Though the Northwest region is commonly associated with the birth of grunge rock, it’s also the surprising start for many African American artists. It’s where names like Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones and Sir Mix-a-Lot got their starts. Seattle native and newly signed singer/songwriter Ayron Jones channels his predecessors with a sound best described as Hendrix meets Michael Jackson.
“If you grew up black in Seattle in the central district where I’m from, then you were around the blues, soul and jazz scene, neo-soul, all that. That was your life. My big objective,” says Jones, “was to marry those two scenes together. What I have now is blues-infused grunge with a touch of West Coast hip-hop.”
Jones says he was raised in the church, where he was influenced by blues and Gospel music. At 13, he taught himself to play the guitar and write his own music. Jones, who was born and raised in Seattle, eventually migrated to other musical styles and the Seattle staple of rock.
“I think what is most popularized out of Seattle is the grunge scene, which is a white dominated kind of genre. When you think of grunge, you think of white boys with long, stringy hair,” he laughs. So now when you think of Seattle music, expect to tie in the visuals of Ayron Jones rocking the sound stages (ayronjonesmusic.com).