly attractive, and had great unconventional taste in music. So, I curated a set filled with delicious sonic pretzels of other people’s music to start my career while I worked on writing original tunes. Shout out to Kahron at the Austin Chronicle for coming up with the genius “sonic pretzel” phrase.
TMI: Do you sing around your children/is singing a part of their lives?
TJ: I sing around my twins all the time. They both loathe and love it. I’ve made so many quirky songs. I made a bath time song, a breakfast song, a song about my son’s distaste for my coffee breath, and I recently made a song about always buying HEB rotisserie chicken and forgetting about it in the fridge. The chicken song was one of my most compelling pieces of sonic art. I actually come up with brilliant melodies when I make random and quirky songs around my babies because I don’t give a fuck. I think the more fucks I give, the more I fuck up.
TMI: Was your plan always to make a living with your voice?
TJ: I majored in English with a minor in pre-law at Baylor University with the intention of becoming an entertainment attorney. I really like analyzing and manipulating words so I figured that would be a great profession for me until an unplanned pregnancy of twins de-railed my life plan slightly.
TMI: What sparked your interest in music and what really cemented it as what you wanted to do?
TJ: I’ve always been musical. I took dance from the age of 2 to 12. So, music was a part of me since I was a young child. I used to sing around the house and make up stupid songs about crushes I had on boys. I guess not much has changed. Anyway, motherhood cemented me pursuing music as a career. I needed to make money and figured I had the talent, style, and dedication to slay Austin.
TMI: How’d you find yourself in 8 Million Stories?
TJ: After losing a karaoke contest, someone told me I should try my hand at fronting a band. So, I answered an ad on Craigslist, auditioned, and won the part. I think they just wanted me to be a singer. It was a bonus that I could write melodies and lyrics also. I’m the whole package, baby.
Naked release date: Friday 9/23
Written by: Megan Matthews (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo Credit: Dan Winters