SUZY JONES is a soul singer-songwriter with Georgia roots and a timeless voice. Her newest single, “Final Piece,” is a husky, vibrato-ridden ode to moving on—and its video is just as nuanced. Directed by Maris Jones, the video takes its viewers on an evocative journey through the ‘60s and leaves no time for tears. We talked to Suzy to learn more about being inspired by LA, shitty friendships, and why “Final Piece” is definitely raspberry lime sorbet.
Adolescent Content: You are a Georgia native (as am I!), but you’ve spent the past year in Los Angeles recording and writing new music. In what ways has your relocation to Los Angeles from the South influenced your music and your writing?
Suzy Jones: I have so much love for both Georgia and Los Angeles. There's certainly a contrast between each of their musical stylings. The South is all about tradition maintenance. LA is all about sound innovation and genre bending. I think living in both places and embracing both principles helped me hone in on a happy medium of keeping things new and interesting, but also staying true to myself musically.
Adolescent: You've previously mentioned that toying with different styles, visuals, and aesthetics keeps you on your toes and makes your ongoing self-discovery as an artist and creator exciting. Can you talk a little bit about the conceptual drive behind “Final Piece” and its accompanying video? What were some of your major inspirations at the time of recording—musicians, artists, filmmakers, designers, etc.?
Suzy: When I’m in the studio, I don’t have a bunch of records to spin like, “I wanna do something that sounds like this today.” When I show up to a session, my inspiration derives from what I’m going through that day. From time to time I’ll already have a piece of a line floating around in my head. So I usually just walk in, talk some shit, then start a jam session. The jam session helps me sort of enter a meditative state and transfer my feelings to the musical side of my brain. That way, the song just spills out from those feelings I walked in with. For the video, I knew I wanted to abandon my comfort zone. I have little music video experience and I wanted to learn from a pro. I gave Maris the song and my full blessing to create a video simulating what she sees when she presses play on the track. She built a mesmerizing and trippy 1960s-inspired wonderland.
Adolescent: Do you think your music is influenced by what you’re listening to, reading, and watching at the time?
Suzy: There’s a lot of stuff out there that I love to listen to, read, and watch, but I’m wary of how much it influences what I make myself. I usually don’t want to mimic other people’s creations unless it is a tribute to their work. I’d say for the most part my music is a product of what I observe; whether it’s my feelings, a relationship, or an experience. Traveling to new places can inspire new music for me because embracing different places and perspectives of the world can really crack open my brain. I also feel inspired and encouraged by strong women in creative industries. Watching other women do great things in spite of the adversity we are constantly up against makes me want to keep going and picture myself where I want to be. I think that general subject always has a subconscious place in my songs, because it always has a subconscious place in my mind.
Adolescent: Andy Rose, who helped produce this single, has previously worked with an impressive repertoire of influential artists like Allen Stone, Haley Reinheart, and the like. How was your experience with working with Rose different from your work with other producers?
Suzy: Andy was the first person I wrote a song with start to finish the very first day we met. We wrote “Final Piece” in just a couple hours! He’s always been so much more than just another co-write or collab. I have severe social anxiety that hinders my ability to be comfortable around new people, but he eased that from day one. He has a contagiously mellow and kind vibe, so I just feel uplifted and ready to make music when I’m around him. He has so much experience and wisdom, so I’m always learning from him.
Adolescent: Can you go in-depth on what “Final Piece” is about? Did anything particular inspire you to write the song?
Suzy: “Final Piece” is about the friendships that have failed throughout my life, specifically when the friendship ended because someone was shitty to me. Don't get me wrong—the people I’m singing about aren’t bad people. We’ve all been the shitty friend before, whether we want to admit it or not. I hope the people who did me wrong learned something from losing me, but that’s not my business.
Adolescent: Who are you obsessed with at the moment?
Suzy: Bren Joy is a Nashville-based musician who has been thriving. Two years ago we were work besties at an ice cream shop in Nashville. We were always singing and laughing together. Now, he’s getting ready to release his first full-length project—he’s already dropped a few singles, and I’m proud. Whether we were friends or not, I’d be a fan. He’s an icon in the making. He’s also a great example of someone with a platform who’s changing the way we’re talking about the journey to success.
Adolescent: If this single was a dessert, what would it be?
Suzy: Haha! Raspberry lime sorbet. It’s cold and sour, but has a refreshing, soft side to it. I couldn’t possibly see this song or video tasting like anything else.
Annie Walton Doyle