What started out as a fateful meeting between two musicians soon blossomed into a friendship that eventually lead to the birth of Ryöt Jones – a nine-member band that performs festival funk music, and gets you dancing. Prominently known for their bursting energy and trance-like performances onstage, Ryöt Jones has become a local sensation among many young urbanites.
2019 has been a relatively good year for the band; playing at festivals and events like the August Man Men of The Year 2019 party and the Music Run 2019, Ryöt Jones has been keeping busy as well writing music behind the scenes. Lead vocalist and front man Kyren Thomas shares a little more about the band’s plans for the future, and their upcoming single Radio.
What’s the inspiration behind that name, Ryöt Jones?
I used to have stage fright. So, one day, before my show time at Urbanscapes 2012, I told myself: you can either go up there, be yourself and fail, or be someone else and hopefully nail it. After that, I decided to create an alter ego to boost my confidence. Beyoncé named hers Sasha Fierce, so I named mine Ryöt Jones. Eventually, when I joined this band, I threw out this name when we were coming up with a name for the band. It did raise a few questions at first, but after some explanation, we stuck with it.
How does one become a member of the band?
(laughs) It stops at nine members but for big shows, we’d bring in more. Well, the first thing is, Deo, our guitarist, and I will have to choose you. Secondly, you have to be good at what you do. That’s not to say you have to be exceptional in your playing, because we don’t believe that the best music players define a good band or the best bandmate. I’ll take someone who’s willing to give it all during every performance over the best player.
What makes a great live performance to you and where does that energy come from?
I think it’s making sure that people get what they paid for. We know that we have to play exciting music, but it’s also about delivering energy that will lighten the mood. I’m not exactly sure where the energy comes from, but I guess it’s a resonation of what we wrote. The style of music that we write is so us, and I think that’s why it’s so easy for us to express ourselves during performances.
“A lot of people these days are not making music to represent; it’s just to entertain the current trend. So, we want to contribute quality music to the people, instead of doing something that’s considered ‘appropriate'”
What’s the songwriting process like for you guys, especially for a nine-member group?
It really depends, but spontaneity is what we’d go for. Songwriting is like a melting pot of ideas: we’d throw ideas around the table, and soon enough, we’ll get a workable piece that might or might not come to be. Take Dancing Shoes , for example: I wrote the lyrics a few years ago, and one day we were in the studio jamming some music, when we stumbled upon a melody that was fitting to the lyrics.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming single Radio ?
Our next single Radio is set to release in January 2020, and it features SonaOne. I must admit, the title is a bit misleading, but it’s a song about your ex who now wants you back despite you having moved on. After writing and jamming in the studio, the title came to me somehow; it’s random but that’s how we roll! SonaOne helped write the song as well, and we’re pretty excited to share it with everyone.
How will the band celebrate once Radio becomes a big hit?
We’d celebrate it by writing an even bigger hit!
What do guys wish to elevate in the music industry?
We wish to inspire the masses to start picking up a skill for any instrument or music genre. A lot of people these days are not making music to represent; it’s just to entertain the current trend. So, we want to contribute quality music to the people, instead of doing something that’s considered “appropriate”. I’d say that our music is fluid, genre fluid, if you may (laughs); we do whatever sounds good to us, and not just because it’s a trend.
What are Ryöt Jones’ New Year’s resolutions or plans for 2020?
Our New Year’s Resolution is to drop as much music as possible, which includes a Malay song, but starting with Radio.