Jill Jones, the celebrated muse for Prince and Teena Marie, steps up to the spotlight this Valentine’s Day with “Forbidden Love”, a pop anthem with a disco feel about indulging in sins of the heart. “I have experienced forbidden love,” reveals Jones. “I know the crazy high one gets when such tantalizing situations present themselves.” The high-energy track is the debut release from Jill Jones’ brand new full-length album, I AM. It showcases her wide vocal range and also encompasses the album’s overall theme of human connection rising above all obstacles. “Forbidden Love” is available for preview on Soundcloud now. Jill Jones’ I AM releases to iTunes and all major online retailers soon. It is available for pre-order now on Amazon and Google Play.
“In my case, it was the forbidden love between my best friend and boyfriend,” continues Jill Jones from a recording studio in California. “I didn’t know about the affair when I was writing the track. It was a premonition, some vibe, some energy I picked up on.
“The thing about those types of taboo romances is they usually come from an insecure place disguised as emotionally powerful and all consuming. It’s fairytale bullshit that burns fast. They stem from broken hearts and so they are destined to devolve because they can never evolve.”
The process of evolving plays heavily throughout Jones’ new album, combining anthemic house beats with electronic textures and nuances. “I AM represents emotional healing provided by the universe. It’s not about making excuses or offering apologies. It’s about self love, optimism and cheekiness.”
Many of the songs were co-written and co-produced by Brinsley Evans – a frequent collaborator best known as half of ’90’s club kids Uncanny Alliance (“I Got My Education,” “I’m Beautiful Dammit”) and the writer of such classics as “Make My World Go Around.” Count DeMoney, WAWA, Funky Junction, Italy’s Get Far and Mark Unthank provide the energetic, dance-fueled landscapes for Jill’s versatile vocal skills.
“F*ck You Til You’re Groovy” produced with Jochen Simms has a warm Arabic sweep to its melody, lined up against a dark, isolated, late-night, steel-cold backbeat. It is purely sexual and yin/yang in balance.
“This is How it Feels” is a love letter to those who make others feel alive and safe. “It’s an amazing place to be in with someone; when you can trust they won’t hurt you,” says Jones.
Jill Jones was a key player in Prince’s Paisley Park family during its heyday, providing vocals on Prince’s “1999”, “Lady Cab Driver”, “It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night,” and “Hello”. She sang back up on numerous productions, both credited and un-credited, including Sheila E.’s “The Belle Of St. Mark”. She toured with Vanity 6 and appears in the films Graffiti Bridge and Purple Rain.
“Prince taught me the importance of dreaming,” Jones explains. “Purple Rain was a dream he manifested through hard work and perseverance. He made people feel part of something. He created intrigue and fascination.
“I also learned what it’s like to surrender total devotion to another person,” she continues. Prince oversaw Jones’ debut album on his label, Paisley Park. “In hindsight, it was too much responsibility to give to another person. But he had the best of intentions and I’m thankful for having had the chance to work with Prince and for playing a part in his very wonderful vision.”
Jill Jones has worked with many talented artists in her career including Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (on their CHIC “Live From Budhakan” album and performance film), the esteemed Ryuichi Sakamoto and acid jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan.
Most notably, however, is her association with the late great R&B icon, Teena Marie. Teena was a mentor to the then 14-years-old Jill Jones, teaching her about harmonies and backing vocals. Teena took Jill to concerts and introduced her to Venice Beach, while also making sure Jill got to and from school safely every day. “She gave me the childhood I didn’t have,” Jones remembers.
She recorded backing vocals on several of Teena Marie’s seminal Gordy/Motown albums including ‘Lady T’ (“Behind The Groove”) and ‘It Must Be Magic’ (“Square Biz”).
“I have loved having the opportunity to sing behind some of the greats,” admits Jill Jones today. “It’s empowering to feel that I can support someone and their dreams. It makes me happy.
“That said; there’s nothing like the energy that radiates from the center stage spotlight. It’s been turned from me long enough. I’m ready for some of that Forbidden Love,” she laughs.