Donell Jones’ Dos and Don’ts of Summer [Exclusive Interview]
Donell Jones is no longer “sneaking into people’s back doors,” an analogy he uses for the songs of infidelity on his last project, ‘Lyrics,’ released in 2010. The veteran R&B singer tells TheDrop.fm that his latest opus, ‘Forever,’ was made for love and to be timeless.
“My last album, it’s like night and day,” he shares. “I guess my idea was you have to go through the crazy stuff before you get the good and the love.”
‘Forever’ — mostly penned and produced by the veteran R&B singer — is a mix of butterfly-driven love songs and the not so picturesque moments of keeping a relationship intact.
Jones mentions the title track as one of his seventh studio album’s higher emotional moments. “When you meet somebody and they become everything to you and at the same time you still maintain who you are, they still maintain who they are but together we just become something special and that leads to marriage, children and you know a happy life,” the Chicago native explains.
In fact, ‘Forever’ was influenced by a special woman in his life. “I think the only thing that really influenced the sound on the album has to be my wife. Just the love that we share with each other,” Jones reveals. When asked about his wedding date, the singer replied, “I’m not married yet, but she is my wife.”
On the flip-side, the guitar-driven ‘I’m So Gone’ centers on a confused man who assumes his woman is playing him instead of just asking her directly about the situation. “A lot of people get caught up in their head,” he states. “They’ll have whole conversations about somebody in their head, instead of talking to them.”
The 40-year-old’s goal in creating this project was to get back to his “roots of passionate music.” He reminisces on one of those throwbacks, ‘Where I Wanna Be,’ a 2000 top 40 Billboard hit that garnered a sing-a-long at any concert full of go-hard R&B fans. “I think what makes it classic is the older I get, it’s always somebody in that age group or somebody out there going through it. So if you don’t get it then, it’s going to be a point in your life when you do get it.”
The song’s lyrics were all genuine, he adds. “I lived it,” Jones reveals. “Every word of that song was what I was feeling. It was a true story. There was no fiction whatsoever in the story except for the fact that at that time we didn’t break up. We stayed together.”
Away from the music, Donell Jones also shares some comical advice on making the most of the hotter months. Check out the singer’s Dos and Dont’s of Summer.
1. Do Stay Single
“If you’re single during the summertime, stay single. Go out. Live it up. It’s the hot weather, it’s not many clothes being put on, so get out there and mingle and have fun. Life is about fun and if you’re in a relationship, spend time with the person you love. Get out there and have fun that way. But I don’t think you should be looking for love in the summertime, if you ain’t already got it. Look for it in the wintertime. They can keep you warm and y’all can be hugged up.”
2. Don’t Overdrink
“Don’t Overdrink. Overdrinking makes you look ugly and it definitely puts you in harm’s way if you’re out there driving. So definitely don’t overdrink and don’t drink and drive.”
3. Do Hit Miami Beach
“Miami Beach is a must-do. Especially in the summer. It’s always something going on. You go up on the side of the beach and get you one of those… I forgot the name of the drink. But yeah Miami Beach is a must-do. Just sit on the side of the beach. Watch the water. Look at the sun. Look at the clouds. It’s one of those things you can do alone or with someone.”
4. If You Ain’t Got It, Don’t Flaunt It
“Do not where a thong bikini if you got a lot of cellulite [laughs]. I’m just saying. Tighten that thing up a little bit. ‘Cause ain’t nobody got no crackers for the cheese. You gon’ make me act up…
It’s some guys out there that’s taking off the shirts and got the fat belly too. Everybody can’t be Rick Ross. There’s only one Rick Ross. It’s different when you got money. You can take your shirt off. But everybody can’t do that.”
5. Do Eat Light
“I really don’t like to eat heavy in the summer ime. So a shrimp cocktail maybe a lobster dish. Seafood is really good in the summer — crabs, lobster, all that stuff. No alligator though. People say it’s seafood, but I call that swamp food.”
Watch Donell Jones’ ‘Forever’ Video