New Music: ‘Brand New Christmas’ by Nathan Leigh Jones

Brand New Christmas is the latest from Sydney / NewYorker Nathan Leigh Jones

What a jolly good album. We even get to hear the gorgeous David Raleigh on duet with Nathan for a stunning rendition of Winter Wonderland! theaussieword.com caught up with our good friends in New York and here’s what they had to say!

Nathan Leigh Jones:
I had a blast making this album. Everyone loves a good Christmas song — but then again, everyone hates a bad one! So there was a lot of pressure to make the collection of songs on ‘Brand New Christmas’ fresh and original, and I think it all came together. One of my favourite tracks on the album is one that I recorded with my good friend and fellow singer/songwriter/piano player David Raleigh from New York City. It’s a version of Winter Wonderland. Like all the tracks on the album, it’s quite a departure from the original, but it has a really cool vibe that suits David’s voice perfectly. In fact, our voices blend so well on this track that some people can’t tell who’s singing what!



David Raleigh:
It was such a joy to spend the last few days shooting the video for Winter Wonderland with Nathan Leigh Jones! Besides the honor of being asked to be a part of this project, I was equally honored that Duncan Scheib a great director and fan of my music offered to take the reigns (Ha ha! Reigns? Get it? Santa, sleigh, reindeer?!) and, with his outstanding crew, deliver such an epic showcase for this fantastic arrangement by Nathan. This winter wonderland we captured on film is SO New York. Being a transplanted Aussie himself, Duncan really got and understood NLJ’s vision and I think the fans are gonna love it. They will also love that they can watch us freezing our butts off in the cold yet enjoy it from the comfort of their beach front Christmas “barbies”! Jealous!

Nathan Leigh Jones:
I’ve produced an album for David before, and am currently producing another one which will drop early 2014, but recording a duet was an entirely new experience altogether! It was a super fun one though, and making this video just took it to the next level. I was also able to collaborate with Sally Cameron on this album, one-fourth of the multi-ARIA award winning vocal group The Idea Of North, who lent some backing vocals to ‘O Holy Night’. The premise for this album was to take well-known carols and totally rewrite the melodies. It’s been hilarious to watch people’s faces while listening to this album, and see it dawn on them that they kind of already know this song, but it’s in a brand new way. Hopefully ‘Brand New Christmas’ gives people a refreshing take on their favourite holiday songs, and adds to the joy of this wonderful season. Merry Christmas!

Love you boys! Merry Christmas ~ theaussieword x

WORLD PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Leigh Jones ‘Crying Out For Love’

Nathan Leigh Jones and Director Josef Weber speak exclusively to TheAussieWord about their latest musical masterpiece. Crying Out For Love is the brand new single from talented Aussie Nathan Leigh Jones – wonderfully directed by the creative Josef Weber. 

theaussieword.com has the World Premiere!


Nathan speaks to me about writing the song, the idea for the video, why, where and how it was filmed and why marriage equality is important to him. It has been an absolute pleasure meeting both of these guys in the flesh. They have become good friends and big supporters of theaussieword.com – the feelings are mutual. I love these boys! Join me for this very special interview!


Nathan Leigh Jones…

I wrote Crying Out For Love while taking a break in the wonderful city of Melbourne. (That’s right, some Sydney people love Melbourne!) Like any big city, the streets are full of all kinds of people from all walks of life. It got me thinking — we’re all so different, but we’re all so similar. We just want to be valued, respected and loved. So, that night I sat down at a friend’s piano and this song came out. It makes the world a far less scary place when we realise that we’re all after the same basic thing, and if everybody gave it, imagine how much better we’d all be! An idealistic sentiment perhaps, but something that, when applied to the current marriage equality debate, makes the decision a no-brainer. Let people enjoy the same legal right to love as anybody else, regardless of how “different” we may think they are.

This video was directed by the very talented Josef J Weber. We’ve worked together before, on an earlier video for ‘Beautiful You’. I was so happy with how Beautiful You turned out. At one point last year, it was the #1 most requested song on Foxtel’s music channel MAX, which was super exciting. Josef and I were catching up for coffee a few months ago and I was telling him an idea I wished I could do someday for Crying Out For Love. Josef doesn’t mess around! Since he’s also passionate about the marriage equality movement, he was like, “Let’s do it! I’m directing it!”, and the video quickly became a reality. He totally delivered too… this video has a lot of heart and I’m so proud of what we captured.

It’s funny, this project was more like a documentary than a music video. No green screens or windswept fans in this clip! The apartment is mine, the rally was real, we paid no extras. I’m wearing basic clothes from my wardrobe and we filmed most of it around my neighbourhood. Obviously we knew the rally was happening and we based the concept around it, but we were blown away by the scale of it when we got there. It was amazing! So many people in support of equal rights for GLBT marriage equality. The passion and love in the air was magic, and made for an incredible day of filming.

I grew up in a pretty religious family. Yep, the evangelical Christian kind. My closest friends have known that I liked guys for a while, but it’s only been recently that I’ve opened up about being gay to my wider circle of family and friends. The process was hard, but it’s been worth it. Sometimes it can feel more comfortable going under the radar, but I think everyone has an opportunity to make their voice heard about issues that are important. Making this video has been another step in my journey of being more open and transparent with who I am. I also think it’ll be a great memento to show my nieces, nephews, or even my own kids in years to come… hopefully they’ll be confused as to why we even had to hold rallies that beg for a basic human right like equal love! These are exciting times, and I’m so thankful to be living in this moment when people are putting aside their fears and standing for what is right.

Marriage equality should be important to everyone. I, more than most, know the arguments against same sex marriage. I’ve lived and breathed them my entire life. Unfortunately, these arguments did exactly what they intended to do — they made me feel like less of a human being for something I had no choice in. I’m sick of the “civil unions are fine” argument, the “only between a man and a woman” argument, the “my religion says so” argument. These arguments no longer carry any weight. We’re a new generation. We make our own definitions. And what we know in the 21st century is that dudes can love dudes, and girls can love girls. It’s normal. It’s beautiful. Australia, let’s hurry up and make it legal… we’re crying out for love!



Josef Weber ‘Director’…
 

Thank you for touching base in regards to the Crying Out For Love video! We shot the piece over two weekends in glorious Sydney. Nathan and I were having coffee one morning and he told me how he wanted to shoot a video for COFL and incorporate the marriage equality rally that Community Action Against Homophobia were conducting into a video that told a simple yet effective story. We shot the narrative pieces the weekend before the rally and then we just jumped right into filming the rally the weekend after. The rally was so insane to shoot because you have hundreds of people right behind and all around you and you need to get the coverage and make something dynamic to compliment your narrative. The folk at CAAH were great supporters and embraced the shoot and what we wanted to create. Marriage equality is at boiling point right now and the whole world is looking at Australia because we are portrayed as a country of free speech and beautiful people but when it comes to equal rights for all it falls flat. This video is intended to spread a great message and create further awareness amongst communities and abroad. It was a special moment seeing this video reach fruition today because I played a part in a great cause by doing what I love which is directing and bringing people together.


CRYING OUT FOR LOVE is the new single for Sydney based singer/songwriter and piano player Nathan Leigh Jones.

The second song from his acclaimed album ‘Sooner or Later’ to receive its own music video, Crying Out For Love is an uplifting mid-tempo anthem that celebrates more of what we have in common, rather than what separates us. With the spotlight currently on marriage equality for GLBT folks around the world, Nathan has used this video to show his support and raise further awareness for this important issue.

Filmed over two days in Sydney, the music video incorporates a rally held on May 25, 2013 that was organised by CAAH (Community Action Against Homophobia). It captures the excitement, anticipation and sense of community surrounding this movement, and sits perfectly alongside the lyrics of the song:

“Every man and every woman
Black or white or any shade between
Straight or gay, it doesn’t matter
Any faith we do or don’t believe
The one thing that we can’t deny is
Everybody’s crying out for love…”


The song itself was recorded at Sydney’s prestigious Studios 301 (Coldplay, Silverchair, Lady Gaga), featuring guitars by Dan Warner (Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna) and drums by Lee Levin (Christina Aguilera, Pink, Kelly Clarkson). The track also features a 20 piece vocal ensemble made up of members of the Sydney Philharmonia Choir. Crying Out For Love is now playing on VEVO, is available for download from iTunes, and is currently streaming on Spotify.


theaussieword.com caught up with Nathan Leigh Jones for a special interview early last year – click here for more.

Nathan Leigh Jones Covers Sara Bareilles ‘Brave’

Nathan Leigh Jones returns with a special Sara Bareilles cover of ‘Brave’. Nathan says “It’s been a while between YouTube covers, but loving this new one by Sara Bareilles and had to bash it out. I wanna see you be brave! Enjoy :)” 
So great to hear the soulful sounds of Nathan Leigh Jones. We love him here at theaussieword.com 🙂

Nathan Leigh Jones and David Raleigh Live Melbourne Show!

On Thursday, November 8 2012. New York City entertainer and bon vivant David Raleigh takes the stage at Melbourne’s live music venue The Butterfly Club. In a special show already performed in New York City, Seattle, Byron Bay and Adelaide, Raleigh is joined on stage with his producer, Australian singer/songwriter and former MusicOz Artist Of The Year Nathan Leigh Jones.

Hot off the heals of Raleigh’s wildly successful “Beginning Again” (2010) and Jones’ acclaimed sophomore release Sooner Or Later (2011), these two piano men will join forces and put their spin on each other’s music as well as showcasing brand new material from their upcoming projects.

David Raleigh has had long standing engagements at New York’s iconic staples such as The Waldorf Astoria, The Pierre, and The Ritz Carlton, as well as performing all over Europe and Asia. “I Do!”, the lead single from his most recent album, charted in MTV/Logo’s top 10 for ten weeks in a row. The video, directed by Tony Award winner Alan Cumming, cemented Raleigh’s position as “the Nat King Cole for a new generation” (Time Out Hong Kong).

Nathan Leigh Jones is no stranger to the microphone and, while not writing, recording and producing music, lives a double life as a voice artist. He is a fixture on Australian TV and radio, particularly his regular work on Nickelodeon and digital free – to – air channel Eleven. Jones’ latest single “Beautiful You” made waves earlier this year on Rage, while also being the #1 most requested song on MAX.
 
 
theaussieword.com caught up with Nathan Leigh Jones for a very special interview earlier this year – check it out here!

Don’t miss this exciting evening of classic, original piano pop/soul at it’s finest – Friday November 2nd at 7pm! Tickets are on sale now at The Butterfly Club

Exclusive Interview: Nathan Leigh Jones

He’s the man behind Beautiful You, the #1 most requested song on Foxtel channel MAX, the video, perfectly directed and edited by Josef J.Weber…. join with me in this very special interview with Nathan Leigh Jones!

What can you tell us about Nathan Leigh Jones?
I’m a singer/songwriter/piano player who spends far too much time writing music. I love producing, I love co-writing, and I love travelling… luckily I’m doing all three at the moment. If you’re in Australia, you’ve probably unknowingly heard my voice on TV — I’m currently the promo voice for Nickelodeon and Eleven — but behind the scenes I love jamming it out on the keys and singing up a storm. Nice to meet you!

How would people best describe you and your music?
Think John Mayer meets Savage Garden, with a hint of Beatles pizazz. Lyrically it’s less “baby baby you’re so sexy” and more “I’m gonna make it though this, dammit!”. I tend to write my music in some of my darkest moments, and it always manages to bring me hope and inspiration. So it’s positive piano-powered pop. And apparently it’s brought to you by the letter P.

What got you first interested in music?
Well, my first memories of music weren’t always pleasant. My older brother and sister were forced to attend piano lessons on Saturday mornings, and I was dragged along as a little kid to join in the fun too. It was in a cranky old lady’s house and was boring as hell. I’ve since found out that I only went along because she had some kind of “buy two, get one free” deal going on with my folks. Anyway, I’m glad I had an early kickstart, because that knowledge pushed me into songwriting throughout my teenage years. Since then I’ve been addicted.

Tell us your experience about starting out on the music scene and getting your music noticed…
I cut a rough demo while I was still living in my hometown of Adelaide back in 2004, and entered it into a national music competition. In the end I won the ‘Artist Of The Year’ award, which gave me a great leg up in the local industry. Looking back it’s odd that I won over fellow finalists Bliss n Eso — not sure if that makes any sense whatsoever — but it resulted in the recording of my first record ’10 Letters’ and my first music video. In 2008 I relocated to NYC for a year and learnt a lot more about co-writing and producing, which inspired me to work on my latest record without relying solely on a manager or label. I’m still on the journey and having a blast.

Do you have any tours planned for the coming year?
No official tours planned at this stage — I’m taking a little breather as we head into 2012 — but ready to jump back in when the next single arrives. In 2011 I released my album Sooner Or Later and beat my personal best of “most shows in a year”! I owe myself a medal or something. The official launch was at New York City’s iconic live music venue Joe’s Pub, with other shows that followed at Rockwood Music Hall and Duane Park. Back here in Australia I’ve headlined some of my favourite Sydney venues like Slide, The Basement and The Vanguard, along with The Promethean in Adelaide. It’s been a hugely productive year on the live front and I’m looking forward to playing just as many shows in 2012.

What are some of your biggest career goals that you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Hmm. My answer for this is continually changing. Several years ago it would have been to go double platinum with an album and to see my billboard illuminated above the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. Well, that would still be nice, but I’m not sure it’s my goal anymore. That, and the Virgin Megastore in Times Square no longer exists… ha ha. With the advent of all things social media, my greatest satisfaction comes from my music connecting with listeners from around the globe. My latest single Beautiful You has been used for over 15 weddings and civil unions this year, at least that I know of. It’s those kind of numbers that resonate with me on a personal level and inspire me to push my music as far as it can go.

Nathan Leigh Jones – Beautiful You
Tell us more about your latest track ‘Beautiful You’.
This track is perhaps the most simple and understated song on the album, but it’s probably why people are drawn to it. We all wish we had the right sentiments to explain that weird fuzzy sense of gratitude, and Beautiful You is an effort to communicate that emotion in a song. When recording this track with the live string section in the studio, I definitely got goosebumps and knew there was something special going on. An amazing Christmas present for me was seeing the Beautiful You music video featured on MAX and having it currently stand as the #1 most requested song on the channel. Super excited!

So are there any other singles to be lifted from Sooner Or Later?
I hope so! The album itself has an organic flow where all the tracks really compliment each other in the context of the record, but there are definitely a few singles waiting to have their moment. I love She’s Into You — it was the first track I recorded with Dan Warner (co-writer of Mika’s Grace Kelly) and Lee Levin (drummer for Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Backstreet Boys), and can imagine hearing that one on the radio. Also Who The Hell I Am, Bubblewrap and Sooner Or Later seem to resonate with people online. I have some decisions to make. Help.

Anything else fans can expect from you in the coming months?
Aside from another music video, they can expect whispers of new songs and new recordings! I’ve been writing like a mofo lately. Inspiration is weird, it comes in odd places and at less-than-convenient times. I’m currently trying to move house, have overseas guests staying with me and my poor piano is breaking down, yet exciting new songs are free flowing and begging to be recorded. I want to do a few web concerts in 2012 to showcase these new tracks and get some feedback… sign up to my mailing list and I’ll keep you posted!

Who inspires or influences you to make great music?
Great music inspires me to make great music! A mate put on Kelly Clarkson’s new record in the car yesterday and I was like — yeah, there’s some amazing writing on this! I got home and started jamming straight away. There are also some indie artists making killer music on a limited budget, and that inspires the hell out of me. Brooklyn based popstar Sean Cooney has released an insanely addictive world class record, one of my favourite releases of 2011, and my mates from The Sundance Kids in Adelaide also know how to write a great hit. Nothing like inspiration from friends to keep the creative vibes flowing.

Are there any current musical stars that you highly rate in the industry?
Obsessed with the work of Sara Bareilles. She had the #1 record in America earlier this year and is a judge on one of NBC’s biggest shows, yet a lot of people still have no idea of who she is. If you’ve somehow forgotten her hit “Love Song”, think quirky but slick piano pop with deliciously passionate vocals. A true artist in every sense. I also love Ben Folds, OneRepublic and Mika. And remember Hanson? Discover their latest stuff. Seriously, there’s a whole lot less mmm-bopping these days!

Success, what is the secret?
Do what you love. Don’t do what you don’t love. And do it as well as you can. I think that’s it!

Thanks so much for the interview! 

What can you leave your fans with here on the TheAussieWord blog today?!
Thank you for being lovers of music! There’s sometimes an assumption that music artists are living some kind of glam existence in their private jets, but in reality it’s a super tough gig that relies on your support — whether you’re with a major label or not. These holidays, get out to a show, stay for the act afterwards, buy their merch and connect with other fans. Music builds happiness, community and love. Kudos to you for being a part of it!

All The Lovers (Kylie cover) – Nathan Leigh Jones