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You are the voice. We are the echo.
The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Friday, June 14, 2024
The Echo
Wesley singing.jpg

'The guy with the bluetooth speaker'

Wesley Jones unpacks his musical journey

Wesley Jones — a name that speaks for itself.

Many know Jones for his on-the-go music, elaborate stage presence or, perhaps, his visionary leadership.

As a current senior, there are few students at Taylor that do not know his name.

The fact that he is so well-known is deeply rooted in his sharing of music through a bluetooth speaker.

“As much as I might like to claim that it was fresh out of the womb, I first got a bluetooth speaker sophomore year of high school for Christmas,” Jones said. “And that was the first time I had gone on a tour with my high school's improv team, and they had plenty of bluetooth speakers. I was like okay, well I happen to have an extensive and very unorthodox music taste and I've been, you know, playing things. I just like music, you know, and why not share that with the world?”

After receiving the speaker, he began carrying it around in his backpack, playing music wherever he traveled. 

Since then, his goal has been to queue music that most people would not encounter in their daily listening, such as the Halo soundtrack.

“I just kind of started doing it,” Jones said. “I don't think there was really a conscious thought process behind it, but before I knew it, I was the guy with the bluetooth speaker. And this was something that people loved.”

Jones carefully curates his music based on seasons, weather, the environment, his mood and other variables. 

He strongly believes that music can provide meaning to his daily experiences and those of the people around him. 

“In many ways, you're creating an experience for yourself and simultaneously creating this experience for other people,” Jones said. “It is a gift and a status that you have to steward wisely if you do it. Life would simply be so much more dull and boring [without music].”As Jones advanced from high school to college, so did his music.

He debuted his speaker at Taylor as early as he could — at freshman orientation.

“I believe the first song I played on this campus as a student at orientation was Insaneintherainmusic’s cover of F-Zero from Big Blue,” Jones said. “It just has a good 80s and  saxophone vibe. I think, in retrospect, I would have made it something different, but I didn't know what to expect and I wanted to play something cool, so I played something cool.”

Jones’ love for music has carried over to his dedicated participation in Taylor traditions like Nostalgia Night and Mygen.

As the current front man for the band Brosis Mitosis, Jones has performed songs such as “Shut up and Dance,” by WALK THE MOON “Mr. Brightside,” by The Killers and most recently, “Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.

But, he was not always a member of this Taylor-famous band, founded by Annelise Gonzales (‘22).

Jones has worked for media services since his freshman year, running sound or lights for various events. While working the stage one day, he watched Brosis Mitosis perform and immediately noticed that they had something good going — and he wanted to be a part of that.

So naturally, he joined the band.

Between his several performances with Brosis Mitosis, his favorites have been “Mr. Brightside” and “Smells like Teen Spirit.”

“[Mr. Brightside allowed for] the first groundbreaking mosh and the ability to emotionally relate to the lyrics even though the lyrics were way out of my vocal range,” Jones said.

Learning to play the electronic wind instrument for his performance of “Smells like Teen Spirit” at Nostalgia Night 2023 made that act particularly memorable as well.

He can also be found on stage performing with Taylor’s improvisational comedy group, Rice Pilaf. 

This year, he serves as the group’s captain.

“That entails running practices [and] helping schedule shows,” Jones said. “It's not that I'm the funniest person on the team, but it's more that I have been entrusted on behalf of the team with making us organized to the best of our ability and making sure practices run smoothly.”

He strives to dedicate his entire self to everything he is involved in, whether that is Rice Pilaf, Nostalgia Night, media services or arranging a wing event.

After breaking his leg due to attempting to skip across a flight of stairs in a serious game of tag, Jones did the best to make the most of life, despite his mobility impairments. This meant wholeheartedly performing in Nostalgia Night and Rice Pilaf, wheelchair and all.

After four action-packed years at Taylor, Jones is approaching his final stretch.

He feels ready to leave, but at the same time, uneasy about departing from a place that has been so monumental to his life.

“I will definitely 100% miss the people and the activities because the opportunity to be in a place like this which somehow meshes so well and is accepting of who I am,” Jones said. “And to get to know a wide array of different people and hang out with them.”

Spending time with a diverse range of people has helped him to better grasp the image of God — and that is a blessing he will truly miss.

He hopes to continue spreading humor and joy wherever God takes him.

“I like to think that that is a calling that has been placed on me to enhance peoples’ lives in the sense that they have something to laugh about (in Rice Pilaf, that’s a big thing), or they have something that instills them with greater determination or confidence, like hearing the bluetooth speaker,” Jones said. “That is I think something important and maybe unconventional, but if I have the platform as someone who is well known and someone who can hang out with a lot of groups of people, then I might as well.”