12 Breakthrough Austin Bands at SXSW Music

Kydd Jones

After backing all kinds of rap/R&B/soul luminaries, Kydd Jones is putting his own sound on the front burner

Photo by David Brendan Hall

12 Breakthrough Austin Bands at SXSW Music

Austin native Randell "Kydd" Jones is nonchalant about his success, remaining focused on his art, his fan base, and album credits. Although having performed, produced, and written music with and for rap/R&B/soul luminaries, the prolific 29-year-old multi-hyphenate plays it incredibly low-key about his accomplishments, even his latest upticks.

For example, he'll be on a North American tour for Parisian fashion brand and music label Maison Kitsuné for their T-shirt line release with the NBA – an opportunity that appeared out of thin air. The Southside representing jack-of-all-trades pulled out his singing voice and released the saucy TyOnDaTrack-produced trap/alt-R&B single "Brand New" for the release.

"They actually reached out to me a half a year ago in an email. It was just super random," explains Jones matter-of-factly. "I didn't know ... I had never even heard of the brand."

"Brand New" is one of a handful of singles Jones has released over the last year. Eventually, they'll culminate into a project called Homecoming. He hesitates to call it an album or mixtape.

The rapper/singer is still figuring out a core signature sound, presumably because he’s spent much of his time assisting other artists in finding theirs.

The decidedly mixed sounds of each single, including large-scale cinematic trapper "Dripped Up" and the booming, island-drum-tinged "Revenge," suggest the rapper/singer is still figuring out a core signature sound, presumably because he's spent much of his time assisting other artists in finding theirs. Jones' other significant vocation, working with the likes of Gary Clark Jr., Max Frost, and rappers Stalley and Kirko Bangz, has pushed his career to "the back burner." While making plenty of music for himself when he can, he still has a family to help provide for at the end of the day.

The balancing of personal art and of being in service to others positions the LNS Crew member into something of a catch-22. However, being a working musician means precisely that – working. He enjoys it, but maintains a no-nonsense attitude.

"We're here to produce a product, so I'm gonna give you my best, which is coming naturally and, hopefully, you're doing the same thing."

Kydd Jones

SXSW showcase: Fri. 16, Karma Lounge, 12:30am

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