N’fa Jones


Former 1200 Techniques frontman N’fa Jones is in town this weekend for a string of shows to promote Life’s A Game, the first single from his upcoming full length album Black + White Noise. He speaks with JOSHUA HAYES.

When Black + White Noise is released – Jones is aiming for late February – it will be almost eight years since his full length solo debut, Cause An Effect. Jones has spent a number of the years in between overseas, living in London and France, dealing with personal highs and lows while releasing a string of EPs. The uplifting Life’s A Game reflects on this journey.

“About 2006, just after Cause An Effect came out, something happened in my head where I started getting stuck in yesterday a lot, thinking about ‘yesterday, yesterday’ or ‘should’ve, should’ve’, and all that kind of stuff,” Jones recalls.

However while living in France in 2011 his son was born – a life changing experience for anyone, but especially so for Jones. “When he came, all of that finally stopped,” he says. “I started just being much more in the moment, thinking about today and what to do tomorrow, thinking about trying to provide for him and make life right. It’s quite astounding, the changes since. I feel like my old self.”

These experiences shape Life’s A Game, and Jones says they are explored at length on Black + White Noise, which he has largely worked on since returning to Australia early last year. Life’s A Game is jointly produced by Perth’s Ta-ku and Melbourne beatmakers Sensible J and Dutch, while the likely next single is produced by 2012 ARIA Producer Of The Year, Styalz Fuego. “That came about by accident. I bumped into him in Coles just after I got back from overseas and his studio was around the corner so I just went to hang out for a minute. An hour later we’d written a song,” he says.

Black + White Noise will be released on Drapht’s record label, The Ayems. The pair has worked quite closely in recent years with Jones appearing on Drapht’s singles, Bali Party and 1990’s. “Drapht’s been a very great influence, helping me and seeing that I had this record and making me get my mind right and believe in it and do it,” Jones says. “We were just hanging out a lot and I was playing him stuff and he was like, ‘Man, you’ve gotta do something with all of this; finish it up and make it happen’ and it’s all come together. He’s been nothing but a blessing, that fella.”

Perth punters will be able to get a taste of the album this weekend, when Jones joins local DJ and producer Charlie Bucket for three shows as part of a joint national tour to promote both artists’ new singles – Charlie Bucket’s horn-heavy Dynamite, which features Jones on vocals and The Clash’s Nick Sheppard on guitar.

“I’ll play some of the older stuff, the right stuff that connects, but a lot of the set will be new music giving people a bit of a taste and feel for what’s coming,” Jones says. “It should be cool. I’ve been gigging a bit over in Melbourne with the set and the new tunes seem to be going down nicely.”