Get the word on the beats from Jax JonesThe London-based DJ just watched his first single, You Don’t Know Me, hit the upper echelons of the charts. Now he chats to us about true friendship, real rock stars, and why he thinks David Guetta is an onion.
THE RED BULLETIN: What does it take to be a successful DJ?
JAX JONES: Wow. [Laughs.] I guess the main thing that pulls it all together is your music – no matter what genre you’re in. But obviously it’s also important to have consistent releases and you have to find your own sound. There’s a lot of music already out there, but there’s always a way to make it sound different and create something new. And never forget – your music is here to entertain the people. They just want to dance and let themselves go when the DJ enters the stage, so you always have to keep that in mind.
What brought you success?
I’ve always tried to make music that I like. I’m not intentionally doing it for the people, but I’m doing it for myself.
Why is that?
As a newcomer you can’t think too far, because it’s not possible to plan certain things to happen exactly as you wish. Sure, if you’re Calvin Harris you can. If he drops a song, everybody’s going to pay attention.
How do you feel about this photo?
Sick, sick, sick – that’s so true. [Laughs.]
Well, I agree with it. You really need to have a small number of ‘true’ friends in your life – you can call it a ‘core group’ if you will. But to be fair, when unexpected success hits you, you do change and your circles change. There’s hardly something you can do about it. But as the picture says, your best friends will remain your best friends. Oh, and I think I’ve got the same speakers as the man on the photo (grins).
But does it get harder to find true friends when you’re already well-known?
I think in life it’s good to be self-contained. My best friends don’t expect anything from me and I don’t expect anything from them. It’s the simplest and most honest kind of friendship. I don’t want to miss that.
What’s the most difficult thing about being well-known?
When you travel that much and do many different things within one day, it’s sometimes hard to understand for the people at home that there are things you forget. Then somebody asks you “Where have you been?” or “What did you do last Tuesday?” and I’m like “I don’t have a clue.” [Laughs.] I like it better when I’m not asked about what I did when I come home. I just want to hang out with the guys and watch a movie.
Who’s your role model?
Well, I switch role models all the time. Sometimes I get obsessed with someone over months and read literally everything I can find about him or her. I usually start with biographies – I did that with Daft Punk for example, they’re just extraordinary.
Speaking of other artists, can you describe these in as few words as possible?
Steve Aoki: Cake.
David Guetta: Onion. Everyone thinks he’s pop, but he’s more. He’s got layers.
The Chainsmokers: Sick Songs. I think Closer is one of the best tracks I know.
Do you think that DJs are the new rock stars?
I don’t dare to agree with this right away. I mean, if you were a real rock star, how would you feel, if a DJ, who simply puts his USB drive into his MacBook and makes the crowd go crazy, calls himself a rock star. I don’t really think that would be appropriate at all. Rock stars should remain unique personalities.
Fair enough! We saw you dribbling on Instagram
and you did better than Martin Garrix, DJ Snake and Jason Derulo.
Yeah. If I didn’t manage to beat them, I would feel upset right now.
I attempted to play football as a professional when I was 11 years old. I wanted to play for Arsenal, but as you can see, I wasn’t good enough for their academy. [Laughs.] Today I’m still a fan, but I really need to say that Arsène Wenger is killing the team.