Indianapolis music Kevin Jones has aspirations of pursuing music for a living. As a 19-year-old, however, the indie-rock artist is finding it a little difficult to get plugged in locally.
“A lot of the people that would appreciate our music are in the bars and the 21-and-over scene,” Jones tells me after performing with his band, Kevin & the Anti-socials, at Square Cat Vinyl. “We can’t play there. That makes it difficult because we probably could grow a bigger fan base if we played those places.”
Jones’ work as a musician clearly speaks for itself, as the aspiring artist already has a strong collection of tunes streaming on Spotify. Additionally, Jones also won the Song Academy UK Young Songwriter 2018 competition, international category, with the song "Clara" from his Simpler Times EP.
Jones’ love for music goes back about as far as he can remember. Around the age of 7, he started playing the piano, before eventually starting to write his own songs.
“I liked playing the piano. But there was some point when I was like 13 or 14 where I really started to find my own ideas,” he says. "So I started writing new songs. I listened to a lot of Beatles and all that stuff, and I was inspired by that.”
Thanks to his musically minded father, Jones was able to navigate the world of self-recording. “My dad is very good with audio equipment, so he kind of helped me get started with it,” Jones said. Over time, he also assembled Kevin & the Anti-socials, which currently consists of Jones (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Grace Mann (drums), Brandon Kaster (keyboards, backing vocals), and Michael Kaster (bass).
To this point, the band has been granted opportunities to play at local all-ages venues like the Irving Theater and Square Cat Vinyl, while also having some success at 21-and-up spots like State Street Pub.
“State Street Pub was interesting. When we first got there, they were a little timid to have us,” Jones says. “I wish that people weren’t so afraid of kids coming and playing 21+ places.”
Going forward, Jones and company plan to continue their uphill battle, in hopes of playing to larger and larger audiences.
“We’re having fun right now with the band how it is,” Jones says. “It’s been really great, so we’re just hoping to do as much as we can and make as big of a splash as we can in Indianapolis.”
Reader Note: Kevin and his story were brought to our attention through a callout at the end of music editor Seth Johnson’s Indy Music Strategy story, asking for thoughts on the current stage of all-ages venues in Indianapolis.