In 2016, you were probably walking around your college campus, in your car, in the club or at work singing “She said ‘Hola, ¿Cómo estás? She said Konnichiwa” from the chorus of Kent Jones’ popular debut single “Don’t Mind.” The record was so big you couldn’t help but hear it everywhere, causing it to reach #8 on US Billboard Hot 100.
Signed to Epic Records and We The Best Music Group, the Florida native has released three mixtapes and singles over the years and has returned full speed with the hot track “I Wana.” His return is accompanied by Yo Gotti signee Blac Youngsta and the ever so raunchy Renni Rucci to spice things up even more. With summer approaching and outside beginning to open (granted COVID is still running rampant) “I Wana” couldn’t have come at a better time.
I had the pleasure of talking to Jones via phone call to talk about the new single, working with DJ Khaled, and his future endeavors. One thing is for certain, Jones hasn’t gone anywhere and is continuously furthering his craft.
Ci: Your new song “I Wana” is the perfect club track for the summer. I actually played it quite a few times today on repeat. How did the collab with Renni and Black Youngsta come about? What inspired it?
Jones: Well see me and Youngsta had already been working on records together. So we have another record that we did before this one that’s not out yet. But this was a record that my brother Trinidad James brought to me, shoutout to Trinidad of course, and I just basically you know made it my own. Um, Blac Youngsta he was in Africa and he got off the plane and was like “Yo I got the record,” and I wanna say within the next 45 mins to an hour I got the vocals back. Yeah so my manager gave me the idea of putting the female perspective on it, giving the record a certain life and I agree. So we did a trial run with a few friends and shout out to them, but Renni came with the perfect delivery for this job. This record is the beginning of a few tricks I have up my sleeve.
Ci: Ha that’s definitely a good start, looking forward to what else you have in store. Due to COVID and everything going on, were you all able to record together or did it ultimately interrupt the process or make it harder?
Jones: Well you know, COVID did definitely slow down a lot of things industry-wise. A lot of plays that could be made if outside was open we would’ve been doing that but it’s all good. I feel like it also gives me an advantage because people are at home, at work, and they lean on devices; the internet is outside right now.
Right, we’re consuming a lot right now.
Right, and it forces people to pay attention to political matters and things most people would flip the switch on in the span of a day.
Ci: Do you see it interfering with your process of releasing new music? I know Florida opened a bit before other states.
Jones: Not many major changes, we’re still able to run records with Epic and the whole team. Shit, I don’t like to be around a bunch of motherf*ckers no way so this quarantine shit is perfect.
Ci: Facts. So considering the climate right now, do you feel you have faced certain challenges or hurdles in the industry based off of simply being a Black man?
Jones: So for me, I can’t lie no. But I understand those injustices if you take away the industry, the world…Yes, I understand. And my stance remains what it is: Until our people stop leading the others that are blind and we collectively focus, we can accomplish unity and other powers. The power to vote primaries and other things we have access to. We don’t even know what we have access to. But I’m not trying to preach in here.
Ci: You’re signed to DJ Khaled’s We The Best Music Group and I’m sure that alone creates opportunities to work with various artists, what has that experience been like?
Jones: Khaled is family, we come from the same family tree, that’s blood. That’s my brother, we’ve done a lot of legendary shit together and made a lot of money together and we’re still going. I am excited.
Tell me about your creative relationship..
Well see for me, Khaled usually gets records from me when they’re finished already. I pretty much have creative control. Like if you heard the music that no one has heard, you would melt. Because I’ve worked on like three different projects and a lot of those (songs) he hasn’t heard because when I bring music to that team, I want to up it directly to Epic. As a team, they are all cool and now I have my new manager Shae from N.E.R.D. They all have my best interests and support me.
Ci: That’s awesome. “So Don’t Mind” was so huge, it was played everywhere and created a huge following for you. What have you been up to since then?
Jones: Well, Kent Jones has put out a record every year since “Don’t Mind”.
And you have your mixtapes.
Yeah, I have those and records each year. On one of the mixtapes called Too Much Too Soon, it’s this crazy album style project with like 20 records on it. One of the songs on there became a single, I think that was in 2017 and I put out “Meringue” and “I Like It” last year. Now, last year I took off nine months from music to write books. I started writing a series last year and I am writing the 14th book of the series now. And I am going to publish them in backward order. I’m ready. I’m ready for the world, the world ain’t ready for me though.
Ha yeah I see. What genre is the book series?
Imagine like a Black Marvel/Star Wars. The books are a huge part of where my creative brain is right now. I’m on the 14th book now.
Your target audience for these? Is it for everybody?
It’s pretty much for everyone. I can see the younger crowd liking it a lot. But it is adult. It’s a lot of gore, a lot of blood, a lot of violence. It has people with powers, a little sex. It’s not crazy or anything, it’s violent and mystical. A crazy storyline that goes three to four generations long.
Ci: To conclude everything, you just released this hot new single. What do fans have to look forward to in the months to come?
Jones: I have actually three projects but this main project is actually called Get Out Ya Mama House and we have some crazy records on here. I think the next single that I’m gonna put out is featuring Rick Ross and its a real bop, a solid bop. We have some things in the vault. Be on the lookout for Kent Jones and Chris Brown too.
Check out Kent Jones new single “I Wana” featuring Blac Youngsta & Renni Rucci here: