5 Questions w/ Rose Gold Jones

Story by Ezra Wheeler; Photos c/o Winston “SnapGod” Taylor

Last month, Memphis musician Rose Gold Jones released his newest album Beautiful Things Don’t Ask For Attention, which eludes traditional narratives of rap glamour to explore the complexities of self, strife, romance, and resilience. We caught up with the artist to discuss the album, his background, and much more.

1. First thing first, just give us a quick overview of your background and how you first got involved with music.

Music is my life! I’ve been performing since I was a child (3-4 years old). I was doing solo performances in church by 6 years old, so being on a stage and in front of people comes pretty naturally to me. That experience helped me make a name around Memphis for being a dynamic performer as I made the rounds doing a lot of underground shows. Early on, my music didn’t really connect with people as much as my energy and passion seemed to, but I was fortunate to have support. I grew into a better artist with the help and influence of many greats from the city, who saw some potential in me. Shout out to The Traphouse, Section 9 and Young Ave… these studios were fundamental to my artistic development.

I also spent some time in Los Angeles, working and learning on more of the industry side. That time was valuable because it showed me how things worked behind the scenes and at the top level. Coming back to Memphis, I wanted to bring something new to the current scene, so I spent the last 3 years making songs and figuring out who I am as an artist. The album title came to me around that time, which gave me the inspiration and direction I needed to build on musically.

Authenticity is important to me and I know how powerful great music can be, so I’m not going to put out bullsh*t. I never minded taking my time. I knew I wanted to release my album and grow it from the ground up right here in Memphis, though. I’ve kinda had a ‘most known unknown’ vibe (shout out to Three 6 Mafia) when it comes to my reputation around here, but I believe that will change soon!

2. You’ve been a frequent collaborator with several notable artists recently, including Jozzy and Crunchy Black. Tell us a bit about what you enjoy about working with other artists and the benefits of collaboration.

I love working with people because you never know what to expect. Other than performing in front of a crowd, I’d say the most fun you get to have as an artist is collaborating. For this album, I took more of an in-house approach with who I worked with, but outside of my own stuff, I’ve beencontacted to write and produce for some mainstream and local artists. It wasn’t something I was initially interested in, but opening up to new methods of creating has helped my own work exponentially, so I’m very grateful for those opportunities.

3. You recently released your new album Beautiful Things Don’t Ask for Attention, which we’ve been loving. Before we get deeper into the music, tell us a bit about what you wanted to accomplish with this one and who you worked with on it.

To elaborate from the last question, I got to work with some of my favorite people in the world on this album. Chris3000, Hotrod, and Peyton Hails, all from Memphis, set the tone(s) with their crazy production. The legendary Isaac Daniel (now at Stax) engineered and helped me develop my sound along with Kyle Javello, who also engineered, took on the role of executive producer, and was very influential to the overall sound. The only featured artist are CJ Tate and Janiece Myers on the song “Caught Up”. They killed it!

As far as what I was looking to accomplish, it was important to me to express a complete thought and a full album allowed me to go in depth, creatively. It’s psychological exploration. There’s a story element, lots of easter eggs, and call backs, but it’s all truth from the mind and universe of Rose Gold Jones.

For as much as this album is about the music, though, it’s just as much about setting the standard and foundation for what I represent as an artist. This is the official first release from my company, Product Of Karma Music. I want to set the bar high for what’s to be expected from Rose Gold Jones and Product Of Karma Music.

4. Beautiful Things is probably easiest to categorize as a hip-hop album, but you do a ton of singing as well throughout. Blending genres is obviously nothing new, but tell us about your personal approach and philosophy.

My approach was to be pure with myself and the music. Sometimes you don’t know how that’s going to come out. I don’t really have any musical influences, as far as artist or style, though I am a fan of everything. I would just consider myself a progressive minded person and I think there’s a sweet spot you can find in pushing boundaries and making something people can feel and relate to. I’m not quite there yet, but that is where I strive to be as an artist. It’s all about the feeling!

5. I know you’re still fresh off of the release, but do you have anything else we should keep our eyes peeled for in terms of videos, live performances, etc.?

Definitely! All of the above, and even more new music. Something I didn’t mention earlier, but I do all my own visuals, graphics, and merch, so I’m creating everyday. I’m going to spend the next couple of months going hard with Beautiful Things Don’t Ask For Attention. There’s a lot of layers to this project and I’m excited to tell the story. Along with that, continuing to grow the brand and make Product Of Karma a force for pushing new art and more creative ideas. Be on the look out for some official news with that this Fall, but for now, the summer is all about Beautiful Things!

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