Should you ever call… I’ll be in my bedroom! – Cory Jones
Don’t believe people who say you can’t make professional music in your bedroom
According to a recent study carried out by MIDiA; 2019 was the year that set a precedent for independent artists (or artists not signed to a label), with revenues generated from this slice of the market increasing from around $600m in 2018 to an estimated $873m at the end of 2019. It might be surprising to note that independent artists represent the fastest growing segment within the industry, and whilst the pandemic has put the brakes on almost all things in our daily routines, it’s not all bad news. Despite the necessary cancellation of all live performances and recording studios having to close their doors during lockdown; independent artists have, for the most part, taken advantage of the situation in three main areas; writing, recording and promotion.
Throughout lockdown many artists turned their attention to writing and recording new material from home. Consumer DAW’s aren’t new, but they are now more affordable than ever, and in some instances entirely free. The technological advancement in audio recording software, in addition to affordability and the necessity to learn how to use them has given independent artists all the tools they need to get their ideas down to a very high-quality standard, without having to pay for studio time. So throughout the pandemic, the fact no studios were available didn’t mean everything had to stop. The opposite is true.
And having spent all that time creating, these independent artists have taken advantage of social platforms as means of promotion, to maintain momentum and broaden their reach; developing their social profiles, interacting with new and existing followers through live streams and vlogging from their homes. Something we saw a lot of, even from the mainstream artists and bands, in the first few months of lockdown. Which is exactly how I stumbled into our latest Special Feature Artist, Cory Jones.
It’s more of a bizarre coincidence than textbook example of a successful DIY marketing campaign, and whilst I’d like to use it as an example to back up the statements I’m making, it’s not entirely the case. I’d been trying to find one of my bandmates on Facebook having recently set up my own profile. I enter his name in the search bar, and sure enough… ‘Cory Jones’ pops up. But the profile didn’t look like ‘my‘ Cory, and scrolling that page confirmed I’d landed in Newcastle, Australia rather than the Pacific Northwest, USA. But the interesting thing about this happy accident was that I’d landed (virtually) in the bedroom of another incredibly captivating musician. This Cory had posted a video just two weeks prior on his feed, casually strumming “Shimmer” by Fuel on a white Fender Stratocaster and singing along with a most incredible tone to his voice. I was quite simply fascinated by this discovery.
So, whilst this was an accident, it was by design. Today’s modern artists have all they need in terms of technology to create, promote themselves effectively, and be discovered – and Cory is taking full advantage of all that, proving that to reach new audiences, you don’t necessarily need heaps of money and a suited PR executive, though it would obviously help!
I’d done a little sleuthing, such was my excitement, and discovered Cory had spent the last three years as vocalist in a very successful alternative pop band, Sunday Avenue,; 7,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and a number of live performances to their name, along with some really well produced music videos on YouTube. I’d consumed all of it, along with Cory’s own postings in various places online. Sunday Avenue, sadly decided to go on indefinite hiatus in October last year, and it seemed Cory was continuing solo from the bedroom-based music videos he’d been putting up, ploughing his experience and learning into his own projects. So I decided to reach out, share the weird coincidence I’d experienced with him, and asked if he’d be interested in featuring in IAMUR. Here’s what he had to say….
Where does your passion for music come from Cory?
I’ve been absolutely obsessed with music ever since I got my first guitar at ten. I pretty much geeked out on my laptop every day for hours during high school, trying to record weird songs to show my friends. I’ve always believed that great songs can be made in your bedroom, as long as you have the patience, and it’s easier than ever with today’s technology.
Guitar Hero was my introduction to the musical world, just playing the game at friends’ houses! But my influences of rock were followed closely by 80’s synth wave, video game music and a lot of film scores. This is what turned me onto bands like ‘The 1975’ who I would consider to be my biggest influence at the moment.
What is it that motivates you to create?
My motivation to create comes from a genuine curiosity. I think there’s so many styles and sounds that I’m yet to have a crack at, and I have so much fun experimenting so that’s what always brings me back. No matter how busy my life is I always find myself recording demos when I should be studying.
Aside from your talent for guitar, what other instruments do you play?
Well, I’ve played guitar for ages now, and studied singing for a few years, but recently I’ve been getting really interested in becoming better at actual music production, if you count that as an instrument. All the little sounds in a song that aren’t made by a human, I love that stuff!
There’s a lot of diversity in your work, how would you describe the kind of music that you create and the processes you adopt when writing these tracks?
Lyrically I’d say it’s very ‘to-the-point’ and honest. I’m not really worried about coming across as too vulnerable or too cocky, because I’m just writing stuff that I’m feeling at the time, usually stuff I probably wouldn’t actually say in a real conversation. But that’s why it’s fun, it’s an outlet. Musically, you can’t really know what to expect with each song because they always turn out different, I need to switch it up time to time so things never feel stale. I just do what interests me at the time.
Interestingly, my creative process involves shocking my system in order to find something new. I can’t create the same way twice, I’ve always got to have some new experiences, read something, go somewhere, meet someone, expand myself somehow so that I have new, clean inspiration to process and produce from.
We spoke about your brand new single whice was released today (depending on what side of the planet you’re on) and can be heard below – can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, ‘Should You Ever Call’ is out today and might be the most fun I’ve ever had creating a song. I’m releasing a music video along with it which I shot and edited all by myself at home, heavily inspired by Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’. I’m quite a busy person sometimes; I study, I work, I create music, and once you throw all of life’s obligations in the mix it can be hard for me to spend the right amount of quality time with my partner. Time where I’m not tired or stressed. So, I wrote this song for her, while I’m learning to get better at time management and self-discipline, so I can give her the same amount of attention and care that I give to the other aspects of my life.
Huge thanks to Cory for sharing his insights with us, and we hope that he spends a lot more time in his bedroom going forward! Best wishes from the IAMUR Team for future endeavours and be sure to subscribe on Spotify and Youtube, for the forthcoming video to the new single, and on other social platforms via the links below.