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“Men have heartbreaks, too. I just decided to unapologetically write about it”, states Cleveland P. Jones about his highly anticipated debut album, Ace of Hearts. “Expressing my feelings of love’s lost and my recovery from such doesn’t make me any less of a man. If anything, I’m stronger because of it”, he candidly mentions. What promises to be coined as a resurgence of classic and timeless soul music, Ace of Hearts offers you twelve riveting tracks of personal, raw, and gritty perspective of Cleveland’s experiences in love and the lack thereof. “My music is undoubtedly emotional, but in order to heal, I had to tell my truth without fear of judgment.” That alone is why Cleveland is the quintessential artist he is. “Somebody out there will hear me and I hope it awakens something on the inside that ignites freedom and invites healing.”
This native of a little country town in South Carolina, called “North”, started his musical journey on a little clay road and pastures of green fields. He affectionately recalls listening to his mother sing as they cleaned the house on hot summer days and bumpy rides to the church house. “Momma would sing songs by gospel greats like Shirley Caesar then switch to soul legends like Betty Wright. It just depended on her mood,” he kindly reflects. This was the beginning of what would later become Cleveland’s maturation as an accomplished singer/songwriter and producer. His voice is simply one of a kind and to experience it, especially live, is a spiritual journey on it’s own.
Penning timeless classics like Free Yard Sale, Cleveland boldly speaks of the liberating experience in giving away the belongings of a past love after holding on to them for nearly four years post break up. Cleveland decided not to sugarcoat the hurt and, in turn, gained a newfound mental and emotional freedom from what was his own personal imprisonment of not knowing when to let go. With his soulful rock tune, Patience, Cleveland compositions are designed to welcome open dialogue often abandoned or non-existent between lovers and friends alike. “Sometimes you’re just tired of the person, but it doesn’t mean I stopped loving you”, he speaks of this captivating soul tune.
When asked about his future in the music industry, he proclaims, “my mission is longevity, not instant fame. I’ve learned by example and experience that rushing a good thing normally ends abruptly and suffers long...what’s intended for me will be,” he says. Cleveland has carefully chosen the unbeaten path to discover his truth, which resulted in this self- written, self-produced, and performed confession, which is Ace of Hearts. He spared nothing to give you his best as he unwaveringly chose live instrumentation throughout this masterpiece of soulful art.
A graduate of two prestigious institutions, Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Cleveland became deeply involved in music and theater. He performed and toured many places stateside and abroad. After Morehouse, Cleveland continued to develop his acting and vocal skills later finding himself in the growing underground independent music scene of Atlanta, Georgia. From this experience, he was afforded great opportunities to travel and lend supporting vocals to some of Atlanta’s most promising soul artists. While in Atlanta for nearly ten years, Cleveland appeared in and lent his voice to Paramount/MTV’s Fighting Temptations soundtrack. From then on Cleveland became highly influenced by artists like Anita Baker, Bobby McFerrin, and Rachelle Ferrell. As he continued to search for “his voice” he later indulged deeply into Soul Legends such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway, Oleta Adams, and a plethora of others.
Thus these musical influences, Cleveland’s music speaks boldly for itself. No fanfare or polishing needed. Simply put, he committed to his mission to deliver unadulterated “timeless soul music” and therein offers you the golden keys to unlock this soulful brilliance. Ace of Hearts is a faithful story about Cleveland’s road from personal insecurities, abandonment, love, pain, and back to square one of loving oneself wholly. “The heart was made to love, break, and heal” he says. “The best part is when you reflect and discover how strong you were the whole time.” Cleveland P. Jones is well on his way to higher places, yet very rooted in the quest to heal souls one song at a time.