Maxim Meyer-Horn

24 Mar
Music

JP Saxe: “Working With Julia Michaels Was a Mystical Experience”

“If the world was ending, you’d come over, right?” sings the Canadian singer-songwriter JP Saxe in his first big hit “If The World Was Ending” and we’d sure come over. The 25-year-old artist is steadily becoming bigger and is absolutely ready to take-off. During his tour with Lennon Stella, he had some time for an interview with us while he was in Brussels.

You have a very musical family and grew up surrounded by music. When did you realize you were also musically gifted?

The first time I realized I could sing was when I sang “Where’s The Love?” of the Black Eyed Peas in my room. I was eleven years old, was singing Justin Timberlake’s part of the song and thought I might have sounded good. So, I ran downstairs where my whole family was and said that I might be able to sing. I sang the part of the song, they said I sounded ok and I fell in love with singing. After that, I learned how to play the piano and the guitar. I also played the cello very briefly, but it was more an attempt to feel closer to my grandfather.

Do you think you’ll ever release a song where you play the cello?

I don’t know, because I haven’t picked up a cello in 15 years. It would certainly be a nice challenge, but I’m not sure if the audience will like it.

You’ve collaborated with Charlotte Lawrence, Lennon Stella and Julia Michaels. How was it to work with these talented artists?

They’re all very different and interesting. Working with Charlotte was very easy because we have so many mutual friends and are a fan of each other’s music. I was looking for someone to feature on my song “The Few Things” and I asked her. She came to the studio the next day and it was done.

With Lennon, we’re a fan of each other’s music and wrote our song “Golf on TV” during our first songwriting session, which was about six weeks ago. It was a very quick turnaround because Lennon and I have a similar taste in music, so that made working together super easy. Julia is the best songwriter in the whole wide world. So, working with her was a mystical experience in every way.

What’s your most recent hit “Golf on TV” about?

The song is about monogamy. Lennon and I were discussing how twenty-somethings in 2020 think it’s trendy to explore non-traditional relationships, which I have no opposition towards. I personally feel more intimately connected to others when it’s just one of them and I’m really fucking in love with my girlfriend and Lennon is really fucking in love with her boyfriend. We basically sat in the studio and gushed over our partners.

I said something like: “I get that people can be with lots of people, but people also watch golf on TV and I don’t get that either,” so that’s how the song came about.

Does being in love bring you a lot of inspiration or does a heartbreak makes it easier to write a song?

I think sometimes it’s easier to write from heartbreak because if I’m heartbroken and devastated, there’s no clear person to talk about that. There’s no one you can call or text and say: “Hey, I’m heartbroken and devastated!” so the most immediate outlet is to write a song and create something.

If you’re in love and you want to tell someone, you just pick up the phone or you turn to the person beside you and you just say: “I’m really in love with you!” and then you got it out. There’s just not the same pressing desire to want to put it into a song. But I do think as a songwriter and artist, there’s a responsibility to reflect the emotional spectrum and not just the painful emotions or the introvert emotions. I want to be able to talk about love, partnership and joy with the same detail that I would talk about when I’m being extremely sad.

You were raised in Toronto, but moved to Los Angeles. Why do you think so many songwriters are attracted to LA?

I think it’s because of all the other songwriters. It’s a ‘chicken or egg’ situation, but it’s inspiring to be in a city with a lot of songwriters who are trying to create life out of art.

You’ve worked with the incredible Finneas O’Connell on a song. How is it to make a song with someone who’s changing the music industry like he does?

He produced the song “If The World Was Ending”the rest of my debut EP was produced by Ryan Marrone, so I actually never met Finneas. We sent him the demo of the song and he really liked it, so he started messing with the production. We actually did it via FaceTime. He’s so talented and creative, so I’m grateful to be an artist in a generation where Billie Eilish is the biggest artist in the world. You know, that’s cool.

Finneas and Billie won a lot of Grammy’s. Which Grammy are you hoping to win one day?

Album of the Year! Actually, I’d like to win all of them. Like, I wanna win Best Spoken Word. (laughs)

How will the future of music look like?

I wouldn’t want to be a musician at any other time because it can work in so many different ways. I think what makes something popular has something to do with how sincere it is.

Let’s end with the most important question: When is your debut album coming?

Somewhere this year. It will be the same oversharing that has been part of the music up until this point, but will touch more topics.

 

First two photos by Maxim Meyer-Horn for Enfnts Terribles

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