Jxckson, an up-and-coming independent pop artist in the Austin music scene, sat down to talk with Crowdsurfer about his music and what’s in store this year. Take a look at the interview below.
Photos by Gaby Deimeke
Crowdsurfer: For our readers that might not know, give us a background on how you got started with music and why it’s so important to you.
Jxckson: Hey everyone, my name is Jxckson and I’m a pop artist based out of Austin, Texas. I’ve been singing and dancing since the age of 2, maybe even before that. From choir competitions to dance classes, music has been essential to my identity from the start. Now I’ve reached this point in my life, where I don’t want music to take a backseat anymore. I’ve learned that writing and recording music through the lens of being Jxckson now has fed my creative appetite… and now I’m hungry for more.
CS: What is your songwriting process like? Where do you come up with inspiration?
J: I’m actually a pretty visual thinker. I always start with what I want the overall mood of the song to be and visualize what a music video or a high-production performance would look like. It sort of fuels my creative energy so I’m able to start writing. From there, that usually sparks lyrics to tell the story that I see visually playing out in my head. I always thought it was an odd way to write, but recently I saw a tweet from singer/songwriter KAMILLE that she writes songs in a similar fashion. Makes me feel like I just might be on the right path.
CS: What’s your recording process like?
J: I record all my music at Orb Recording Studio here in Austin with my sound engineer Victor Gaspar. We connected through a mutual friend and thank god for that. He’s crucial to the recording process because he knows how to get the best vocal performance out of me. He knows when I’m just singing without actually thinking or connecting to the lyrics. For me it’s not about getting the vocals perfect, it’s about the character behind it. Does it feel like I’m having a conversation with the listener? He understands that’s what I want in my recordings and makes sure I deliver. I always leave the studio feeling creatively re-energized.
CS: Who are your favorite musical influences and who would you love to collab with?
J: Favorite musical influences would have to be Tinashe, Lily Allen, The Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Billie Eilish and a lot of KPop artists – Sunmi to be more specific. Lately, I’ve also been inspired by Doja Cat and Bree Runway. I’m just so fascinated by artists who have an alluring presence about them. It transcends the music and becomes an experience. I want to learn how to capture that experience for myself and anyone who listens to my music. If I had to pick an artist to collab with, I’d have to go with Tinashe. Her vibe is just so effortlessly cool and I would just lose my mind if I had a chance to even do a single 8-count with her. I can barely handle it in my own imagination.
CS: What has the response been to your new music?
J: I released my debut EP, Paradox recently and the initial response has been simply incredible! Having people, other artists especially, reach out to let me know how they connected with the lyrics has been a highlight for me. It’s almost overwhelming, because I very much am still the new kid. I still feel like I’m in my infancy of my career and just about to take my first actual steps. So the fact people take the time to listen to my music and share it, has me feel really lucky and honored. Not everyone gets the luxury to do what they love.
CS: What’s your 2021 look like–what are your plans for this year and what are you looking to work on?
J: Considering I officially kicked things off late 2019, most of my time spent as an artist has been in quarantine. Which gave me an opportunity to write more and connect with artists all across the world. I’ve done virtual performances, so a huge item on my ‘to do’ list is a real live performance. I have a few collaborations coming out in June, which is exciting to provide even more music following my debut EP. I’ve started writing music for my 2nd EP, and would say I’m about a quarter of a ways done with the writing process. I have plans to focus on more songwriting this summer – so a lot more to come!
CS: Anything else you’d like to mention?
J: Please check out my cover of t.A.T.u.’s “Malchik Gay” for the “Power to the Queer Kids, VOL 3” charity album out June 4th. For the past 3 years artist Zach Benson and his friends Tori Leche and Maggie Fraser have created a compilation album of music from LGBTQ artists called “Power to the Queer Kids”. The compilation consists of cover songs and raise money for the Trevor Project with all proceeds going towards suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ+ youth.