Music contract for Heckmondwike songwriter

LOVE SONGS: Louis Jones, who has signed a recording contract with major label Wichita, says all his sings are 'soppy pop'.
LOVE SONGS: Louis Jones, who has signed a recording contract with major label Wichita, says all his sings are 'soppy pop'.

IT is the stuff of fairytales for most musicians.

Louis Jones recorded his very first self-penned song with a friend at university and uploaded it onto MySpace in 2009.

It soon caught the attention of a US record label which picked it up and emailed him to ask if they could release it.

Following the release Louis, 21, from Heckmondwike, gained more interest from record companies and has now signed to Wichita, which already has the Cribs and Bloc Party on its books.

And his debut album, Bad Penny, is due for release on October 17.

Louis said he started out playing in bands with friends but graduated to writing his own music and lyrics as Spectrals in 2009.

He says: “I went to university and had a friend who had some recording equipment so I recorded the first song I had fully written and sung myself.

“I can’t say I had any idea where it would lead but I put in on the internet and it got picked up by a US label called Captured Tracks. They wanted to release it on seven inch vinyl and I had to get another song together for that.”

The single, Leave Me Be/Don’t Mind, was released in November 2009.

Louis, a former Heckmondwike Grammar School pupil, said: “Since then I keep taking it a little bit further. I had no idea it was going to get picked up – I just got an email. I didn’t quite believe it. It was a label I followed and it is so far from where I live, and it meant a lot. It’s meant that I can continue doing more music.”

Growing up listening to his parents’ record collection, Louis cites some of his favourite acts as the Rolling Stones, the Everly Brothers, Style Council, the Stone Roses and Frank Sinatra, with Diana Ross and Elvis Costello at the top.

He says his own music is ‘soppy pop’ love songs - and all are about a girl he has been with since school.

He said: “They are just from my feelings on whatever is happening. Sometimes I think it must be quite hard for her now more and more people are hearing the songs.”

Louis plays all the instruments on his album apart from drums, which his younger brother, Will, plays.

He says: “It’s all close to home. I have the ideas for what I want it to be like and I’m not interested in a formal band. I’ve done bands before but that was about friendship – this is something I put a lot of thought into and I want to do my songs justice. I like the idea that it’s just me.”

Louis is playing his music live in London at the moment and is hoping to tour America next year.

He said people sometimes had difficulty understanding his Yorkshire accent – but he refuses to change it, and is reluctant to claim he is part of the ‘Leeds music scene’, saying he is proud to be from Heckmondwike.

He said: “I don’t reckon a lot of people know what kind of town Heckmondwike is, or know much about it.

“A lot of my American friends know Leeds but they are more likely to know Manchester because of its music scene.

“Leeds has its own thing going on but I would rather say I was from Heckmondwike because that’s my home.”