10 questions with local artist, Jax

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Cole Jaquith

BY COLE JAQUITH ’16

Jackson Evans, otherwise known as Jax, is a native of Granville, but until recently he lived in Florida. His work has been floating around on the Soundclouds of GHS students for the past couple of years. Now that he has finally returned to Granville, students are able to put a face to the music.

You recently moved from Tampa, but you lived in Granville in the past and visit every summer. How does it feel to come back for your senior year?

It feels great. It’s a lot different than the big city, but I’ve always liked Granville better.

Was it difficult transitioning to a new school in the middle of the quarter?

It was easier than you’d expect. Everything happened really smoothly because they didn’t take any of my grades. They just put me in my classes and I got all As for the first quarter; it was kinda tight.

What got you interested in making music and when did you start?

Since I was born, my mom would play heavy, hard music around me non-stop, like Marilyn Manson and all that jazz, so ever since I was four, I’ve been singing non-stop and I’ve always been trying to be a singer. That’s when I realized I wanted to be a musician. Everything else I wanted to be became like a side job in case music didn’t work out. When I was six-years-old I got my first guitar. That’s when I started fully learning to play, and not just guitar, other instruments too. When I turned fourteen, I started posting music online. That’s when I realized that this is it, this is what I’m doing, and ever since then it’s been crazy.

Your first post on SoundCloud was a cover. When did you transition from covers to recording your own own original songs?

My whole life I’ve been writing songs, and no matter how bad they were I thought they were dope, but the the first thing I actually posted was a cover. The second song I ever posted was the first original I put out called “Delusional,” and it’s trash, like it’s awful compared to the stuff I have out now, but at the time I thought it was dope. I had like six months before I started posting covers, and during that time I was just making covers and mixes of originals, so I can’t really say when I recorded my first original, but “Delusional” was the first one I ever released. It’s long gone though, gone in the archives, never to be seen again.

Your style of music is very different. What genre would you put yourself in?

I’m trying to become like a new age R&B artist, but I’m mostly trying to just do something new. I wanna be classified as an R&B artist, but most of the instrumentals I make are more towards hip hop kind of stuff. I’m just trying to be an equal balance between like The Weekend and Drake, as well as throwing all of my other inspirations in there. Hopefully, it becomes something new and fresh that nobody has really ever heard before.

Do you have any major musical influences?

The Weekend and Drake are big ones, then Travis Scott and Post Malone. Those are just mainstream guys right now, but as I was growing up I listened to a lot of metal and stuff and for some reason that’s really influenced me. Frank Sinatra has inspired me a lot, and Bill Withers. One of my main inspirations was Stevie Wonder; he’s definitely a big one for me, just because of how amazing he is considering that he’s blind, he’s just an overall music genius and it’s insane to think about.

You did a song with Hashu, a local artist from Olentangy . How did that come about?

It’s thanks to you actually, I give all credit for this to you. We were sitting in Dylan (Carson)’s basement and you were like “Hey check out this kid,” and I listened to him and thought it was dope and I thought he was super famous, and then a week later you came back and told me that he lives in Lewis Center and I was like “Woah, that’s kinda crazy.” That was all at the beginning of summer. Midway through the summer I thought, you know what I’m just gonna email him and see how it goes. I emailed him before I got in the shower, right after I got out I get an email back, a follow on Twitter, a favorite on one of my tweets and a direct message on Twitter. It was Hashu and he said, “Go check your email.” I check my email and he said, “Usually I don’t respond to these, but I decided to keep yours in my inbox and I listened to your music and I was completely dumbfounded. Would you mind doing a colab for my album?” and I was like “Yeah, for sure. Let’s do it!” In that time span from then until me leaving for Florida we just became really tight and we put out “Awol,” which we worked on for a while, and ever since then we’ve been making crazy stuff.

If you could have any artist featured on one of your songs, who would it be?

I forgot to throw this in my inspiration, but blackbear, blackbear is definitely somebody I want. I don’t know how I missed blackbear, he’s the reason I started posting online. Blackbear, for sure, or probably Post Malone or The Weekend.

How does the music scene differ here from the music scene in Tampa?

That is a phenomenal question because I’ve been waiting to tell this. In Tampa, everyone is really strung up on more homegrown rap. There are multiple rappers coming out of Tampa, but they all have the same flow, and they all have the same style, kinda like Mac Miller or Schoolboy Q. They’re all trying to do something that’s already been done. When I was there, there were people that liked my stuff for sure, but there were people that were like, “Well, we like rap, so Jax is up next cause he’s the singer, so we’re gonna like this kid’s stuff before we like his.” Tampa is filled with a lot more fake people, so I’d go to school and everybody would be talking about my music, but I’d have triple the amount of people talking about my music than people who actually clicked the like button. They just follow whoever is the biggest, and at the time I wasn’t the biggest, but here, there aren’t as many artists coming out of Columbus. Ever since Hashu and I started working together, and people started seeing I was moving back to Ohio, everyday I get some new kid asking me to be on something. People are much more willing to work together and collaborate. I’m not complaining about that, I think it’s dope, it’s just Columbus is much more of a music-accepting city and it’s much more well-rounded when it comes to music taste and  style, rather than Tampa where people just like one specific thing, and if it’s not that, it’s out.

Is there anything coming out in the future that people should look out for?

I’ll say as much as a can, and I hope that doesn’t sound conceited, but Hashu and I are doing an EP together that drops in like December or January. We’re just trying to put Columbus on the map, and me coming back really makes that an easier goal. We kind of formulated a group with me, him, and a couple of producers and some video guys. We’re just trying to make a big thing come out of Columbus and we’re hoping it’ll be successful. The next release will definitely be the EP and then he’s coming out with an album that I’m featured on a couple times, and then I’m coming out with my own tape. Hopefully, this one will do better than the first, I’ve just gotta see if my following is stable enough. I’ll be coming out with a joint tape with Hashu next year too, but between now and then I’ll be dropping singles, seeing what people like and how they vibe with it. That’s all I have on my plate right now, but hopefully I can do some big stuff before college hits so I can get started off in the right way.

You can listen to Jax and follow him on SoundCloud. You can also follow him on Twitter @apollojax