A Zionsville native is making a splash in the music industry by signing with a major label.
Topher Jones, an up-and-coming musician who grew up in Zionsville, recently signed with Ultra Records and released his first single, “Lost it All.”
He describes the tune as a “folk-pop song that gets dancy towards the end.”
The 26-year-old Chicago resident said the song started about two and a half years ago but was just released.
“A friend of mine came up with a vocal melody,” he said. “I wrote music that went around that. There’s lots of guitars and organic sounds that go along with it.”
He said the song is about a girl who sabotages her own relationship because of a fear of commitment.
“The song is kind of upbeat and happy,” he said. “But when you hear the lyrics, it’s kind of depressing.”
For Jones, signing with a major label was a relief.
“When it finally happens, you just kind of take a deep breath,” he said. “I’m still pinching myself and asking if this is real. You really realize that this is the moment where you are taking it to a new level and a new point in your career.”
While getting the label was a big step in his career, Jones realizes the work that lies ahead of him.
“Not that I wasn’t working extremely hard before, but when you reach certain milestones, you have a desire to work even harder,” he said. “You realize you are doing this by taking the right steps.”
Jones’ music career started without a lot of success at a young age.
“I never really learned how to play an instrument,” he said. “I can play guitar just a little bit, but I could never stick with lessons which is something I regret now. Growing up, I would always hear my mom and brother practicing piano, and I was able to really appreciate that.”
Jones said he started getting into hip-hop music during his days at Zionsville Community High School.
“I wanted to learn how to do all the cool stuff like scratching,” he said. “Freshman year of high school I got my first set of turntables and never looked back from there.”
After graduating from ZCHS in 2003, Jones took his talents to DePauw University in Greencastle.
“I feel there’s a period during everyone’s college career where they’re trying to figure out what they want to do,” he said. “One day when I was walking back from class, I realized that I needed to go all in to music. I realized that music is a big part of me and is something I’m very passionate about.”
Jones said it’s difficult to describe his music since it’s so diverse.
“My music is kind of a folk-pop that is infused with electronic elements,” he said. “Whenever I’m playing in a club, I play the dance versions to the songs.”
Jones said his music is influenced by his favorite bands such as Coldplay, Sigur Ros, Mumford and Sons, Adele and another artist he doesn’t like to admit.
“I like Taylor Swift,” he said. “That’s kind of my guilty-pleasure music. I’ll listen to pretty much anything though.”
Jones said he has the next four releases ready to go but needs to build up the anticipation for them since he is such a young artist. He hopes to have a tour to promote his music in the next few months.
“I am having a show in Chicago in November, but that’s all we really know about it,” he said. “My agent is handling promotions outside the U.S. and hope to get shows elsewhere.”
Jones said that it seems that dance music is popular wherever soccer is popular.
“It’s good for me too because I’m a huge soccer fan,” he said. “While I was recording in England, I played for a team there. The league was like 13 leagues below the Premier League so if we won our league like 13 years in a row, we could have played in the Premier League.”
Only time will tell what the future holds for Jones, but he said he is excited about it.
“This is a new beginning of my career,” he said. “It’s definitely a dream come true.”
Jones’ music can be found on iTunes.