Recent We The Best/Epic Records signee Kent Jones is the 23-year-old force behind “Don’t Mind,” the lilting lovefest in which Kent raps, croons, and shows off his silver tongue—well, tongues. It’s even spawned a viral dance movement. Users worldwide upload choreographed videos earmarked #DontMind –comprising a multihued tapestry of race, creed, and color. “My record, where I’m speaking 4 or five languages—I’m connecting with different demographics of people,” Kent says “They believe in various customs and cultures but share something in common: the need to connect to something, regardless of what language you speak. What was I doing in that song? Introducing myself to the world. And in their videos, people are responding the same way. They’re introducing themselves to me.” 

Kent first started making music –and a ruckus– when he dragged his mother’s pots and pans out of the kitchen cabinets. Kent graduated to a proper set of drums until finally finding his place behind the ivories. He found his voice doing gospel, then chose to tackle the ultimate test of technical chops—jazz. His prowess did not go unnoticed: He was named national jazz pianist Most Outstanding under the auspices of Wynton Marsalis, who presented then-12th grade Kent the award during Jazz at Lincoln Center. Kent eventually jettisoned the baby grand in favor of a portable solution: “I started making beats with a battery-powered keyboard. It had speakers and batteries, I’ll never forget it. I thought I was really doing something.” 

“I’m amazed at how this turned out for me. The success ain’t ‘cause somebody made a call for me or because they’re screaming on my records. Hasn’t been any of that. We’ve been able to work with each other to grow together.”

[Click Here to buy "Don't Mind" on iTunes]

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