Two years ago, the world looked like a much different place, particularly for JP Saxe. He had just released his debut single, “Changed,” a soulful pop meld of touching lyricism and sparse, powerful production. While there was no denying the innate appeal to JP Saxe’s multi-textured brand of pop, there was no telling exactly the impact it would happen. Now, 2019 sees the Los Angeles–based artist racking up streams of just shy of seven million monthly listeners.
The growing popularity of JP Saxe is a testament to his understated craft. He has released only a handful of singles to date, but each and every single feels purposeful, presenting an intimate look into tales of love, heartbreak, and the scope of human complexity. The same is especially true for his latest single, “If The World Was Ending,” featuring Julia Michaels and production by FINNEAS. And the world seems to agree.
In a matter of months, “If The World Was Ending” has been streamed over 40 million times on Spotify alone. The apocalypse-inspired ode to saying everything on our mind and in our hearts clearly struck a chord. We spoke to JP Saxe during his most recent tour alongside Noah Kahan about the importance of writing with honesty, the final word he would utter if the world was ending, and more.
Ones To Watch: Your music is very emotionally-gripping. It’s hard to not swim in your own vulnerability when listening to a JP Saxe song. How does your own vulnerability impact the way you create?
JP Saxe: If I’m not being honest in these songs I don’t really see the point. Sure, vulnerability can be terrifying, but also there’s nothing more empowering than being purely yourself and having that be the thing you’re most celebrated for.
“If The World Was Ending” has a way of diminishing trivial issues one might have with someone they love when faced with a life-or-death situation. Were you hoping to inspire audiences to take action and reach out to someone, or to merely leave it as food for thought?
Neither. Didn’t really have any desired impact. I never do, to be honest. I’m not writing with the intention of making anyone do or think anything. I’m just trying to get the songs feeling as much like the personal experiences they’re coming from as possible.
The whole conglomeration of the song from the sentimental lyrics and you and Julia Michael’s complementary vocals to FINNEAS’ exceptional production, truly shapes itself to be a contemporary musical masterpiece. What was the process like, working with these two and meshing ideas with one another?
Thank you!! It was awesome working with the two of them. They’re both geniuses. It was an honor.
What is your fondest memory that was made with both Julia and FINNEAS while working together?
Getting to know Julia. (Never met FINNEAS but he was friendly on facetime)
If you had to navigate the world during an apocalypse and could only take two people in the entire world with you, who would you have on your end-of-the-world crew?
Lebron James and my grandma.
What do you think has been your biggest takeaway from the tour with Noah Kahan?
That Noah Kahan is a beautiful man who gives great hugs and has amazing fans.
2020 is just around the corner, what do you hope this new year has in store for you and your music?
New feelings, new songs, learning shit.. a headline tour, lots of traveling. I also want to go to Tokyo for the Olympics.
If the world was ending, what’s one message you’d hope to relay?
Who are your Ones To Watch?
Arum Rae and The Raptors.