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‘I want to be that inspirational kind of guy’

Riverside student embarks on singing career with role on BET talent show

POSTED: December 26, 2011 1:00 a.m.
BRANDEE A. THOMAS/The Times

Trevor Jones is a senior at Riverside Military Academy. The Flowery Branch resident recently performed on BET's 106 & Park, a video countdown show. He's hoping that national exposure helps him fulfill his musical aspirations.

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When singer Trevor Jones is struggling with a performance, he knows exactly how to get things back on track.

He zeroes in on the crowd and forgets about everyone else in the room, except for the ladies.

"I've been singing since I was in fifth grade, but I didn't get serious about it until I got in eighth grade and realized that girls like guys that sing," said Jones, a Riverside Military Academy student.

"That made me start practicing more. When I was in 11th grade, I entered my first talent show. It was a real growing experience because I didn't know much about performing."

That growth continued earlier this month when Jones had the opportunity to perform as a contestant on "Wild Out Wednesdays," a talent competition on BET's "106 and Park" music show.

"I was looking for something to do with music; I really didn't know what though. I was on the BET website and saw a link that said to upload a video of you performing if you think you're good. So I did," said Jones, a Flowery Branch resident.

"I was out of town and I checked my phone and saw there was a message saying for me to come audition for the show. They had the paperwork attached and everything.

"I started freaking out a little bit because this isn't something that everyone gets to do."

To get ready for the audition, Jones hit the dance studio to pull his performance together. The show's producers liked what they saw and invited Jones to be a WOW contestant.

Although the show has aired, you can still watch a portion of Jones' performance on the show's website, www.bet.com/shows/106-and-park.html.

Though he put in lots of hours rehearsing for the show, Jones says he was still disappointed.

"I wasn't on top of my game at all," Jones said. "I was very nervous because it was my first time performing in front of the whole world."

His nerves may have gotten the best of him in the beginning of his performance, but you visibly notice his confidence return when he begins to ad-lib lyrics, toss in a few riffs and doing what comes naturally: interacting with the ladies.

"Singing a song I wasn't emotionally connected to was probably my biggest mistake," Jones said.

"In general, the song I performed doesn't show off your vocal range. In the future, I want to show people who I really am and that I can honestly sing."

The song he performed was an original piece, but it was written by songwriter who didn't have Jones specifically in mind. The music had a danceable beat, but it just wasn't smooth enough for his liking.

"The perfect performance tells a story," he says.

"If I could do it over, I would've chosen a slower song that showed my voice off better. I would've chosen something more heart felt."

His notes for improvement are something he's learned from one of his musical role models.

"Usher is definitely someone I look up to," Jones said. "I want to be able to walk in his footsteps."

Jones gives his parents credit for helping him pull the pieces of his budding career together.

"My mom was mainly helping, but then my dad realized how serious it was getting. When you put those two together, it's the perfect combination," Jones said.

Not only have they found producers for him to work with and competitions for him to enter, his parents also contributed to his natural gift.

"My dad went to a school of performing arts. He's mainly an opera singer, but he never really pursued it because he didn't have the same opportunities that I have," Jones said. "My mom sings too, but she's not serious or anything. We sing all the time."

Jones says his BET performance won't be the last time national audiences hear his name.

"At this point, I have to make more music," Jones said. "This isn't the end."

In the meantime, he graduates from Riverside in May and plans to attend college in metro Atlanta.

"I definitely want to further my education, but I still want to pursue my dream too, so I'm going to stay close to home for college," Jones said.

"Atlanta is the perfect spot if you want to nurture your talent, so I don't want to leave and go somewhere else."

Even if his rising star doesn't get as high as he anticipates, Jones has several backup plans. In addition to planning to study business and finance in college, so he "knows what to do with his money when he starts making it," Jones may also have a future career in artist development.

"I have a 6-year-old brother who I plan to mold into an amazing artist, I hope he's even better than me," Jones said.

"He watches everything I do and takes it to another level."

Ultimately, his plans are simple.

"I want to be that inspirational kind of guy," Jones said. "I just want to be successful."

 



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