Interview by MissCallMe Cris. Edited for clarity.
The distinguished gentleman, Cleveland P. Jones, delivers a triumphant new single “Be Right There” and we sit with him to talk about the inspiration behind it, and how he developed the purity, honesty, and power that transcends throughout it.
When listening to your music, I hear something pure, powerful, and with a significant range. You certainly have a gift to make people feel what you are relaying. Where does that come from?
That’s such a good question! I’d definitely say that it was something that was simply given. A higher power has definitely gifted me with something. At first, it was hard to accept because I was always told “You sound so unique!”, and the word unique did not translate to me as positive. Eventually, I just thought to myself that I have to do me and not care what other people think. I’m also an empathetic type of person. I feel things, I see things, and when it comes out, it just happens to come out the way it does. What you are getting is honest and pure, and it comes from me thinking this could be my very last day. So, if you’re going to record, sing live, or whatever, give it your best every single time.
You definitely hear all of that in your new single “Be Right There”. Can you paint the picture of how it came about?
Well, back in 2016, I was introduced to PRO from CREATE.Digital. Back then, PRO wanted to know if I had released a song called “Mistakes”, and at the time, I already did. So, he was like “I wish I had gotten that song. But, we’ll do something together eventually.” Here we are 4 years later. He hit me up and said, “Hey, I hope we can team up and do something together.” I said, yea, I’d be open to it. What do you want to do? He said, “I want you to write something inspirational. We are going through a lot right now and we need something uplifting.” Within that period of time, my sister had a stroke. My sister and I are unbreakable and she became the main reason behind the song. Her situation helped me push to write and the thing that I always wanted her to know was, I am never going to leave her. I’m always going to be there. Even though we live in two different places, she knows by spirit, presents, by phone calls, and driving back and forth from state to state to check on her, that I will always be right there for her.
What was the creative process like working with PRO in A&R/Executive Producer mode?
He was totally open to my creative control in whatever I was doing. He also lends a helping hand. Like, this could be a good idea…or that could be, and I’m just like...“Thank you!” Because it can get complicated in my brain. I’m an over-analytical type of guy, and he just gave me nuggets to move forward, and that’s what made it easy.
Although “Be Right There” came from a personal place, I think many others will be able to relate. What do you hope others gain from the powerful lyrics and emotion of the production?
I hope people who normally would not shake or hold hands, get over themselves. I’m talking racism, sexism, classism, and that we understand the cliché “You cut me, I cut you, we all bleed.” It’s the truth! We are all the same and we came from something that is the same. If we really saw beyond the outer shell of others, I think the song is big enough to grasp people to just love each other. Just go ahead and love…unconditionally, without all the frails. I hope that the song encourages people to understand what unity is, and being there for someone. If you listen to the passion and the honesty of the song, it is undeniable that anyone that hears it with an open heart, it will translate well.
“Be Right There” is pretty big. Is there more music we can expect from you and your team of collaborators?
“Be Right There” did inspire me to want to write more. It gave me a huge, new surge of energy that said, “Cleve, you’re really getting comfortable with this thing. You’re getting used to yelling, screaming, and using your voice the way you want to.”... and it feels liberating! So, let’s just say yes, there is more music coming. I plan to write a jazz album for sure. I’ve always wanted to do jazz. So, I’m going to say yes to this question.
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