Introducing your new best mate…

Aspy Jones is definitely an artist you’ll want to spend time with. Bursting with personality, his songs reflect a quirky sense of humour, a keen eye for life and an ear for song writing that’ll make you sit up and take notice. Aspy Jones writes songs that are real, authentic and honest. They’re written about his friends and family or about how he views life and the difficulties he’s faced as he’s learnt to live with autism.

Aspy Jones and his bandare a lively blend of alternative pop/rock with a whole lot of brass thrown in. Their songs are an eclectic mix of infectious funky dance beats, quirky lyrics and colourful brass which will take you on a ride that’s good for the soul.

At just 22, Aspy’s already winning competitions playing his original music solo or with his band. He’s won Battle of the Rising Stars at the Noosa Surf Club, AICM Band Showdown with the Gympie Music Muster, Talent Search at the Rockhampton River Festival and he also won a 4-track EP recording with Pacific International Music at Hervey Bay Unplugged. Aspy knew this career choice wasn’t going to be easy so he started busking and gigging at 16 and now entertains crowds at Gympie Music Muster, Rockhampton River Festival, Hervey Bay Seafood Festival, Rush Festival, Hot 91 Fire in the Sky, Peregian OriginalsGympie New Year’s Eve Family Fun Night supporting The X Factor’s, Dean Ray and Taylor Henderson and he was showcased at the Sunshine Coast Annual Regional Music Conference, Turn Up. He has also been the recipient of grants from the Queensland Government’s Regional Arts Fund and Regional Arts Development Fund to release his debut EP ‘Tantamount.

​His first single ‘Hatches’ was well received and went straight to No.1 on the Triple J Unearthed Overall Chart and was played on several community radio stations. ‘Hatches’ also made it to the semi-finals of the Listen Up Song Writing Competition from nearly 3000 entries. “I wrote it for a friend who was having a hard time struggling with depression,” says Aspy. “I really wanted to help but didn’t know how to. I wanted them to hang in there, talk to their friends and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel”.

Madhouse’ was the second release and it also hit the top of the Triple J Unearthed Rock Chart and was followed up with a crazy video. Madhouse is all about my weird but wonderful family. My quirkiness has to come from somewhere!” he laughs. Aspy did not have the easiest of childhoods and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at 8 years old. “It’s difficult for people with autism to fit in and feel like they belong. I was always an outsider”, he explains. “But now I think my disability helps my creativity as a song writer. ‘Madhouse’ was the first song I wrote about difference. I love being at home with my family but whenever people come to visit, they probably think we’re a bit weird”.

His last release ‘Not Good Enough’, which was about his continuous self-doubt as he tries to pursue his dreams, followed the same pattern and found its way to the top of the Triple J Unearthed Roots Chart! ​ “I’d always been told I wasn’t writing music that was current” he said. “I wasn’t mainstream, but I realised that there were people out there who liked it.

Aspy Jones is definitely a prolific songwriter, “I constantly find myself scrawling lyrics on the back of beer mats and napkins or singing new melodies into my phone,” he says. “I’ve got notebooks full of songs, it’s just the way I express myself.I only learnt to play guitar so that I could bring what was in my head to life.”

Growing up in a family of four kids in the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Gympie was an adventure after moving to Australia from Wales when he was eight. With a cop for a dad and a primary school teacher mum, he was a well-behaved kid, he reckons. “I had to be with those parents!” he jokes. “But they will probably tell you a very different story. I know I wasn’t the easiest child”. 

Aspy Jones decided to take his musical career seriously when he kept getting “let go” of his bakery apprenticeship. “The first song I wrote was I Hate My Job, and I kept singing it around the house until my parents agreed to let me try and be a song writer”, Aspy explains. “They didn’t think it was a great career choice for someone with autism due to the social difficulties of building relationships with audiences, venues, musicians and other industry professionals. Combine this with my other issues of anxiety, auditory processing problems, short term memory issues and the usual self-doubt that all musicians have then I can understand their concerns, but they know I’m passionate about it, so they are very supportive. 

Musically, his influences are diverse, from David Bowie, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Queen to Cat Empire, Mumford & Sons, Ed SheeranJack Johnson and The 1975. Whenever he’s unsure where his music might fit, he thinks of other trailblazing artists. “People like David Bowie, Bob Dylan or Freddie Mercury. They had to teach an entire world to love them because their sound was so different,” he says.

Music’s everything to me,” he says. “It’s an amazing way to express yourself. People can’t do without it – often I’ll be listening to music in the mornings in the shower or in the car and it can be just as important as having breakfast really because it can put you in a really good mindset for the rest day. Whatever happens in your life, music is always there for you.”

“Spend some time in the company of Aspy Jones and you’ll be glad you did.” Sally Browne, former journalist for The Courier-Mail

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