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Conversations with the Inspiring Kalen Jones

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kalen Jones.

Kalen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Well, I’ve been making music since I was able to speak. I grew up in a musical household; my mother and father are both musicians and singers. I always wanted to be a singer, but I started off writing books and poetry, etc. I also wanted to model, so I did a little bit of that and acting, and then I also taught myself how to play guitar, but all in all, I always wanted to be an author. I wrote books for 14 years of my life as well as writing songs, I just wasn’t as open with my music. I didn’t start taking my music seriously until I was 13 years old. My youth pastor at the time, Alyssa Worrell, heard me singing and playing guitar on accident… she told me I was singing in front of all the kids next Sunday, so I did that and that pretty much changed my whole life; The reaction I got from the audience of kids really showed me that I could actually impact a lot of people at once positively even if only for just a few minutes… and that was enough for me. Ever since then, I never stopped performing, I never stopped writing songs, I never stop recording my music, I just never stopped and I intend to keep going.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a serious career in music was very hard for me because I had very low self-esteem. My main struggle was myself; I wasn’t confident enough, I didn’t believe I could be somebody for real. There were so many negative thoughts in my head that I put there myself, along with other people’s opinions who didn’t even matter. Are used to be very self-conscious, very insecure, and very dependent on how others perceived me. Especially as a woman in the industry, it’s going to be a lot harder for us to be taken seriously because we live in a male-dominated society and the music industry is driven by mostly males. This was another obstacle I had overcome… it is honestly so stressful to work with men and have them try to get with you, or flirt with you when you’re there strictly for business. And as soon as they find out that you’re all about business, they treat you differently and not in a good way. The biggest advice I can give to women trying to get into the field of music is to always make sure you Assert your self properly, and by that I mean to let everyone in the room know who you are, why you came, and that you mean business and that you don’t play around. Give everybody a firm quick handshake to let them know you’re serious and never let yourself melt into the background. We as women tend to censor ourselves when in a room full of people, but if you want to be successful in what you do, you have to be confident in yourself… always listen to yourself, nobody else knows what’s best for you but you. I had to learn that this was my life and I wasn’t going to live it for anybody else.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I make music mainly, like alternative r&b/neo-soul and that’s what I’m known for mainly. This is what I’m most proud of simply because music is universal and is the only thing that we as humans have in common. I believe what sets me apart from others is that I know that I am different and my sound is different. I feel like everyone says this, and that is genuinely a good question… I feel like others would have something else to say about what sets me apart from other people. I also think what sets me apart from others is my aura; I give off good vibes and that’s all I’m about is making people feel good. I am also an advocate for love, whether it be loving someone else, or loving yourself. There aren’t a lot of prominent artists out now who promote the message of love so I feel like it’s very necessary to spread it. On another hand, I am an actress, model, and local businesswoman… I make cookies as a part-time hustler. They’re called Kalen’s Kookies.. and I am most proud of the Peoples lives that I’ve impacted, the trophies I have one from talent shows, getting to do in an American eagle campaign called AExME, And all the great opportunities that have come my way to help me further my career.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I feel like one of the biggest barriers we have to overcome is doubting ourselves because We live in a male-dominated society… there’s not enough representation for a lot of women to feel confident in taking big leadership roles, so it’s very important that we break that barrier. Also, in my field, we’ve got to get rid of the idea that the only way we can sell music is if we put ourselves in a box and only make one kind of music. And to stop trying to appease to those who don’t have your best interest. Also, getting rid of the idea that we have to be a certain way to be accepted. I also feel like people should stop, as a society, pitting women in the music industry or in any industry against one another when they’re both being successful in life. We’re supposed to uplift each other always, not encourage the rest of the world to downplay us as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Instagram (those performance shots with me with purple hair, and the Afro pictures) @jdbflowz, Instagram-@dezadise

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