JXN has been introducing himself to listeners with a growing discography of tracks that dive deep into a moody RNB sonic with a slight pop polish. Through the release of ‘Solitude’, ‘Red Lights’, ‘Just Okay’ and Outta Space’, the newcomer has raked in over 10 million global streams.
Ready to show listeners different sides of his growing artistry, the Melbourne singer-songwriter has unveiled his first body of work that highlights a pure excitement for experimentation and an eagerness to grow.
‘NeverASadAdventure’ is a strong collection of tracks that tackle an outta space aesthetic that shows a cohesive vision for what is to come.
I recently chatted with JXN about the creative process behind tracks like ‘Proud’, ‘EarthGang’ and Sky’, what he wanted his first body of work to represent within his artistry and discussed how he wants to bring it to life on the live stage. Check out the chat BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: ’NeverASadAdventure’ is your first full body of work, so what did you want to personally show people through this collection?
JXN: I wanted to show another side of me. I wanted to keep opening and show different ways I could go into other sounds and lyrics. I think this really shows something fresh and new that particularly people in Australia haven’t really heard before from a local artist. I’m really just wanting to branch out on my own a little bit and make my own.
TB: There definitely is that American hip-hop, RNB vibe to the EP and that’s exciting because you are right, no one has really done that locally yet.
J: Yeah definitely! I feel like the EP is a very universal sound and it could kinda go into any country and fit, and that’s what I want to do with every release. I want to relate to as many people as possible.
TB: ’Proud’ is a song that immediately stood out to me because it’s such a vulnerable song that is dedicated to your Opa after his passing earlier this year. So how did you find the process of finding the words you wanted to say during this candid moment? Was it a easy song to do or did it take some time to find the right words?
J: Honestly, it was the second song I wrote about my Opa. The first song was filled with a lot more anger about the situation, and more about the thoughts of “why did this have to happen”. Where as this one was directed towards an uplifting vibe.
I wanted other people to listen to this song and be able to relate to it whether they’ve lost a family member, loved one or pet, and have it help them through their grief and remind them of the good times. But it was a really hard song to write and record. I still cry every time I listen to it and so does my mum and the rest of my family.
TB: In contrast sonically, it’s quite different to everything else on the EP which is really cool as it is so deeply personal.
J: Yeah it’s definitely really different but I felt like it had to come out in this time. I didn’t really want to wait to release it because it’s a really timely track that is an exploration of my grief, and with everything that’s happening in the world it feels like the right time.
I feel like it’s okay to have a diamond in the rough on the EP. I didn’t want all the tracks to sound the same. I wanted it to reflect this part of my life in the most transparent way possible. This is a collection of tracks that reflects on everything that is happening in my life right now.
TB: On the other end of the spectrum ‘EarthGang’ feels like quite a hype track. So how did this song creatively come together?
J: ‘EarthGang’ was such a strange process because it came together by complete accident. We got into the studio with the producer who had done ‘Sky’ and Trip’ for the EP, and he had this beat that I decided to freestyle some stuff over. But we both weren’t really vibing what I came up with. Like, it was just okay.
When I came back he had manipulated every single melody and had randomly cut and chopped things to create a new flow. It was crazy because all of the lyrics from the different sections happened to fit together so well, and it felt so good. So I did a bunch of re-rerecording and writing of sections to freshen things up.
It was definitely a weird new way for me to write music and thats what I enjoyed the most about it to be honest.
TB: ’Sky’ gave me some Justin Bieber vibes with the smooth vocals. So what were your references and inspiring you for this track?
J: I was actually inspired a bit by some early Justin Timberlake tracks like ‘Senorita’ and ‘Signs’ with his smooth and grouped together vocals at the time.
I didn’t particularly mean for this song to turn out like that but it definitely has that feel along with that fresh new Justin Bieber sonic which is cool and current.
TB: What was it about space that felt like the right theme to bring this body of work together aesthetically?
J: Ever since working on ‘Outta Space’ my team and I were liking that aesthetic for the project which worked well with the names of the songs I had been working on like ‘Sky’, ‘EarthGang’ and ‘Trip’.
But what is really cool about the titles is that they are named after the beat and not the lyrics. So the songs actually don’t have lyrics that match, it was more representing the sound.
Like ‘EarthGang’ was originally going to be called ‘Stressing Myself’ and ‘Trip’ was going to be called ‘Neon Lights’ but then we decided to do something a little different and name them in a different way.
TB: What song took the longest to creatively pull together?
J: ‘Trip’ took the longest! I couldn’t get the lyrics right, it took me so long to record. But then I also wrote about seven verses for ‘Sky’ so that song took a while to cut and mould.
TB: Reflecting the EP, whats your favourite lyric or your favourite sentiment that you get to share through a song?
J: ‘Proud’ would definitely be a standout for me. I love the sentiment behind the lyric “life is now a darker place without you in it”. I think that’s really powerful.
I also like “been to hell, it’s alright when you’re not mine” from ‘Sky’ because it paints a picture of losing someone you really want in your life you’re now in this dark place but you know it’s going to be okay.
TB: You hit the road with Allday, Mallrat and E^ST last year for your first ever run of shows and followed it up by some headline shows so what was the biggest thing that these run of shows taught you about being a performer?
J: I honestly just loved being thrown in the deep end because that’s how I personally like to tackle things. The first show I was a bit shaky but I just embraced it.
I’ve been thinking of myself as a yes man recently because for the past five years I’ve just been saying yes to things that are out of my comfort zone and it’s really brought so many incredible experiences in my life.
TB: With the release of this EP, how do you imagine your live show evolving or shifting?
J: I really want to have some of my own space themed props and backdrops to give the stage that aesthetic. I want it to be a full show and not just something where people come see me singing over some tracks and that’s it. I want to do some acoustic guitar moments and really show all these different sides of me.
TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions
J: Let’s do it!
TB: A song I’ve been playing a lot during isolation is…
J: ‘WHATS POPPIN’ by Jack Harlow!
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be to…
TB: A word I know in another language is…
J: “tack så mycket” which is “thank you so much” in Swedish.
TB: My pre show ritual involves…
J: Fireball shots *laughs*
TB: If I was to have a drink inspired by me it would be called the…
J: “Young And Flame”! It would have to have a bit of spiced rum in it!
‘NeverASadAdventure’ is out now!