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It goes without saying that Jax Jones is a hitmaking machine whose list of bangers is never-ending. After selling 40 million records and working with a whole variety of artists like Mabel, Tove Lo, Bebe Rexha, RAYE, and Demi Lovato, many must wonder what is next for the London-born producer who managed to dominate the airwaves and perform at every festival going in the past few years. The answer to that quite frankly is: a lot!
Jones’s 2019 debut album, Snacks (Supersize), could easily pass as a greatest hits compilation as it’s jam-packed with anthems from start to finish. Whether it’s the super playful “You Don’t Know Me” with RAYE, samba-infused “Instruction” with Lovato and Stefflon Don, or garage-influenced “Play” with Years & Years, it’s safe to say these songs have undoubtedly defined a certain era of music and brought a lot of memories to a whole generation.
The next installment for Jones is a four-track EP, Deep Joy. While it’s a slight separation from the pop music he’s been dropping recently, it’s Jones’s way of showing that he’s still in touch with his early house/club roots. But don’t worry, his radio-friendly pop days are far from over. “Sometimes I’m doing pop and I can’t put out a club song,” he tells EUPHORIA. “I wanna do both. I’m a music lover first and foremost, so it’s important to me to put out music that reflects all of that and ultimately I want to have more tracks that I can play in my DJ sets with things people can connect to.”
“For now, it’s really exciting for me to put out more music and doing slightly clubbier sounds, especially as that’s where I started with records like ‘House Work’ and one of my earlier songs like ‘Go Deep,’ which was a little vibe, like Soundcloud music. I think it’s fun to explore that again in the position I’m in now knowing that more people are listening,” he continues.
“I want them to feel the growth of an artist. I want Jax Jones to be someone that they trust because he can do everything. He can knock out a club banger, he can knock out a pop banger, he’s just a great talented musician. I want them to feel when they listen to the music that there is a deeper connection because there is a little bit of a story there.”
While Jones’s biggest market is the UK, he has enjoyed a lot of success around the world. In 2014, he achieved a No. 1 single with “I Got U,” which helped him earn his first Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. His singles have gone multiplatinum across Europe and Australia, and he has spent a total of 144 weeks within the top 40 in the UK, as of this writing. With that being said, Jones isn’t feeling any pressure trying to maintain that victory going into a new era and appears to be very confident in himself.
“I’m not less nervous about this,” he says. “I’ve already decided on what I’m trying to achieve. It’s less about other people’s opinions of me. When you’re purely putting out music where the aim is purely to be as successful as possible by material standards then that’s when the feeling of pressure comes from. This is just an expression of me and me sharing a part of myself with the fanbase that is listening. I’ve been making music now for 20 years, what makes it feel different is I’m led by a feeling. You can technically know everything and that’s cool but when you’re an artist what you’re looking for is the feeling.”
Deep Joy is going to be Jones’ first project released on his own label, WUGD, which he has launched with his long-time friend and manager, Dan Stacey. For the 33-year-old, this has been an idea he’s had since the beginning of getting into the music industry from when he started off as a session musician for N-Dubz. “I’ve always loved the business of music from a certain perspective. There are really some deep negatives that I disliked but the only way to change that is to get into the center of it and work from the inside and be the front of something that I own. That’s what it’s about, if you’re talking about big boy moves, it’s about ownership really,” Jones shares. “I’m super excited to do it with my manager because it’s a really safe place. We’ve gone through high and lows together and built everything up from scratch. We can pass on that feeling to the artists we sign and it’s a very independently-minded label that inclusive and diverse.”
In an Instagram post, Jones informed his followers that he is looking to sign talent that inspires him and asked aspiring musicians to send over their demos, no matter the genre or style. On the first day, he tells me that he received well over 600 songs and is currently going through them all and highlighting the best ones. “Social media for me is less about sharing about what I’m doing. I chat to a lot of new, up-and-coming producers, and it’s a way to connect. I’m finding some dope shit, there are some talented people,” Jones reveals.
While Jones builds up a roster of acts to sign to his label, he mentions why he decided to release the Deep Joy EP on his own label as opposed to the major label, Polydor Records, he is still signed to: “This EP is more of a statement of intent. As you can see with the EP, I’m doing whatever. ‘Feels’ is a happy, bassy, New York warehouse house record. ‘Crystalize’ is more EDM, and ‘Paris’ is a filter house banger. It’s all different vibes, it’s all credible, it’s not trying to be gimmicky for the wrong reasons, that’s the intent for the label. I’ll still do all my pop records on Polydor.”
Even though a lot of artists today are jumping at the chance to work with Jones, he is very open to admitting there was a time where nobody would give him the time of day. “The first five years of my career were life or death,” he says. “I just had to make something just to prove to the world, prove to myself, prove to anyone that ever chatted shit about me that I can actually do that. I’ve had it all, people saying that I’m nothing or saying that I’m not going to achieve shit. Now I’m like, cool, what now? I’ve done all of that. It kind of felt like I did it for other people, so now I look less. Now it’s about trying to translate some of the journeys I went through, the position I’m in to help other people, spread positive messages. It’s still music to make people have a fucking great time but underneath that, I want it to stand for something so I can say I achieved a bunch of shit and that my life got better while also bettering a bunch of other people’s lives.”
Last year was an all-around rocky year for most people involved in entertainment. However, it did allow Jones time to embark on his biggest UK tour before the world changed. He notes that his show at Brixton Academy stands out as a career highlight because thousands of fans coming to see him headline a concert in his home city will always be special. A week later, everything came to a stop and plans were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He had international festivals lined up and a residency in Ibiza booked, and he was ready to continue having a “crazy” year. While the UK was on lockdown, Jones used his time to reminisce and reflect. “The pandemic allowed me to take a moment to re-listen to music that I loved,” he shares. “I had a baby and my daughter makes you think about what you wanna share and the messages you want to pass on and made me reflect on how I grew up. When you’re not traveling loads and not distracted by life, you can get really creative and zone in like that.”
Jones cites fellow producers David Guetta, Mark Ronson, Pharrell Williams, and Calvin Harris as people he looks up to as he would love to have a career that transcends through the decades like their music has allowed them to. While preparing for the release of a new EP, Jones has a lot more in the pipeline that will soon follow. He has already started working on his next pop album and has collaborations locked in. Even though he was tight-lipped about who will feature on his sophomore LP, the smile on his face suggests the best is yet to come. Although, something exciting he was willing to tell me was that he produced Mabel’s next single — which he believes has a CeCe Penniston “Finally” kind of vibe to it — and that he has also been in talks to work with music icon Diana Ross for her new material.
This year has been fairly quiet so far for Jones, but that’s clearly all about to change. He is all about manifesting and is hoping he will have a No. 1 single this year. Somehow, we can see that happening.