Updated: Nov 23, 2022
For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! Uplifting, Insightful, Positive, Energetic
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
I love how playing music allows you to connect with the Universal vibration that we all share, and how that brings people together. I also love the process of song creation - how words marry to music, painting a picture and telling a story, and then the satisfaction that comes from being able to reach people and have them relate to the message that the song conveys.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you? I have always loved the recording of sound/music. It's like having a blank canvas upon which you can paint whatever your mind can conceive. It's especially fun when you have a group of people who share and add to your vision, who can allow the spirit to take over and take the music to unexpected and joyful places. Being able to capture those moments are truly magical and that collaboration can yield results greater than expected.
Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing? I am a nature lover, so being outdoors, whether I'm hiking, biking or gardening, that is my greatest passion outside of music.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why? I don't keep up with current artists that much, but just as a casual observer, I admire artists like Ziggy Marley, Beyonce and Jay -Z, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, and Billie Eilish, who are immensely talented, have a strong sense of themselves, are not given to self-destructive ways and project positivity. I think it's important to know that when the world's eyes are upon you, you have a responsibility to set an example for those who would follow you, and to hold yourself to a higher standard.
Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it? I'd have to say that there are two songs that tie for the top spot. The first is called "Here Beside You", which I wrote during my Mom's final days before she passed away in 2005. As I sat by her bed, I thought of all the things I wanted to say to her, to let her know how grateful I was for her love and guidance in my life, and for life itself. I wanted her to know that it was alright to let go, that she had done well and could be assured that she had lived a life she could be proud of, and that my brothers and I would strive to live up to her example and carry on her teachings.
The other one is called "Christmas (The Way It Used To Be), which again, was inspired by my Mom and the way she always made my memories of the holidays so happy, warm and loving. I had been trying to write that song for several years after she passed away, but it wasn't until I had moved into a new house and decided to put up a live Christmas for the first time in many years. I went to my storage unit where I kept the box of Chrismas decorations that had been in the family since I was a kid, and as soon as I opened it the memories came flooding back and all of a sudden the song just finished itself that same day. It was a miraculous experience, and to this day I still get that same feeling every time I listen to it.
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
My band and I just released a new album this past summer called, "A New Day". I am still writing songs, not necessarily for any specific project, but to capture the creative flow as it comes. I think deeply about a lot of things, and am always writing, regardless of whether it's for a song or not. A lot of times when a musical idea comes along, I'll go back through some things I had previously written to see if anything will fit the piece. A lot of times things will miraculously come together as if they were meant for each other, even if the words and music were conceived years apart - that is so cool when that happens. Next year I will continue performing shows with the band and on my own, which is a much needed outlet for my energy and creativity. I am also interested in doing some voice work, for narration or commercials.
Tell us where fans can access your music!
About Carlos Jones and The Peace Love Unity Syndicate, (aka The PLUS Band) Carlos Jones and The Peace Love Unity Syndicate focus on the roots Reggae sounds and uplifting positive messages of the pioneering bands of the 70s - 80s era, while also incorporating influences from Soul, Blues, Jazz, and Funk music. Carlos started out as a percussionst/sideman for one of Cleveland's first local Reggae groups, I-tal, in 1978 and then went on to become the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band, First Light, which went from 1884 through 1998, after which he formed his current group, The PLUS Band. Carlos Jones and his Peace Love Unity Syndicate, (aka The PLUS Band) focus mainly on the “Roots” style of Reggae music, with the kind of socially conscious and uplifting positive messages brought forward by the pioneering groups coming out of Jamaica in the 70s - 80s era, while also incorporating influences from the Soul, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, and Funk music he grew up listening to, living in the U.S.
Carlos started out as a percussionist/sideman for one of Cleveland's first local Reggae groups, I-tal, in 1978 and then went on to become the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band, First Light, which went from 1984 through 1998. He formed his current group, The PLUS Band, in 1994 and played in both bands until First Light ended. PLUS has carried on since that time. They have been voted “best of” in their category nearly every year in the Scene Magazine (Best of Cleveland) and Free Times Music Awards, including being voted Best Live Act, overall, in Cleveland in 2004. In 2007, the group was awarded permanent "All Star" status by The Free Times, and as recently as 2020 were again voted "Best Cleveland Band" in the Scene readers' poll. The band's soulful rhythms, positive energy and heartfelt messages have made them one of Cleveland's top draws for going on 30 years. They just released their latest full-length (10 song) recording, entitled "A New Day", which is available on all digital streaming platforms, and is also on CD, sold at their live shows and on their website, www.carlosjones.com. Carlos Jones’ official website is https://carlosjones.com/ and the record label's website is http://littlefishrecords.com/