Meet JXN and his twisted, hip-hop-pop sound with debut single, Solitude
After building up a platform with covers on YouTube and Vine, the Melbourne-based musician bursts through the gates with his debut original.
The rise of social media and streaming, particularly video-based streaming platforms including YouTube and Vine (RIP), has drastically changed the way we discover, share and highlight new music. This is a bloated topic that's probably worth exploring in a full-length feature, but the general gist is that it's allowing us to discover musicians in different – often easier – ways, and YouTube creators with musical backgrounds and can build authentic, loving audiences without the need for the often expensive and intensive branding and development that this typically requires by your "standard" musician. It's making it easier for younger musicians to break-out with more emphasis and strength, backed by fans that have followed them from video to audio; YouTube clips to full albums.
Melbourne-based musician Jackson Brazier is an artist doing this at the moment with his new project JXN. Over the last few years, music covers he's posted onto YouTube and Vine have given him a million-strong audience, meaning that his debut single Solitude is already being met with a whole lot of love and acclaim. It's a crushing, genre-bounding burst-out-the-gates that combines a subtle guitar melody with thick, hip-hop percussion and bright pop hooks, finding a meeting place between the snapping snare you'll find in your standard rap song (or the woozy, R&B-leaning middle-eight in the second half of the single) and the confident pop you'll see in your standard radio tune. It's something you'd expect from someone like the Australia-bound Khalid: slick with its smooth, R&B feel, but the clever songwriting and anthemic-ness give it its own lane.
"Pretty much everyone has been through what that song says," says JXN on the single, which was created alongside Swedish super-producer Johan Gustafson. "It’s a bedroom song or a rainy day car song. Looking out the window with the rain, headphones on." Listen to the single below, and better get-to-know the rising star underneath that.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m 25, born and raised in a small country town in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley! I’ve loved music and had a burning passion for it my whole life as well as basketball which was my main focus growing up!
What else... hmm I like bacon and eggs in the morning, with avocado of course, but mainly I just love making people smile and reaching people through music and entertainment
What’s the vibe music-wise?
Hip-hop inspired urban pop :)
What are your production and writing processes like?
I will always be a massive part of the creation of any of my songs, I’m in love with songwriting and when I find a producer that speaks my language there’s no stopping!
Can you tell us about your new single, Solitude?
Solitude. One to pull your heartstrings, it was written by me and a producer in Sweden that I work with a lot (Johan Gustafson) and it focuses on the part of a relationship both ways where you both or one may be feeling like this can’t work anymore but you are trying to force it a bit. It’s like your both in the car going but no ones driving so it’s most likely to crash. And it’s all about that emotional tale you fight.
This is your first single as a musician, but you’ve already developed quite a name for yourself through YouTube and social media – what encouraged the move into original music?
I would say I never have “moved” into music I have always sung and played the guitar. I started social media to promote my covers growing up :)
Any shows coming up?
At this stage not 100% confirmed but most likely mid next year I’d like to say!
What’s the rest of the year and 2019 have in store for you?
More more more original music! I want to get out as many of my babies as I can! I have so much for the world to hear and I can not wait until they do.
Where can we find more of your music?
More..? You are going to have to wait.. not too long but ;)