Jax Jones: "I'm excited to do Birmingham date"

His breakthrough hit was You Don't Know Me in 2016, but jax Jones will be hoping that isn't still the case when he returns to Birmingham this year.

Musician Jax Jones
Musician Jax Jones

The Ivor Novello, Grammy and two-time BRIT Award-nominated producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist is heading out on tour next month to promote his Top 10 debut album Snacks, out now via Polydor, including a date at the O2 Institute on March 12.

And Jones hopes his popularity has moved on since then.

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"That song will always have a special place for me, being as at the week of release we missed the No.1 spot just because Ed Sheeran dropped one of the biggest songs of all time, I think it was “Shape of You” or something like that, so that was a tough one," he said.

"It just kind of started to make everyone aware of who I am. That song over the years people have told me how much it defined their summer, defined certain moments in their life, which is what a great dance record should do so I’m really proud to be a part of that. It’s taken me all around the world man, to stages in Serbia and all the way to Japan so its been a game changer for me."

The album Snacks probably took a little longer than Jones would have wanted to come to fruition. But he was just proud of it when it did arrive.

"It took a while but the beauty of it is now that Snacks has come out, it’s the only album to have six Top 10s, and nine Top 20s in total on it. Hence why it was such a moment when it did come out because it has a collection of all those great songs, plus your kind of deeper songs like Cruel."

"I think there’s two sides. Dance music albums either remain for the clubs, for DJs to pick up on and beats that you hear in the clubs, or there’s the other side of it where it should feel almost like a greatest hits and that’s what Snacks feels like to me. I’m really proud of the collaborations we got on there like Demi Lovato, Bebe Rexa, all the way to great up-and-coming artists at the time such as Mabel - she’s gone on to be a superstar now. It was the biggest dance album of last year and one of the biggest debut albums of the year.

"People are still listening to these big songs from the album."

Superstar Sheeran has other connections to his music too, right back to his origins with another project at a time when Jax Jones the DJ was just a pipe dream for another day.

"I was signed in a band to Atlantic years before," the 32-year-old Londoner continued. "Ed Sheeran and I got signed at the same time. I got dropped in that period after making an album, which happens to a lot of bands, but I learned so much. I worked with writers all around the world - lessons that I brought into Jax Jones.

"But before that when I first left uni, because its been a long road, my parents didn’t agree with me doing music so I had to leave home pretty early and just kind of figure it out. I had to get a job pretty quickly and luckily I landed on my feet, playing guitar for N-Dubz, which was my first ever job.

"I knew I always wanted to be a producer and at the time I did a few remixes, I was chasing that. One-off grime records and bits like that, I even did a track with Miss Dynamite back in the day. At the time the rise of the DJ producer, especially in house music from a commercial stance, wasn’t as popular. I was still making rap and R&B, dabbling in pop, so it took a while to make that connection. And then Jax Jones was what brought it all together really, and I was like this is a really natural fit; I love house music let’s do this."

And fans will be able to see his latest learnings in the flesh when he takes to the stage next month.

"The Jax Jones live show is like no other kind of dance show out there right now," he continues. "You get all those big songs but performed in a new, unique way. Then you get a Europa section, sometimes I like to bring out special guests because of my influences in rap music and all the collaborations I’ve done.

"There's surprises from each city, which I’ve been known to do. The first time I started doing that on the biggest stage was at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year, which was a massive occasion. If you want a demonstration of what the Jax Jones live show is like, in terms of my pop show, that’s the best thing to check out and it’s just a spectacle.

"We’ve been known to have up to 50 people on stage and it just feels like an incredible sensory experience, you know what I mean? So whether you want to sing along, whether you want to party, whether you want to just hang out with cool people that’s my show.

"My last memory of Birmingham is when I did the Demi Lovato show [at Arena Birmingham in 2018], which was sick actually. I’m excited to do the headline date."

Tickets to the Jax Jones date at the O2 Institute are available now from the venue's website.

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