Get to know JXCKY, a debut artist out of Melbourne whose first ever single ‘Lockdown Lover’ couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.
JXCKY’s first track comes towards the end of what’s been a long and protracted period of self-isolation for residents of the Victorian capital. But something good has seemingly come out of 2020 for the young performer; new love and a song in celebration of it.
Discover how JXCKY got his start, who inspires him and where we can see him popping up in the future as part of our latest Get To Know feature.
01. Name : JXCKY
02. Where are you based? Inner West of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
03. How did you get your start in music? I mostly emerged from high school without much knowledge of playing, performing or writing music. However, I had a passion for writing in general and this gradually coalesced with my musical curiosity into lyric writing!
I began to teach myself chords on the keyboard and the rest through a songwriting degree. Whilst studying in university, I performed in venues around Melbourne, busked on the city streets and my image and sound began to take shape.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Versatile, empathetic, nostalgic, complex and influential.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. Initially, I started out writing pop hooks and melodies with simple chords because I was obsessed with pop music, especially female artists that explored distinct sonic and visual eras in their music.
The more I learned about songwriting, it eventually integrated with R&B. Writing fun, catchy pop hooks over juicy, colourful sounds became interesting to me and allowed me to convey my experiences as a queer, person of colour in a unique way!
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? Putting on a disc of ‘Glee’ songs and pretending I was the characters in the show whilst leaping back and forth in my room… Honestly, if ‘Glee’, ‘High School Musical’ and ‘Hannah Montana’ didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t have taken my musical aspirations seriously.
07. Who have been your musical influences? Artists who are intrinsically authentic in their writing and visuals, like Taylor Swift and ZAYN. More recently, Daniel Caesar and Bruno Major’s sincere and spiritual sound has had a profound impact on my writing.
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? Toploader’s cover of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’, Journey’s ‘Faithfully’ and Big Mountain’s ‘Baby, I Love Your Way’. Perfect for a drive on an island getaway!
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? There’ll probably be a mixed response to this answer but I’d say public transport or walking down a city street! You’re tuning out the world and simultaneously immersed in it when looking out a train window or waiting for the traffic lights to flash green.
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling :
Happy? Dua Lipa.
Sad? Bon Iver.
Introspective? Daniel Caesar.
Exhausted? Flo Milli (to wake me up!).
11. What was the first album you ever bought? Nelly Furtado’s ‘Loose’. Everyone was singing ‘Maneater’ and ‘Promiscuous’ in primary school and I wanted to board that train. Next thing I know, I’m singing some Spanish as well!
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I have aviophobia – a fear of flying… and it doesn’t help that I’m sometimes on YouTube watching plane accidents and disasters on my recommended page.
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? Well, I was offered a scholarship for an English teaching degree at Swinburne University… and I’m glad I didn’t take it!
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Listen to all music, not just the genre you write in. Mainstream pop was all I ever listened to and it wasn’t until I opened my ears up to other genres that my writing and musical palette expanded!
15. What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far? Around a year ago, I played at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne during the Asian Night Market event. Absolutely surreal to play to an ocean of people.
16. What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had in the business? I played at a nightclub in the city once. My band had to haul up all the instruments, including an entire drum kit, upstairs. They had us on at 10pm on a Friday night when people were already ready to dance to club music and disinterested in original, live music. But hey, at least there were free doughnuts!
17. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? Rina Sawayama. Her debut album was phenomenal and she’s blowing up. I’m so excited to hear more of her music!
18. Tell us about your debut release. ‘Lockdown Lover’ is a song that explores the unprecedented events of this year where, through restrictions and isolation, people are feeling disengaged from one another. However, an unexpected, silver lining is finding something or someone new despite the distance and amidst all the melancholy.
I had the title of the song in my notes as soon as I started to fall for someone in lockdown and I wrote it with all these terms we’re so used to hearing in mind – ‘lockdown’, ‘six feet’, ‘isolation’ ‘stay safe’, ‘quarantine’.
Everyone’s at home right now (especially in Melbourne) thinking ‘when will this be over?’ but to get by, we’re finding different ways to cope, whether it’s love, games, music, Netflix or Zoom calls. It’s anything we can hold onto until that day we can return to a ‘state of peace’ and ‘normality’.
19. What do your future plans involve? I’m working on two projects right now! One that explores the universal themes of anger, jealousy and revenge in a signature ‘dark pop / R&B’ soundscape and the other is ‘PTV (Public Transport of Victoria)’ which features songs I’ve written on public transport (trains, buses, trams, V-Line).
20. Where can our audience catch you live? I’m definitely planning to do more Instagram livestreams for the remainder of 2020, but as soon as things are at a ‘COVID-Normal’, people will definitely catch me playing live in venues across Melbourne (such as The Workers Club, The Toff) or even busking along the city streets!
FACEBOOK : https://facebook.com/jxckymusic
INSTAGRAM : https://instagram.com/jxckymusic
TWITTER : https://twitter.com/jxckymusic
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/jxckymusic
YOUTUBE : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB9KPzeyHmQ0C0j4S95vtxg