INTERVIEW: JP Saxe

When JP Saxe and Julia Michaels released the apocalyptic love song ‘If The World Was Ending’ at the end of last year, they had no idea just how extra relatable it was going to be in the matter of a few months. 

The anthemic alt-pop ballad has almost become the official soundtrack of distanced lovers during this time of uncertainty and confusion with COVID-19. 

The gorgeously penned track was written after the Californian coast earthquake last year and reflects on the past lovers that have gotten away but still have a deep regard for. They then question if the world was ending if they would come over and spend the last moments together and put their differences aside.

Following its release JP Saxe became one of the artists that you needed to add to your watch list. 

With his debut EP ‘Hold It Together’ now out in the world, the Canadian singer-songwriter has vulnerably opened himself up to listeners even more with an honest collection of tracks that hear him authentically representing his growing artistry. 

Recently taking these tracks out on the road in Europe while opening for Lennon Stella, he quickly built a legion of fans that sung the lyrics back to him loudly and proudly every night. 

I recently chatted to JP Saxe about the raw vulnerability behind his debut EP ‘Hold It Together’, explored the creative process behind songs like ‘Explain You’, ‘3 Minutes’ and the title track as well as found out what his go to self-isolation item is. Check the chat out HERE; 

THOMAS BLEACH: Your debut EP ‘Hold It Together’ takes listeners on an emotional rollercoaster of honest feelings and deep thoughts. Reflecting on the tracks, what was the song that took the longest to create and ultimately hone it into what it is now?

JP SAXE: ‘Explain You’! I think there were like 30 different versions of that song. We just wanted the emotion to be spot on with a little confusion, a little abandon and a little nostalgia.

TB: ’3 Minutes’ was a song that immediately stood out to me with it’s honest storyline and slight cheeky but sincere delivery that immediately draws you in as a listener. So do you mind if you explain the creative process behind this track?

JS: I was just trying to tell the truth and make it fun at the same time. It’s basically a hype track for my girlfriend.

TB: ’If The World Was Ending’ is a song that has clocked over 100 million streams on Spotify alone and has been played all over the world. So where has been one of the strangest/funniest places you’ve heard the song played?

JS: The videos of people wiping tears with gerbils on Tik Tok, for sure! That shit is real odd!

TB: ‘If The World Was Ending’ feels like a pretty relatable soundtrack to the world at the moment while we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. So what’s you’re go to item during self-isolation? 

JS: Bananagrams! I would be lost without it right now.

TB: This EP captures a raw sense of vulnerability within each track and heavily focuses on falling in love and sharing your own love story with the highs and lows that come along with it. So leading up the release of the EP, did you have any anxieties about being this transparent and honest with people? 

JS: Not really. I have to be honest; it’s my job. If I’m not honest in these songs then I have to go up on stage and lie to myself every night when I perform them live.

TB: Reflecting on ‘Hold It Together’ as a whole, what would you say is the most vulnerable moment on the EP for you as a songwriter? 

JS: ‘Hold It Together’. It’s just my voice and a guitar, and it’s such a specific representation of my re-understanding of love over the last year. But I also think that as an artist, where I’m the most vulnerable is where I’m the most powerful.

TB: You named the EP after the closing track ‘Hold It Together’. So why did you feel like this song was the perfect representation and summed up how you felt about this release? 

JS: Honestly, kind of the same answer! For the same reason it was the most vulnerable track, it had to be the title.

TB: You jumped on tour with Lennon Stella for a massive run of dates through Europe, so from being able to play this EP live for the first time, what song shocked you as one that has become a fan favourite or has transformed in a different way through the live spectrum?

JS: ‘3 Minutes’! Hearing people scream that along with me may be my favourite part of the live show.

TB: With putting together your live show and constantly evolving it with new music and playing across the world, what is the main feeling or thought that you want people to walk away from your set/show thinking or feeling? 

JS: Something about themselves! My theory is the closer I can make these songs to me, the closer it will bring people to themselves when they connect with them.

TB: Let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions. You ready?! 

JS: Okay!

TB: The emoji that best describes my debut EP ‘Hold It Together’ is…

JS: The corn emoji!

TB: Pineapple on pizza is…

JS: Allowed!

TB: Most mornings I…

JS: Sleep.

TB: If I was to have a drink inspired by me, it would be called the…

JS: #gottagetabobatogo

TB: If I could have any superpower it would be to…

JS: Speak every language.

‘Hold It Together’ is available now on all streaming platforms!