It's said that music - in essence, is cited as the universal language of love. Transcribing soulful expression that we would otherwise render intangible, it's an open genre genuinely inspired by the heart and carried through by passion. Musician and R&B vocalist Candace Jones is one of the rare newcomers in today's marketplace that's naturally able to communicate with this language and speak directly with what's layered beneath the physical.
Born to accomplished jazz musicians, Candace immediately became immersed within the rhythm and as early as four, was encouraged to participate in many of her parents live outings. As a fledging vocalist, she was raised on a unique diet of influence from the likes of John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn and Stevie Wonder among others. Her voice - sassy, yet refined - rests as an overlying factor to a songstress with a healthy sum of musical heritage and poise. Classified best as a bluesy color smeared between Mariah Carey and Ella Fitzgerald, (Jones' primary source of inspiration) the singer managed to sort a fresh brand of R&B flair mixed with a classic jazzy street swag.
During her early years, Candace relocated from her birth city of New York, to Northern California's Bay Area and through her family's strong backing - continued to pursue her dreams. The first song she recorded to memory was "Fascinating Rhythm" by Ella Fitzgerald and from there; she quickly managed to learn each of Ella's classics. "My earliest influences were in my own home," She remembers. "I grew up in a culture and environment of music so there was no choice but to absorb the atmosphere and sing along. It then becomes more than an influence - the music is in you, and it moves and grows accordingly." Her amount of grassroots exposure quickly delivered her to sweeping local talent competitions and by the tender age of 11, secured a seat with the highly heralded, Young Musicians program in the University of California.
By the time she turned 18, after garnering a slew of accolades and prestige from organizations such as the NAACP® and the San Francisco Grammy® Choir, Candace was more than prepared to carry her craft to the next level. She became the lead singer and composer for the R&B trio Chosen and was able to share the stage with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Chante Moore, Frankie Beverly & Maze among many others.
Although the group disbanded shortly thereafter, Candace was able to utilize her contemporary insight from Chosen. "I wouldn't trade the 'Chosen' experience for anything," the singer explained. "I learned so much about the business of music and I really got to spread my wings as a writer and performer." Returning to New York in 2004, Candace became a weekly headliner at the world-renowned Cotton Club in Harlem before landing lead role in the hit musical Dream Girls. To add to her extensive resume, she was also cast in a brief stint of Ain't Misbehavin, followed by an exclusive European run of Hair all to return to her initial passion.
Candace, now 23 still performs regularly with her parents in the Jessica Jones Quartet to maintain her strong Jazz roots but her main focus is to lace the finishing touches to her forthcoming R&B album, most of which she's written and co-produced. Her debut titled The End due later this year is shaping to be a timeless collection of true rhythm & blues outlined with a definitive layer of mainstream appeal that according to Candace will not in any way jeopardize her core integrity. "I'm not compelled by the industry, but I'm moved by good music. We've been making music in my house since I was born and will continue to do so with or without the 'industry's' approval." Stay tuned for the next inventive step in black music.