Clermont resident was a Top 13 contestant on the NBC show "The Voice" last season.
CLERMONT — Mari Jones may not have come out on top last season on NBC's "The Voice," but her aspirations of making it big are stronger than ever.
Since being voted off the show from the Top 13 set of contestants on May 7, Jones, 21, has continued singing, writing songs and pushing toward her dream of stardom. On Friday, she is releasing her first single.
“I’m super excited. I can’t wait. This is the first time that I’ve actually been able to like really sit down and put out a product that’s 100% me and just what I want to do and be able to show me as an artist,” Jones said. “I’m really excited to just get that out there for people and have them see another side of me they haven’t seen before.”
Since she was 13 years old, Jones has been part of the praise team at The Lord’s House, a church in Clermont, alongside her father, a songwriter and music producer and her mother, a vocalist.
Before that, she was a member of Caponi’s Cannolis School of the Arts, an after-school show choir and theater group in Minneola. Before making it on the show, she worked at the Flying Scissors hair salon in Clermont, though she called music her “true calling.”
Upon her return home, Jones decided to focus on her music full time and that's when her new single happened “randomly.”
Jones said one day when she sat down to work on a demo for another project, a song she called “Chuck and Blair” just flowed out of her.
Jones said the song, inspired by a fictional couple on the show “Gossip Girl” she’d been binge watching at that time, is about topsy-turvy relationships and how people stay in them, even when they know the pairing may not be the healthiest or that it is not working out perfectly.
Jones said she believes it's a topic that many people can relate to.
Shannon Crain, who is Jones’ boyfriend, and their friend Jonathon Wolliston put the lyrics to music and produced it for her in no time at all. And even though Jones is not fond of genres and other music labels, she considers her new song a pop R&B song with an alternative indie twist.
Jones recorded the song at Starke Lake Studios in Ocoee. On Friday, people will be able to hear it for themselves.
“It came out just like nothing. It flowed. It was perfect and we finished the song in about a day,” Jones said.
Overall, Jones said, the insight and perspective she gained from her time on "The Voice" with coach Adam Levine, fellow contestants and experienced people in the music industry while in Los Angeles helped and inspired her to keep pushing toward her newfound goal.
Jones even said that one day in the near future, she hopes that the first stop of her world tour will be Clermont.
“What would be better than right here in my hometown?” Jones asked.
For now, however, people can begin downloading or livestreaming “Chuck and Blair” on Friday at midnight off Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, iTunes and more.
Jones said she also has five more songs of all different genres and influences in the works for a six-song EP (extended play) to be released soon.
Jones said she also hopes to get the funding to be able to release an actual CD.
“I like the physical things and actually like listening to a CD or vinyl,” she said.
Until her travels begin, however, Jones' plans include continuing to sing at her church, throughout town and wherever else her destined journey may take her.
“I want to say thank you to everybody who had kept following along and supporting me past all of this and stuff. It’s been really awesome and it’s been such a boost of confidence just to kind of keep pushing me to move toward this and keep putting the music out and not to stop,” Jones said.