It’s true when people said that the more, the merrier. This is the case for RYÖT JONES, a Malaysian band of 8 which synonymous to a gathering of multicultural & multi talented people who strive to be the best musicians. If festival funk is your thing, you’re looking at the right place!
1. Hi RYÖT JONES! Tell us more about yourself (and RYÖT JONES as a whole).
Image credit: Raisa Azzam photography
Hi Sevenpie! Thank you so much for having us. We are your funky neighbor RYÖTJONES. We’re an 8 piece band that resides in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The band consists of Deo Karmawan (guitars) Izzy Azhar (bass guitar) Kyren Thomas (lead vocals) Aaron Gideon (drums & backing vocals) Clifford Tan (alto saxophone & backing vocals) Joelle Mangindaan (keyboard, synth & backing vocals) Jazmi Jamaluddin (tenor/baritone saxophone) and Payung (trumpet).
2. So, how did RYÖT JONES came about?
We got together back in 2016, we started out with 4 band members at first. We went into the studio and without an idea of what to play, but all of the sudden we started to belt out some own chords and tunes, we then knew in an instance that we have to start writing our own original stuff. We slowly recruited each member after that first jam session. Our first ever gig was was in March 2016 for our very first charity show. Deo and Kyren kinda knew what kinda style or genre we’d be moving towards to.
3. There are a total of 8 of you in the band, which is quite a lot compared to other local bands in Malaysia. Was this arranged to be this way intentionally?
Image credit: Raisa Azzam photography
Our direction has always been funk/groove and most of our influences have the sound of brass sections. After the band’s initial studio session, four of us just knew we needed trumpets and saxophones. In short, we just love the sound of brass section and how it can add more energy to the band by 830%.
4. Congratulations to all of you on the release of the first ever single, Dancing Shoes. Tell us more about Dancing Shoes and the creative process of putting it together.
Thank you! It took 10 minutes to write Dancing Shoes and almost two years to finish recording it. We had three different version of the song and a whole lot of instrument takes. The creative process was rather fun and tiring but it was so satisfying at the end!
5. RYÖT JONES is still relatively a new band in Malaysia. However, what is the main factor which has caused you to take almost two years to debut Dancing Shoes?
We have always been known for our live sound and performances, and to translate it to a studio version is one great task –hence the three versions of Dancing Shoes. Nevertheless, we are more than happy for this final version of Dancing Shoes –the one you can listen to on your phones!
6. Are there any plans to release a music video for Dancing Shoes?
We have a music video for Dancing Shoes. Are we going to release it? You just gotta have to wait and see 😉 The MV is dope, we recorded it at a grocery store. It’s just so creative and fun.
7. What are the upcoming plans for RYÖT JONES which we should take note of?
We’ve just finished our writing session for second our single called “Blessed” and hopefully it can be released in June-July. It doesn’t sound like Dancing Shoes –it’s more “surfy” and rock and roll, but still funky! And generally, we just want to keep making songs and play more live shows.
8. Who are your all-time music inspirations?
We have pretty diverse influences, ranging from Bruno Mars to James Brown, The Beach Boys to Vulfpeck – lots of soul and funk and jazz and RnB. It’s pretty hard to pick just ONE all-time music inspirations, but we would say the ONLY figure between them all, the equilibrium, is the king, Michael Jackson.
9. Is there anything which you’d like to change about the local music scene?
Well, to be honest we’re really proud of the local scene and where it currently stands. There’s a whole lotta talented musicians/artists out there. We’re so proud to be apart of the scene, it’s been growing in terms of talent and also support. We’re played some really awesome shows where the support has been tremendous. The only change that we would like to see in the music scene would be for more exposure and of course for the support to grow. It’s been awesome thus far.
10. Where do you see RYÖT JONES in 2 years’ time?
Hopefully reaching our dreams of making it international. Either way we’re focused on the now and how we want to grow as a band, as a family.
11. Any life mottos?
Where’s the funk at? Right here.
12. What are the advices which you can offer to aspiring singer-songwriters out there?
Know your root. Find out and discover who inspires your inspiration. Try not to do too much other people’s songs. You don’t want to be known as a cover. Write and perform as much originals as you can. You must think of yourself more as a musician than “singer-songwriter”. Learn music harmony, music theory, history, listen and explore the music in the past, learn and practice instruments.