Tuesday, January 21
I got a word from a church member this morning at the 6:26 AM prayer service. She told me that I should tell my story, even if it seems insignificant to me. I also had another word before that I should start journaling for other people to know how I got here. Then at a bible study, I had another word confirming it again. So, I need to stop being hard-headed and tell my story!
Who am I?
My name is Michael Alan Jones aka Malan Jones. I’m thirty-two going on thirty-three this year of 2020. I’m a Christian of a pentecostal background. I’m a singer-songwriter, a videographer, and Graphic artist. I am of African-descent but born in good ole America so that makes me African American. I’m single, unmarried and don’t have any prospects. Most people think I’m ten years younger than I appear, The saying, “ black don’t crack ” applies to me.
I was born on Warner Robbins AFB, GA. Graduated from the University of Tampa in 2012, I did my two-year degree at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio Texas and homeschooled my entire Highschool years. My mom thought it was a good idea to homeschool me after I started reading my dad’s college books around the age of three. She also said I would hum along with the radio at two months old.
I started playing piano at six, composing music around eight and took formal lessons around seven ( With Ms. Amy ) and fourteen ( by Mrs. Sharon Bassett). At the age of twelve I was the backup keyboardist at the base chapel on Whiteman AFB, MO, I also played bass guitar some Sundays. When the main keyboardist ( Bruce Kerr) couldn’t make it he’d pay me to cover for him. I saved the money I made from the chapel to get music recording equipment. My first studio setup included a Roland XP-10 keyboard, a Tascam 4-track recorder, a $35 Shure microphone, and speakers from my parent’s old car stereo system. I then upgraded Acid pro loops, then cakewalk home studio, an m-audio delta66 audio interface, joe meek VC3Q preamp, an AT3035 microphone, and a consumer stereo system. I and my brother made our first EP “ Lil Preachas” using that setup in a TLF ( Temporary Living Facility) on Whiteman AFB base, MO just before we were going to move to San Antonio.
Around the age of fifteen, we moved to San Antonio, TX and there I started to lead praise and worship for the youth group at a local church called New Vision. It was also in Texas that I took formal voice lessons and began to sing more.
At the age of sixteen, we moved to Tucson, and I became a full-time chapel pianist. That was my first official job! I used the money from that job to get more studio equipment. I went to the library, and looked at how much producers made, and what they did, and wanted to be one. I would be on the internet researching equipment, reading about mixing tips and learning about the top music producers. My favorite place on a Friday night was Barnes and Noble’s reading recording magazines. I was passionate about trying to get good mixes and create the best music production. I made hundreds of songs, just trying to get the mix right and learn new techniques. This is where I made my first album ” Every Second of the Day” under the name Mic Solo.
I stayed in Tucson three years, then my dad had orders to England, but my brother and I stayed in Tucson. We formed a band “ 1 Kingdom Image” with a fellow musician, but disbanded after a year – I realized I wasn’t ready for all that. I went to England where my dad was serving as chaplain, and I became the chapel pianist there while doing online college at Pima Community College.
Upon returning to the states I brought my first camera, a Canon HV20 mini DV, and began to post videos to YouTube. They were somewhat pointless, but I was learning. A YouTuber, Mark Aspalon did a contest, and I entered it with a song and a really bad video. My entry lost, but one company heard the song and liked it. They asked me to do original for them so they could use their phone-line music. I went to work for them immediately and overnight came up with the song “ tubetape.com” they sent me a green screen along with software for making special effects. Then another company asked me to enter their contest, I entered thinking I had no chance, but to my surprise won $1000. I brought Sony Vegas, and start editing video with that. From there I continued to enter contests and do music videos, and upgrade my studio.
I went on a winning spree, winning a contest from Lipton, Gillette, Tiki Torches, I made the local news three times. I also began to get involved with the YouTube community. I made a song for VidCon, Bubzbeauty, Jessica Lizama, Niga Higa, Mystery Guitar Man. I went to the first official VidCon conference in 2010, and my YouTube subscriptions grew to over six thousand. I met many of the YouTube Stars.
But I got burnt out doing YouTube and stopped making videos. It all seemed meaningless to me. I turned my attention to college and occasionally entered a video contest. November 2011 I had my biggest win with “ The Life Opens Up project” by Oral-b and Crest. I won $25,000 and was flown to New York, that was the first time I had been there. I got my original song “ My Love is 4 U” produced by Grammy award-winning producer Jerry Wonda of Platinum Sounds, had a photoshoot with Joseph Cartwright, and met Rachael Ray. I was just about to graduate college the following year. I was 24 years old and this was definitely the highlight of my twenties.
Okay, that’s where I ‘m going to end this story for now. The next part isn’t pretty, it’s pretty much where everything falls apart, and I lose badly…You should enjoy that chapter