When my bosses approached me with the prospect of interviewing Steph Jones, I jumped on the opportunity because he seemed genuinely talented. The singer, turned model, turned singer had already created buzz with his sweet lyrics and velvet smooth vocals on songs such as “La La Means I Love You” and “Mr. Ordinary.” He also graced “Celebrity Chick” with DTP’ers Chingy, Small World and the man himself, Ludacris.
Steph, who is also known to his fans as the Mo City Alien and Mr. Ordinary, is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but his energy and charismatic personality are even more captivating. I was extremely nervous to talk to Steph at first, but before I even had time to get my first question out, he won me over and I laughed more times during this interview than any other.
This is why his fans are so enamored with him. They feel a connection. When one young lady sent Steph a letter telling him that her little brother sang “Mr. Ordinary” while on his death bed, Steph was so touched, he paid homage to the youngster via YouTube. That was after he wrote her back thanking her.
When Steph talks about his fans, his great sense of humility is even more palatable. He is truly grateful to them for their support, having acquired many of them before he even got a record deal.
Singersroom: So I was tooling around your Myspace and I noticed that you used to model. I’m not really surprised the way you look. Knowing that this question has been asked a bunch of times already, why did you transition from a model to a singer?
Steph Jones: The crazy thing is the singing was the first thing and modeling just happened to take off. I had this like billion dollar plan. I was like, “You know what? I’m just gonna model for a few months and then I’ll just get a couple people to see my face, get my face into their subconscious, and then I’ll really start focusing on my music.” Next thing you know, I’m traveling across the world doing all kinds of campaigns and commercials. I was like, “You know what? This is way too easy. This is fun!” I wasn’t following my dream, which was my music. [I] just kept doing the modeling, doing all kinds of music videos and L’Oreal commercials; Old Navy, Gap, and Tommy Hilfiger ads. I was doing everything. Every time I would tell people I’m a singer, nobody would take me serious because I really didn’t have any music. I know in the back of their minds they were like, “Man, shut up and take these pictures!”
Steph Jones: [Laugh] So it wasn’t until recently, as of like two and a half years ago, when I had my unfortunate, fortunate incident in France where I spent twenty-five months in a French prison, I really just calmed my brain down and was like “You know what? Music is what I’m really put on this earth to do.” So the second day after I got out, I recorded my first song ever and now we are here.
Singersroom: There you go! That’s what’s up!
Steph Jones: Now people actually take me [seriously]. [Laugh] Now people [are] like “you know what? You should model!” I’m like “Brother you don’t know the half!”
Singersroom: [Laugh] Been there done that! [Laugh] Would you ever go back to modeling or are you still modeling now?
Steph Jones: I haven’t stopped modeling. Now, if I do modeling, it have to be something that makes sense to my career.
Singersroom: So I’m a photographer and I ask you to come to a shoot. If I ask you to model for me wearing nothing but a loincloth or like a leaf, would you do it?
Steph Jones: [Laugh] [They’re going to] have to come with some serious dough for me to do something like that! It would have to be very tastefully done. I can’t just go out there and just put myself out there.
Singersroom: When I start my modeling agency, I’ll holler. I’ll just get rid of the loincloth idea…
Steph Jones: I would not see the last of it. You know the crazy thing? I have the personality … I don’t really care! A lot of people would get it ’cause they would be like, “Only Steph Jones could get away with that.” Just like last year [for] Halloween I wore a baby outfit to Melyssa Ford’s Halloween B-Day party and it was on every celebrity blog . . . period. I wore a baby outfit. I had a 15 lb. sucker in my hand. I had some baby blue baby Jordans, a two foot long safety pin and a bonnet.
Singersroom: You know girls want any excuse to see you walking around in various states of undress.
Steph Jones: I thought I saw a couple of blogs with a bunch of people that was like, “Why would he wear a baby outfit? Oh my goodness!” Umm… reality check. ‘Cause it’s Halloween. I can wear whatever I want.
Singersroom: Man you know whatâ¦Halloween this year I’m trying to go as Misty Knight from the comic book series, ’cause I got the Afro going’. I’m trying to get right, I just gotta get my bionic arm done, and then I’ll be good to go! [Laugh]
Steph Jones: You know I sell a couple of them arms. You know I got like five arms from the back, but I don’t have them in your shade of color . . . I got the tan brown, I got the dark brown. I don’t know. See, You the caramel pecan color. I don’t [have any] pecan bionic arms. You gon’ have to work with me.
Singersroom: I got word that you are no longer with DTP. What’s the deal with that?
Steph Jones: Well first and foremost, I would like to clear the record for anybody that said “I got dropped.” I never got dropped. I requested a release from DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace) and Luda and Chaka granted it to me.
When I say I’m not on DTP, I’m no longer on the label but those guys are like my family. Luda, Chaka, Uncle Jeff, you know, Ock, and. I just felt that the Mr. Ordinary Project would be better at a different home with somebody who understood–like fully understood–my quirkiness. I can’t say ’cause I can’t go in the mind of another human being, but I just felt in my heart and soul that they understood the potential but they didn’t fully get me. I requested a release [and] that was pretty much it. I didn’t leave on bad terms. I still talk to Chaka. Everybody from DTP emailed me for my birthday and told me happy birthday and wished me the best of luck.
Singersroom: I know that everyone asks what your musical influences are, but I just want to get into the fact that you mentioned Frank Sinatra. I am a STAN for Frank Sinatra. What’s your favorite Sinatra song?
Steph Jones: “Taboo.” I’m [going to] tell you, the first time I ever heard that song was on Roger Rabbit back in the day. See my mother is a jazz DJ. As soon as I saw that movie, I was like “Who is that?” I don’t know it’s just his voice. I was like [Steph breaks into song]. Every time I hear that song, it sits so well on my soul and it reminds me of being back home in Texas and eating my mom’s food.
Singersroom: I love all of his songs. My favorites are his renditions of “Send in the Clowns,” that makes me cry darned near every time. “I’ve got you under my skin,” “Fly me to the moonâ¦”
Steph Jones: [Sings a snippet of “I’ve got you under my skin.”]
Singersroom: Don’t start now! [laughing] Doggone it! Actually You know what? If I broke out in “Night and Day” would you find that weird?
Steph Jones: No! Did you forget who you’re talking to?
Steph Jones: One of my aliases is the Mo City Alien. They don’t call me the alien for nothin’. I don’t set out to be weird. This–of course–is my ordinary. I don’t try to be something that I’m not. So for you to be like “would that be weird?” I was like “Sister do you know who you’re talking to!”
Singersroom: I read an interview that you wrote a lot of your songs for your girlfriend. Do you still have a girlfriend or are you still single?
Steph Jones: I’m happily, happily married to music. We make love all night–
Steph Jones: All day long from sun up to sun down. Me and music be making sweet melody love.
Singersroom: What are some of the things you look for in a girl if you weren’t married to music?
Steph Jones: She has an independence about her but definitely has her sweet girl side. I don’t really have a preference as far as color…because I’ve dated tall girls, I’ve dated short girls, skinny girls. I’ve dated thick girls . . . Honestly every woman has their own sense of [beauty] and sexiness. It may not be for me but definitely for the next man that comes along. It might be the way the girl has an attitude or might be the way she scratch her head ’cause she just got her braids done or it might be the way she smack her gum, even though I can’t stand when people smack gum but that might just catch me one day. My preference is you just have to sit so well in my soul.
Singersroom: What’s the wackest thing a girl has done to get your attention or you to like her?
Steph Jones: The wackest thing to get my attention is walk by me and pull out a cigarette and start smoking. And that happens a lot! That’s not sexy.
Singersroom: So, what’s next on the horizon for you? What are you currently working on?
Steph Jones: Right now I’m about to close the deal with Cobalt. That’s a publishing deal and they are the number one independent publishing company in the world. For those of y’all that don’t know, a publishing deal is I own 90% of my publishing. I want all of my publishing. We’re on the final legs of the deal and that’s going down within a week and that’s big. I’ve just been working in the studio and I’ve been cranking out a couple of cool songs lately. I just want to write and I want to share my thoughts and melodies with other people becauseâ¦Music, we need help!
Singersroom: At Singersroom.com our motto is “I Love R&B.” Why do you love R&B?
Steph Jones: I just love music. I can’t really single it out. I love music. I grew up listening to Donnie Hathaway, Harry Belafonte, Harry Connick Jr., Stevie Wonder, The Gap Band, Kenny G, so many different arrays of music–different genres, it’s instilled into my soul. Music is a way of life, so I can’t really single out R&B. I just love music. Without music, I’d probably be walking around like a zombie right now.
Singersroom: Thank you!
Steph Jones: I can’t do this without y’all. I cannot forget about my Frands. For those of you all that think I’m misspelling the word friends, no, I am not. Frands is a combination of fans and friends. I can’t call you fans because I’m too close to y’all but I can’t call you friends ’cause you ain’t never had my momma’s cornbread casserole. I want to give a special shout out to my frands. You all have held me down from day one. I love each and every last one of you all.
Special shout outs to Steph for giving me my most memorable interview. Please be sure to check Steph out at Myspace.com/StephJones2. You can also see Steph in action on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/mocityalien. —— By: Interview By Seattle Slim