Ep39: Stephen Jones (Babybird) on surviving chart success and finding true connection with music fans
Welcome to my conversation with Stephen Jones, recorded on 9th April 2021. Stephen’s latest compilation of songs, “An Introduction To Babybird” is available on Bandcamp now, and you can explore his musical world here.
[Content warning: as always, some friendly swearing.]
In this conversation, we discuss:
- the importance of making music that’s for you first
- the strange and inappropriate uses of “You’re Gorgeous” in pop culture, from Prince William to Barack Obama
- how Bandcamp is the best internet version of DIY
- the awkward glamour and excitement of making a million-dollar music video with Hollywood royalty
Explore Stephen’s work:
- Listen to “The F Word” (from the album “Bugged”)
- Listen to “Unloveable” (from the album “Ex-Maniac”)
- Listen to “Feel”
About Stephen Jones
Million-selling songwriter and cult hero Stephen Jones has spent the last decade reconnecting with his DIY roots, exploring new styles and approaches with self-recorded and self-released music projects. Independence has allowed him to dig deeper creatively, taking more risks without having to worry about commercial expectations. These projects also breathed new life into Babybird, reborn in 2015 as a completely self-sufficient musical enterprise.
Along with the gold discs, millions of sales, a string of Top 40 hits, two Brit Award nominations, critical acclaim, and a dedicated cult following, Babybird has also survived the curse and repercussions of a smash hit single, cringe-inducing endorsements from members of the royal family, issues with record labels, huge changes in the music industry, and even a heart attack.
Stephen Jones remains dedicated to his cause, and has recently been making some of the best music of his career, over 20 years after his commercial peak. Meanwhile, people are still listening to albums such as “Ugly Beautiful” and the fan favourite “There’s Something Going On” decades later.
Visit Stephen’s Bandcamp page to listen, and follow him on Twitter if you dare!
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Have a lovely day xoPodcast
Well, that was a fantastic way to spend 90 minutes of my lockdown evening. I came here after it was announced on the Babybird instagram page today. Really great stuff, thank you. I think I will listen to your conversation with Bernard Butler next.
Thank you so much, Doreen, and thank you for stopping by to say hello 🙂
This podcast is essential listening for Babybird(Stephen Jones) fans because we have all heard him singing but rarely in a conversation as chilled and relaxed as this. One notable exclusion was Stephen’s two novels, one of which I have had the pleasure of reading: Harry and Ida swop teeth. This podcast could have been one opportunity to explore the literary side of his creativity which, believe or not, is brilliant! Maybe some day Stephen Jones will discuss his novels in another interview, hopefully!
Hi Samrat – thank you for listening! I had questions about the novels ready, but we just didn’t get a chance to get to them. Stephen and I could have talked all day about songwriting and the Post Office, and I had to stop it somewhere 🙂
Another fascinating listen Laura. Flutes, Post office drop off, autotune and Depp connected which is some feat.
Thanks to both for your time and enlightening chat.
Thank you, Tony! Yes, we do manage to pack a few subjects into these conversations don’t we!!