Please tell us about the Marc Bolan School of Music and Film.
Jones: Marc had vision, and he believed in the arts, and that is one of the reasons for the Marc Bolan School of Music and Film. He was going into film. He had always been interested in videos; in fact, he was really one of the first artists to do a music video in high tech in Paris, France, at the time when video first started. Rolan has been really encouraging me to get back into the industry, and I am really working on his behalf regarding the Marc Bolan School of Music and Film.
We felt that if the children are able to create, they are able to make a living at it, then they should know how to produce films, as well, and then learn how to promote their own events. Rolan came to Sierra Leone three years ago, and he met the young people in the small town, which is like a university town, really young people, and he was speaking with them and met a few of the children who were child soldiers during their civil war.
He shared with me and said, ‘Mom, I really want to do something for this community and these young people.’ So we’ve been speaking about it. Now we are in the final stages of registration. What we decided to do, and Rolan suggested, is start with two classrooms and see how it works. Next year we will build the school. The film school will be one part that is very important, and we’ll really influence a lot of ideas and a lot of lives, because the children are able to film their lives through the camera. Then you’re really going to get something here, and Marc would have loved it. His only concern would be to make sure the children come out learning the music.
What are some of your current projects?
Jones: We have some wonderful things that we are doing. With The Light of Love Foundation, we are planning a world music festival for the children to reach out all over the world. I hope by the grace of God next year I will be calling to tell you that you are a guest. And, I would like for the children in Africa to compose a song for the children in Haiti as a tribute. It’s really all about the children and our youth. They are the generation that’s going to carry on all of the world, and we need to be concerned about them. The children are very violent in the world now, and what we need to do is to lighten it up, so these children can learn love and peace. They really need a purpose, because I don’t think that the young people today have a purpose anymore.
How do you reflect on your career thus far?
Jones: In December of 2009 I produced a song for UNICEF Europe, “Come Make a Little Step of Peace” by Pascal G. I went to the gala, and there were people that came up to me, some my age, some older, some younger, telling me how much they have appreciated me musically in their lives. I was absolutely honored. To be able meet people who’d actually seen me perform on TV in the ’70s — when something like that happens, you realize your worth, and that you have touched a lot of lives through your music. My mission is to keep soul music alive and to positively touch the lives of people who listen to my music. What I learned over in Africa is that you speak from your heart, have faith, and everything comes.
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