Los Angeles-based solo artist Jasper Bones might be someone you have not have heard of, but should be listening to. On May 29, Bones opened for popular psychedelic soul band The Marías in UCLA’s Royce Hall.
Bones began his journey with music by enrolling in guitar lessons that soon shifted into becoming more self-taught through the likes of the internet. The artist then kicked off his career in 2017, with the release of singles “Soulkeeper” and “What’s Your Secret.” Growing up with a love for a wide array of music genres, he started playing around with different vibes to create his own songs.
With a sound he has described as Chicano wavy-soul, Bones music is soulful and, well, wavy — combining the traditional sounds of his guitar with funky synth interludes and dynamic background beats.
This adds a bit of a 1980s flare to a lot of his songs, which can likely be attributed to the musical influences Bones has referenced from that time period. He also blends languages within his music, adding that Chicano element to his style.
Though this is becoming increasingly popular in the bedroom pop/indie scene, especially with bilingual artists, it is worth noting that this adds another layer of depth to an artists music.
Not only does it introduce non-native speakers to the language, but also creates a level of relatability to listeners of the same cultural background. As universal of a language that music is, being able to use it as a unifying force between people is incredibly powerful.
Though he doesn’t have a large quantity of music out yet — having released one EP and four singles — Bones quality of songs far makes up for what he lacks in numbers. In his 30 minute set, he sang a handful of these songs, including “I Can’t Stay,” “Oscuridad,” and “Soulkeeper” to a (quite literally) woo-ed crowd. He even sang his own rendition of Alicia Keys’ “If I Can’t Have You,” a slower, soulful variation of the classic.
His laidback and soft spoken stage presence was quite endearing, though it in no way made for a lackluster performance. Bones could remind one of a younger Ed Sheeran or even Andy Grammar, just a boy and his guitar creating music they love.
Though he was a perfect opening act for The Marías, it will be of no surprise to watch Bones succeed as his own headliner. He embarks on his own solo tour this August, an exciting milestone in a road of many more to come.