In Talks With Jax Jones After His Vocal Debut In “Me And My Guitar”
21 Jul 2023
We sat down with the multi-talented DJ, producer and songwriter Jax Jones to talk about the release of his latest single, “Me and My Guitar”, which features Afrobeats legend Fireboy DML. The 35-year-old has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, from Demi Lovato to Saweetie. “Me and My Guitar” is a refreshing personal song, which speaks of Jones’ own experiences, and includes him singing for the very first time.
How are you feeling about your new project, ‘Me and My Guitar’ ?
It feels good, it’s nice to do something a bit more authentic and give people my story so I can communicate with them, and hopefully inspire people at the same time. I’ve been playing guitar since I was young, and for me it was a way to think about a better life for myself, and it was interesting to explore that in a song.
It was slightly nerve racking releasing something a bit different, because you’re thinking are people going to dig it, but at the same time I gotta keep it fresh for myself and people around me. I think there’s a lot of dance music out right now that sometimes it feels like it is profit over art, and people are just banging out songs. In terms of me contributing to the space, I enjoy it most when there are loads of different sounds coming at you, and that is more inspiring as a music fan, so let me put out what I want to see back, so me singing on the track was important. I want people to take more risks. It is scary, but I can take risks.
What was the creative process behind “Me and My Guitar”?
For “Me and My Guitar”, I just wanted to see what it would be like if I put some country pop guitars with some house music. They’re all like little experiments. Then I was like, what if I put FireBoy DML on it, that would be cool, then what would it be like if I sing on it. That process has been the undercurrent of most of my career. I started off with a song about kind of housework in the house, all the way to referencing old Euro-House songs, to putting a whistle on a song, because I just like experimenting and playing in the pop-dance space and seeing what comes out. That’s probably my favourite bit about being Jax Jones, having the ability to make those phone calls and have some of the greatest talents in the world right now taking part of these experiments with me.
What is most important to you personally as an artist? What do you want to share with your fans?
The two questions I ask myself in the studio are: do I love this song, and can I imagine millions of people feeling the same way? I equally love the feeling when you have people singing your records back to you, and I try to put that energy into every song I make. My music hits so many different fanbases because it contains so many different sounds. First and foremost, I am a creative person, so I am going to explore what is on my heart at the time.
How did you become Jax Jones?
I started playing classical guitar from when I was nine years old, then I started writing songs at thirteen, and making beats when I was fifteen. I built it all up from there. I got to Jax Jones much later, I was a session musician for N Dubz, it was really inspiring, it is that energy that I have in “Me and My Guitar” that we were all grafting to make our lives better. I started out with them, playing open mics, doing showcase circuits, then we went all the way to arenas with their second album. It was a surreal time, we were all like twenty one and just living. I look back fondly and remember those times.
I was always working with people, whether in a band or partnering up. I was doing grime back in the day, in like Brixton and Peckham, and did some stuff with Miss Dynamite, and PDC, Big Narstie. With Jax Jones, I was kind of like I want to be on my Jax Jones, on my own, and not be hiding behind anyone, and be accountable for everything. It was the best decision I ever made. I don’t blame anyone for anything, it’s my fault.
What was the reaction like when you shared “Me and My Guitar” with your team?
They literally loved it. When I played it back to them in the meeting, on the first demo I got a standing ovation from the label. I wasn’t expecting it at all. They were the ones who encouraged me to get it together, to sing on it, and I think it is nice to have their backing at that stage.
What are your main influences creatively?
I have so many influences because of my background; I’m half Turkish and half Chinese, and my stepdad is Nigerian. London in general, and just being a fan of music and art over time, I got a lot of references and that just pours into what I do. I think that is what helped me to stand out, even in my world. I came to dance music much later and I had like fifteen years of other genres going into my dance music. I’m always at like different galleries, hanging out with people or just watching things to get these ideas, it’s all just mash ups.
How do you feel “Me and My Guitar” compares to your previous releases, both in terms of sound and the overall message it conveys?
This record is one of the most important to me. I started playing classical guitar when I was very young which then developed into a bigger love for it where I then started writing songs around the age of thirteen. This record conveys following your dreams and working to make the come true.
Can we expect any remixes or alternative versions of “Me and My Guitar” in the future? Are there any artists you would like to collaborate with on a remix?
Yes, you can. Me and My Guitar Midnight Snacks remix out now.