sugar & spikes tattoo feature: doxi jones – unashamed

July 25, 2012

With her mysterious viral videos, we see a glimpse of Doxi Jones, but not the whole picture. She teases us with images of her eyes and lips, discussing her thoughts and pulls us into an intimate one-way conversation. A marketing idea she proudly proclaims as her own. While sitting down with the Title 9/SRC/Universal Republic recording artist at a studio in Manhattan, I am immediately thrilled to see not only is Doxi stunning but she has some beautiful skin ink. I wondered at first why she chose not to show off her amazing tattoos in her promo vids but I later understood it’s because Doxi hates the “perversion of self promotion”. Her teasing approach is a way to engage an audience without being overly pushy, yet confident that she will deliver once Unashamed drops Fall 2012. In an era where most pop stars will do anything extreme for publicity, I recognize that Doxi Jones is an artist who truly believes in her music and doesn’t intend to overwhelm us with all flash and no substance.

Words by Mika Kenyah

Doxi Jones certainly has the fashion edge; rocking her own style and 15 well placed grey and black tattoo pieces that will surely land her a seat amongst top pop icons. What is exciting about her talent is that she courageously covers Blondie’s Heart of Glass and Prince’s I Would Die For You, proving the strength in her musical creativity. Re-imagining such iconic pop classics and making them her own is certainly no easy task. While pop music dominates the scene, she isn’t aiming to get lost in the mix. She relies solely on her strong vocal skills to set her apart in this industry. She tells me her inspiration is far more based in jazz and Broadway than standard pop music. After all, she is a classically trained vocalist who spent six years with the Youth Music Program at UC Berkley where she also studied Cello. Yet, when you listen to Doxi sing you feel her passion and it’s much deeper than anything that she could have been taught. She inherited this love for music.

Born in NYC to young parents in an interracial relationship, extremely dedicated to their music careers, Doxi felt alone growing up. Doxi’s mother traveled the world and performed with artists like Chaka Kahn while her father traveled from coast to coast playing the saxophone. Doxi constantly moveed in with different relatives as her parents were always on the road. She eventually moved in with her grandparents in San Francisco, using their backyard as her own personal stage to foster her creativity that came naturally. Music became the thread that held her together during her darkest times. But being a teenager growing up in the fast life of the Bay Area with absent parents led to her rebelling, becoming as she describes a “precarious girl”.

Although constantly working on her music, Doxi fell into an unhealthy relationship. When her life became in danger, she realized she needed to leave the relationship before it was too late. Gathering enough strength, she left with nothing but her bags. She found herself on the side of a road, emotionally drained and distraught. The phone call that saved her life was to her manager to come and pick her up. Her favorite piece, a Phoenix tattoo on her back, is very symbolic of her resilience. Much like the symbolic phoenix she has risen over her obstacles, born again and hasn’t looked back since. I find her candidness about her past a remarkable example of her ability to make no apologies about who she is and where she comes from. Still I was curious to how someone would end up loving music, the very thing that took her parents away from her and created a void that led her to unhealthy relationships. As she explains, “You can’t deny your talent…it comes out when you are so little and once you figure that out…it grabs you for life.”

In getting to know Doxi, it is easy to understand why her debut album is entitled Unashamed. It’s befitting to her personality and she shares with me the album covers a lot of touchy subjects like sex, love & drugs. With Unashamed, she is willing to make an album about things people are afraid to talk about or admit to. With today’s images of extreme profanity or unrealistic perfection, it is important to Doxi that her music serves as a way to open up such discussion in a healthy way for young girls battling these kinds of issues. After overcoming her own obstacles, she is determined to use her new platform by working with The Go Candy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of young women.

It is safe to say that Doxi Jones is destined for huge success. Her latest single Die For You, makes you feel like making love on the dance floor while everyone break dances around you…It’s sexy and fun, both of which Doxi embodie in person. With Unashamed, she delivers a consistent beautiful vocal and a powerful storyline. Watching Doxi Jones in the studio is like witnessing the perfect storm forming. She is a rare combination of something dangerous and organically beautiful about to explode on to the scene. simply put, you can’t create this kind of talent in a lab.