Open Artist Session with Howard Jones

”As an artist, it should be our holy grail to be original. It’s our duty to be.”

On Tuesday night our first Open Artist Session of the year took place at Tileyard, setting the bar very high. Howard Jones shared his take on being an independent artist now versus then, how he approaches songwriting and why it is so important to find spiritual guidance of some sort.

He mentioned how he always tries to set a portion of the day aside to speak to his fans, who he has a strong relationship with. ”Rule No.1: Take care of your fans. Especially the super fans.” However, the biggest chunk of time is reserved for creating work. Howard strongly believes that even creative work is about discipline: ”If you wait for inspiration to arrive, nothing gets done. You have to be there.”

Howard remembers what maintaining a relationship with your fans meant in a world without social media. ”We always kept in touch with all the fans, right from the beginning. There was no email or texts then – we kept in touch via phone and letter.” Fun fact: A large amount of those letters were written and distributed by his mother and her friends, as he was on tour or in the studio and it was humanly impossible for him to answer everyone.

Besides highly valuing his fans, he shows deep appreciation for his team and colleagues also. When being asked how to find the right team members, he comments: ”It’s part of your personal charisma as an artist to attract people. Then it’s up to you to treasure them – they’re not working for you, they’re working with you.”

Hal Ritson took part in the conversation and talked about how emotionally destabilising it can be to be in our line of work. To find the right balance, Howard considers the importance of spiritual guidance to be the best advice he was given. ”It’s about spiritual guidance and discipline.”

Thank you Howard for sharing your insights, opinions and experience – it was a truly inspirational event!

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Howard Jones is one of the defining figures of mid-’80s synth pop. The FAC Board Director has had over 15 top 40 hits and a number 1 album between 1983 and 1986 alone. From iconic performances at the London’s legendary Marque Club, a performance at Live Aid in 1985, to touring world wide to this day, Howard Jones has an abundance of experience to share with the FAC membership.