Jaguar Jonze

Jaguar Jonze — ANTIHERO

Asian-Australian singer-songwriter Jaguar Jonze, real name Deena Lynch, has been on a creative roll. Fresh from releasing her debut EP, Diamonds & Liquid Gold, last year, she is back and keeping listeners fed with a new five-track EP, ANTIHERO.

The beginning of 2020 saw Jonze take home her very first award at the Queensland Music Awards in Australia. Since then, she has been on the rise and continued to showcase her talent to the world. Jonze is no ordinary music star. Her imagery and videos definitely set her apart from the crowd and are always next level, which comes as no surprise as she is also a visual artist, Spectator Jonze, and a photographer, Dusky Jonze. While the songstress presents herself under several different names, her music pays homage to her background throughout the fantastical cyberpunk world she’s created around her Jonze persona.

EUPHORIA. got the chance to discuss the new EP with Jonze, along with what fans can expect next.

Jaguar Jonze
Photo: Georgia Wallace / Press

How long did it take you to complete the new EP?

That’s a hard question to answer because each song started at different times, but I guess the answer would be between three months and three years, depending on which song. 

What’s the inspiration behind the title ANTIHERO?

For me, it means you’re neither perfect nor imperfect, that you’re neither strictly bad nor good, that there are so many moving parts to being humans.

What are you hoping listeners will take away from the project after listening to it?

Hopefully, help each of us be aware of our actions and how that behavior impacts ourselves and others. We should also be kind to ourselves as we can’t chase perfection, but we can chase to be better.

How does it differ from your debut EP?

I was in a different place from the debut EP, and the subsequent release after ANTIHERO will be another place and so on. As a human being and an artist, I am always growing. So, the sound, the message, and stories will always differ. 

Visuals are a big part of your artistry. Do you come up with the concepts while creating the songs, or do you come up with the ideas after? 

Sometimes I see the visual idea as I’m writing it, and sometimes it’ll hit me like a freight train afterward. Sometimes I’ll take the song on a little date in my head and see what kind of visual ideas float from that. There’s no one set process for me!

You contracted COVID in March 2020 and still recorded while in hospital care. Did this experience make you feel like you can achieve what you set your mind to?

It made me feel proud of my resilience, but I don’t know if it made me feel like I can achieve anything that I set my mind to. I set my mind to do it in a completely different way, but because of the obstacles I had to face, I just had to decide what was more important to me and pivot.

Out of the five songs, which one is your personal favorite or one you’re most proud of?

“ASTRONAUT,” definitely. It’s a poem that I wrote four years ago and then turned into a song. It had gone through three arrangements and took some time before I was happy with the arrangement it deserved. It was also the first song I wrote about my anxiety, and I feel proud that I’m now at a place where I’m OK to share it with the world. 

Sonically, what or who was your main inspiration?

My emotions inspire me and how I want to make people feel when they hear my music and hopefully understand mine through my sonic choices. 

You’ve made a music video for all five tracks. Do you think music videos have lost their importance a little since streaming took over?

It depends on who you’re talking to — I guess I made a music video for all five tracks because visuals are just as important to me. As humans, we crave to have all our senses entertained, and even though attention spans are getting shorter, there are still those that seek that experience.

Are streaming numbers something you focus on? 

Not really. I might look at it in the first week, but then after that, I quickly forget about it until it hits some milestone and someone messages me about it. 

Has the ongoing pandemic and quarantine found you being more creative since you can’t go on the road and tour?

We’re lucky in Australia, where we are starting to play shows, even if they are restricted. I’ve found myself less creative in the pandemic environment. I’ve had to focus a lot more energy on cancellations, unpredictable changes, coming up with many contingency plans instead of just one, and a lot more internet-heavy activities such as social media, Zoom meetings, and live streams.

What’s next? Is an album in the works or are you enjoying dropping EPs and singles? 

I’m finishing off a short film for ANTIHERO, stitching together all five music videos, which was always the plan from the start… and then….maybe an album, we’ll see!